From the New York Post’s George King.

Mike Mussina has told friends the Mets would be a welcome option if the Yankees don’t want him back. And the Mets will be interested in the veteran right-hander when he becomes a free agent in less than two weeks.
According to a baseball official, the Mets “would have to consider [Mussina] if he is available.”

From the beginning of spring training through the disappointment of losing to the Tigers in the ALDS, Mussina didn’t allow his impending free agency to become an issue, and believed it would work out with the Yankees. And while Mussina returning to the Yankees remains a strong possibility, once the club doesn’t pick up a $17 million option, Mussina is free to talk to all teams.

The Phillies would also appeal to Mussina, a Pennsylvania native and resident.

The Yankees have until Nov. 15 to exercise the option and won’t do it. They will instead pay the $1.5 million buyout and start discussing a contract. GM Brian Cashman and agent Arn Tellem didn’t return calls on the subject.

As for what the Mets would be willing to pay Mussina, they figure to be in the $10 million to $12 million range per year with Tom Glavine, and Mussina is two years younger.

The Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that recently dismissed ESPN baseball analyst has hired a private detective to assist in his legal action against the network.

When asked about hiring a private investigator, Reynolds’ New York-based lawyer, Daniel L. Alterman, said he will do “everything he can to prepare myself for the litigation and the battle.”

While Alterman said he would prefer to take the “high road,” he may be planning a case that highlights other ESPN employees’ transgressions that didn’t cost anyone a job. An example might be Michael Irvin being caught with drug paraphernalia last year.

“We have to take that as it comes up,” Alterman said. “We are aware of other circumstances that have come up.”

A 3rd inning, 2-run HR by Jermaine Dye provided the margin of victory in the MLB All-Stars’ 3-2 decision over the NPB squad in Tokyo earlier today. John Maine made an appearance in the 7th inning — clearly, he’s one of America’s foremost cultural icons and it is hard to imagine how they’ve sent teams to Japan without him.