From Jon Heyman in today’s Newsday :

At first, the Mets were playing from behind in the Carlos Delgado Sweepstakes. But the shocking signings of Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran might give them a decent shot.

“I thought Omar Minaya had lost his mind when he said at the winter meetings he was going to turn it around now,” said Delgado’s agent, David Sloane. “All he’s done is prove me and everyone else wrong. While other GMs were playing golf, he was flying around the world signing the best players on the planet.”

Delgado’s first choice – like Beltran’s – was the Yankees, according to Sloane. “You can say what you want about George Steinbrenner, but he’ll do anything to put a contender on the field,” Sloane said. But Yankees GM Brian Cashman called Dec. 27 to say he didn’t think they’d be able to get out of Jason Giambi’s contract yet.

The derby appears even now, though the Mets might have a slight edge over Baltimore, Texas and Florida. While Mets people suggest they won’t engage in a bidding war, it’s hard to imagine Florida or Texas, in particular, outbidding them.

Minaya did great work to convince the Wilpons to spend for Beltran. But agent Scott Boras helped, asking Fred Wilpon a question that struck a chord. Boras asked Wilpon, “Who’s your icon Met?”

Wilpon thought a little while, then responded, “Gary Carter … Straw … Doc.” Boras suggested Keith Hernandez. But the point was made.

None of the players listed will go into the Hall of Fame as a Met.

Beltran will.

Sounds like Mike Piazza’s stock has taken quite a tumble, huh? Perhaps Boras meant a player from a more recent generation, but surely Wilpon, Heyman and anyone else reading this would recognize Tom Seaver as the enduring face of franchise.