The Mariners are not a serious player for Bay, according to people familiar with the club's thinking. Plus, the Red Sox appear to have moved on, the Angels' interest seems limited at this point, the Giants' run at a hitter of this stature appears unlikely and the Braves don't seem to be in the bidding, either.
Meanwhile, Mets people remain hopeful but nervous about Bay, their top free-agent target, which explains why they are remaining in contact with
But they chose to go for Bay first, in hopes avoiding what they believed would be protracted talks for Holliday, and they are feeling just a little antsy that Bay has yet to sign. They appear to be the favorite at this point. But until he's in the fold, they can't be sure.
SI.com learned that the Mets' hierarchy voted on their Plans A, B and C at the Winter Meetings and that Plan A was Bay and catcher
While Holliday has obvious advantages to Bay, especially in the National League, where he has a higher OPS (.948 to .891) and higher batting average (.322 to .281), plus better defensive metrics, the Mets believe Bay would be a better and quicker deal for them. They also like him in their ballpark because he's a pull-hitter with loft, while they see Holliday as a gap-hitter whose power numbers could be impacted by Citi Field.
But with Bay not signing as quickly as they hoped, they have been engaging Holliday, as well, just in case. A report in WEEI in Boston said there was a mystery team offering five years for Bay. But that team remains a mystery since the Mets are obviously out there.
The Mariners are unwilling to go even to four years for Bay and are concentrating on pitching and defense in their own expansive park. The Angels are a slightly better possibility, though for the moment they don't even have an opening in left field. If they trade
The Angels talked a bit to the Braves about a deal of Rivera for
The Red Sox signed
So for now, the Mets are the only team known to be in the bidding. Still, that's not the same as having the player signed.
• The Mariners have keen interest in locking up
• While the Padres are telling teams they have no wish to trade
• The Dodgers' trade of
• Cubs manager
• The Mets are scouting
• The Rangers were among other teams to show interest in
• Nice to see the Orioles getting serious this winter. The moves to acquire