As Mets GM Omar Minaya (above) continued to work the winter meetings in Key Biscayne, the name of SS/2B Jose Reyes surfaces as one of New York’s few bargaining chips, writes the New York Times’ Lee Jenkins.
Minaya was even more active on Wednesday, meeting with six teams, including the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers, and the Cubs a second time. The Mets may be interested in Oakland pitcher Barry Zito, who flourished under the pitching coach Rick Peterson but tailed off a bit after Peterson left for the Mets last season. Minaya is also believed to have interest in the Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano, the former Yankees second baseman, who might have gone to the Mets last spring if JosÃ© Reyes had been part of the package.
Because Oakland and Texas are looking to unload high-priced contracts and do not want any in return, the Mets may have to include Reyes if they are going to reach an agreement. Besides third baseman David Wright, Reyes is the Mets’ only top-tier player who does not have a multimillion-dollar contract. The Mets have become frustrated with Reyes’s recurring leg injuries and are aware that Oakland and Texas could use a middle infielder.
“Things can go from preliminary to reality in 24 hours,” Minaya said. “Today I expect to leave here without a deal, but that could change. If you get two general managers who will make decisions, it can click.”