Buzz: Interest in Harden, Others

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Bruce Jenkins speculates that the Mets must now have interest in A’s RHP Rich Harden, who is 1–0 with a 0.82 ERA in his first two starts of the season.

no need for harden…it has not come to that, considering the A’s will almost certainly demand Fernando Martinez

Harden has missed roughly 60 percent of his starts over the last three seasons due to injury.

Of course, during his last 38 starts, Harden is 16–7 with a 2.95 ERA, having struck out 197 batters through 200 innings, while opponents have hit just .193 against him.

The 25–year-old Harden will earn $4.5 million in 2008, after which his contract contains a $7 million team option for 2009.

At his blog for ESPN.com, Buster Olney recently wrote that it will take at least six starts to show he is healthy before team’s seriously consider trading for Harden.

Previously in the Chronicle, Susan Slusser wrote that the Yankees have expressed interest in Harden, who would likely cost them Ian Kennedy among other pitching prospects.

jeez, just when i thought the off-season was behind us, here come A’s rumors again…ugh…

However, in the Daily News, Adam Rubin reports that, because Mets officials believe Pedro Martinez will back by mid-May, “they’re not inclined to seek any outside pitching help now.”

in other words, since Nelson Figueroa will only be needed for one start before Orlando Hernandez can return from the disabled list, the Mets are comfortable advancing with el duque, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Johan Santana from mid-April to mid-May, when pedro is expected back

Although the Mets appear willing to wait, like Rubin writes, according to David Lennon in Newsday, citing the player’s agent, the team has been in contact with free-agent Claudio Vargas.

Last night at ESPN.com, Jayson Stark wrote that the plan for Vargas would be to simply add him to the team’s inventory in Triple-A, joining Brian Stokes and Tony Armas Jr.

Lennon also reports that the Mets have interest in Rangers RHP Robinson Tejada, who was recently designated for assignment.

Stark, however, writes that the team has no interest in Tejada, nor David Wells or Jeff Weaver.

…my bet, based solely on speculation and past behavior: the Mets will look in to Freddy Garcia, who will reportedly be ready in June…if you recall, the Mets and garcia talked in the off-season, and he’s still a free agent…he could sign a minor-league deal, rehab with the team, and if el duque or pedro suffer a set back, garcia would be ready around the same time…