With a report somewhat echoed by one from the New York Times’ Ben Shipgel, the New York Post’s Mark Hale writes the Mets are near completion on a trade that would bring Marlins C Paul Lo Duca to Shea.

The Mets are believed to be close to a deal in which they would send a minor-league prospect to the Marlins for catcher Paul Lo Duca, according to a major-league source.

The identity of the Met prospect was not immediately known ” but it’s hard to envision it being Lastings Milledge, the jewel of their minor-league system.
Lo Duca batted .283 with six homers and 57 RBIs this past season and threw out 21 percent of runners trying to steal. The backstop, 34 in April, is owed $12.5M over the next two years.

Hands up, anyone who can explain how Lo Duca — 37 for 165 in throwing out base stealers — would represent an substantial upgrade on a platoon of Mike Piazza and Ramon Castro, particularly if Piazza were willing to accept a realistic one year deal. That said, I have no idea if Piazza would go for such a thing (I’m told he’s already asked Eddie Trunk to forward his mail), and Lo Duca would represent an economical alternative to Ramon Hernandez or Benji Molina.

I am thankful that there’s no talk whatsoever of the Mets pursuing Detroit’s Ivan Rodriguez. Though the prospect of I-Rod receiving tutoring from Jose Reyes on how to take more pitches would not be without appeal.