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Thursday Afternoon Mets Newsstand

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Not much in the news today. The Mets had a meeting with Scott Boras yesterday which sounded like a Quimby-esque fact-finding mission of sorts. The Angels are still being considered by most to be the odds-on favorites to sign Alex Rodriguez, while the biggest impediment to him landing at Shea remains the fact that the Mets have nowhere for him to play right now.

At the New York Observer, Howard Megdal says A-Rod should play third base with David Wright shifting to second. We've heard this one before and it is certainly a possibility, but Wright is likely to get better defensively while Rodriguez will probably only get worse, so from a fielding standpoint it certainly doesn't make sense. Then there's the whole question of Wright moving to a position at which he has zero experience and whether he would be able to handle that transition, keeping in mind that second base is considered a tougher position to field than third.

At the New York Times, Tyler Kepner indicates that the Mets will keep one eye on the Rodriguez situation, but may only be interested in his services should his price tag drop considerably from the 10/$300 million contract we have seen tossed about lately.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Marlins are "almost certain to trade" Miguel Cabrera, the only remaining question is where the star hitter will wind up. The Mets have executed several trades with the Marlins over the past few seasons so there is plenty of history there. Whether the Mets have enough young talent to send back to Florida in exchange for Cabrera, still just 24, remains to be seen.

By almost all accounts, Cabrera is a terrible fielder at third, but that could be masked somewhat (or at least made to be less of a liability) with a switch back to the outfield. The Mets happen to have a potential opening in right field, so if they can come up with the pieces the Marlins are looking for then the possibility exists that a deal could get done.

Speaking of Cabrera, David Pinto (of Baseball Musings) has an article at The Sporting News about how letting Cabrera get away would be a colossal mistake.

Pinto has also posted his 2008 Probabilistic Model of Range charts for shortstops, which have somehow ranked Hanley Ramirez ahead of Jose Reyes by a fairly hefty margin. The consensus among scouts and computers alike is that Ramirez is an atrocious gloveman at short, but PMR seems to disagree.

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At ESPN.com, Jerry Crasnick asked fifteen general managers, assistants, etc. at the GM meetings for their thoughts on where A-Rod, Bonds, and some of the other big-name free agents might end up this offseason. The results are fairly predictable, but it is still interesting to see what actual team officials think of these players' likely destinations.

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The Associated Press reports that MLB first base and third base coaches will wear batting helmets next year. This change was motivated by the untimely death of Mike Coolbaugh, a first base coach in the Rockies' system who died this past season after sustaining a line drive to the head. Some might consider the decision too reactionary, but it's hard to argue against something that probably would have saved a life if it were enacted a year ago.

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At MetsGeek today, Chris McCown takes a look back at the winter 2002 deal that brought Jeromy Burnitz to Shea for his second tour of duty with the Mets.