Moving aggressively to try to secure a power-hitting left fielder, the Mets tweaked their offer to Jason Bay to give him a possible five-year alternative and are getting back into the ballgame for Matt Holliday, as well, SI.com has learned.
Mets GM Omar Minaya and Bay's agent, Joe Urbon, spoke at length on Tuesday. Minaya is thought to have signaled a willingness to go to a five-year deal (at slightly lower dollars per year than the original four-year offer for close to $65 million), but with Bay still believed to be seeking a six-year deal from them, the Mets apparently have decided to dip back in on Holliday. The Mets, who are now believed willing to go to about $75 million for five for Bay, originally concentrated on Bay in the hope that they might be able to sign him quicker.
Minaya is expected to talk to Holliday's agent, Scott Boras, as soon as Wednesday. Mets people suggest there could be a trade option to fill their offensive gap, but it appears that Bay and Holliday are their two top targets to enhance their power.
Meanwhile, the talks with catcher Bengie Molina are said to be at a standstill. Molina is believed to be seeking a three-year deal for as much as $20 million. The Mets are likely willing to give Molina a two-year deal for perhaps $10 million. Molina is clearly the Mets' top catching target, but there is concern the aggressive Mariners could become a player for him.
It remains somewhat of a mystery where the competition for Bay is coming from, but the Mariners and Angels seem like possibilities. The Red Sox don't appear to be aggressive players for Bay at the moment after spending about $85 million on John Lackey and signing outfielder Mike Cameron.
The Cardinals are actively trying to secure Holliday, and one Cardinals person expressed faith it could get done. But Holliday is still talking to other teams. The Mets are one of them now.