The New York Post’s Mark Hale is amongst those predicting the Mets will make a play for Julio Lugo, those ignoring the priciest talent on the open market.

Two big names – Barry Zito and Alfonso Soriano – will be free agents this fall, and a third big name, Manny Ramirez, could available in a trade. But right now, according to a source familiar with the situation, the Mets are not interested in pursuing any of them.

The Mets’ agenda this offseason still can change, as the team will have organizational meetings shortly. But the strong initial indication, according to the source, is that the Mets are not targeting any specific position player unlike last year when they went after closer Billy Wagner.

The Mets will need a top starter and possibly a second baseman and left fielder, but they apparently are not interested in Zito, Soriano and Ramirez, three big names who have been linked to the Mets over the past few seasons.
Zito is represented by Scott Boras, and the Mets – according to the source – estimate the left-hander will soar out of their price range. Zito could get at least $70 million over five seasons.

As for Soriano, the source indicated the lack of interest would not be because of money. Rather, the person said the Mets have not pursued Soriano that much in the past.

The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin
has a photograph of Mookie Wilson all decked out in Cardinals swag.  Said snapshot is considerably more disturbing than reports the Rockies might hire Gary Carter to join Clint Hurdle’s coaching staff in Denver.  Carter’s supposedly been offered the managerial job with the Mets’ Eastern League Binghamton affiliate, but is the B-Mets’ clubhouse nearly as godly as that of the Rockies?

The Denver Post’s Troy Renck
writes that MLB continues to discuss a scheme in which the playoffs’ wild card participants would have a tougher path to the World Series.

Commissioner Bud Selig has broached the idea of making it more difficult for wild cards to win the World Series. As it is, four times in the first 11 years since the playoff format expanded, the cards have walked away with all the chips.

There is growing buzz that baseball may try to create fewer home games for wild cards. So instead of hosting two in the first round, they would get only one – the first game followed by four on the road. That would have splattered Ragu on the Tigers’ plans this October, since their entire rotation has been mapped out to have Kenny Rogers pitch at Comerica Park.

“I am not in agreement with that, even though I know some people are,” said general manager Dave Dombrowski, whose Tigers earned the AL wild card. “With the unbalanced schedule, you might have the second-best team in the league and be a wild card because the division is so strong. Why should you be at a disadvantage?”

Without being specific, it’s clear MLB officials have been watching the NFL playoffs. Football’s wild cards go on the road to reach the Super Bowl, as the Pittsburgh Steelers did last season.

“You can’t equate football with baseball. A series is one game in football,” Cardinals outfielder Preston Wilson said. “I think it’s just sour grapes from teams that got sent home by wild cards. You play well at the end and you win. If you don’t, you go home.”