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Four Type A Free Agents Remain, Mets Not Interested In Any?

The mustachioed madman.
The mustachioed madman.

MLBTradeRumors reminds us that there are four remaining Type A free agents on the market: Carl Pavano, Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano, and Grant Balfour. By virtue of playing as poorly as they did after the All Star break last season the Mets first-round pick is protected from compensation forfeiture, so they could go ahead and sign all four of these guys and still have a high draft pick in June. They would, however, have to hand over their second-round pick (and third-, fourth-, and fifth-round picks were they to be so gluttonous as to actually sign everyone).

The Mets are not rumored to be interested in any of these players, and paying both dollars and draft picks for either Soriano or Balfour, likely setup men with the Mets, would be puzzling at best for a team whose most sanguine forecast is as a fringe contender in the National League.

Beltre has had two truly great seasons in his career: his contract year with the Dodgers in 2004 when he slugged .629 with 48 home runs, and last season, also a walk year, when he hit .321/.365/.553 with the Red Sox. He'll be 32 on April 7 and is a minion of Scott Boras, plus the Mets already have a pretty good third baseman in David Wright, so unless the Mets want to trade Ike Davis for starting pitching and move Wright to first, it's tough to envision a scenario where Beltre makes sense in Queens.

Pavano is the most interesting name on the list because, despite his checkered past, he is a pretty good pitcher with a pretty great mustache. He famously signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Yankees after the 2004 season and then pitched less than 150 innings with the team, missing time due to shoulder, back, and elbow injuries, the latter culminating in Tommy John surgery. He has pitched well over the past year-plus with the Indians and the Twins, but he strikes out very few batters and therefore relies heavily on his defense and Lady Luck to get hitters out. He hardly walks anybody, the importance of which can't be overstated in the teeth of a bottom-five whiff rate. However, Pavano will be 35 in January and is probably looking for a three-year deal worth upwards of $10 million per season, which is too many years and too much money for the penniless Mets.

In the end, just as Victor Martinez, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Scott Downs and Cliff Lee have signed with other teams, the final four Type A free agents of the 2010 offseason class are likewise destined to land elsewhere, far, far away from the Mets and their frustrating insolvency.