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The latest on Jason Bay, Matt Holliday and the Mets

Sorry, was out earlier today on an assignment. Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, Angel Pagan, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell appeared in Queens to promote an organization called Veterans Across America. I asked Reyes about the mention of him in the New York Times story we linked to early today, and he essentially reiterated what his agent Peter Greenberg told the Times.

"I don’t have anything to be concerned about," Reyes said. "What he did was take my blood out and put it back in."

Anyway...sort of an odd day in the Mets' pursuit of outfielders. Omar Minaya spent the day with his assistant GM, John Ricco, at the grievance hearing for Yorvit Torrealba; as you likely know already, Torrealba and his representatives want compensation after the Mets, citing a failed physical, backed out of their agreement with the catcher two years ago.

Jason Bay's agent Joe Urbon, meanwhile, texted me that he was "finishing up the Roy Halladay press conference"; Urbon is part of CAA, which represents Halladay as well as Bay. I'm not sure if that means Urbon was in Philadelphia - a quick drive from New York.

What I'm hearing is that, if the Mets haven't flat-out raised their offer to Bay to five years, then they've strongly indicated a willingness to do so. It's just a matter of semantics at this point.

Meanwhile, it's my understanding that the Mets have been in regular communication with the Matt Holliday camp, to express their interest in the other highly regarded free-agent outfielder. At this point, however, the Mets are not as close to Holliday's asking price as are the Cardinals, so it still looks like Bay is more likely to become a Met.

The Orioles actually have expressed some interest in Holliday, meanwhile, as well as Holliday's old pal from the Rockies Garrett Atkins, whom Colorado non-tendered on Saturday. But Baltimore doesn't look likely to sign Holliday. Neither does San Francisco, which also has been in touch.

As for Bay's other sutiors, we know the Red Sox are out, all the more so after what Theo Epstein said in today's news conferences introducing Mike Cameron and John Lackey. I can't see the Mariners going five years on him, given their concerns about Bay's defense. The Angels? The Giants? It could come down to how much Bay wants (or doesn't want) to be a Met.

--Newsday teammate Jim Baumbach got a tour of the old Yankee Stadium.

--Hideki Matsui's agent Arn Tellem wrote an interesting piece about Matsui's free agency.


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