The Newark Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano continues to insist that the Mets are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano, while Will Carrol reports that the Cubs are also in hot pursuit (both links courtesy Marc Perlman).

From Graziano :

Yesterday found the Mets still hard at work on a deal that would bring them the Texas Rangers second baseman Alfonso Soriano (above). As of last night, the sides were discussing a deal that would send right fielder Mike Cameron, outfield prospect Lastings Milledge and a pitching prospect — possibly Yusmeiro Petit — to the Rangers for Soriano and 23-year-old first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Final details had yet to be worked out, and some of the names could change, but the Mets are working to finalizing the deal in some form before Sunday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

There also was word circulating yesterday that the Mets were one of the teams interested in getting Aubrey Huff from the Devil Rays, but a Mets official said there was no truth to it. The Mets are not out to grab whatever hitter they can get — they like Soriano and are willing to stand pat on offense if they can’t get him.

The Mets were also trying to beef up their bullpen. Worried they won’t be able to get Danys Baez from Tampa Bay, they’ve been pestering the Mariners about left-handed closer Eddie Guardado, and an executive with one of those two teams said the Mets’ early offers had piqued Seattle’s interest.

If they can’t get either Baez or Guardado, they believe they have a chance to get Jose Mesa from Pittsburgh to help ease the workloads of Braden Looper and Roberto Hernandez in the season’s final months.