David Lennon of Newsday believes the Mets still remain very interested in free-agent C Ivan Rodriguez, ‘according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking.’
Lennon says the team is still concerned about Ramon Castro’s durability, and see Rodriguez as a better right-handed compliment to Brian Schneider.
Castro hit .245 with a .312 OBP in 52 games for the Mets last season, while spending two trips on the disabled list – he has not played in more than 52 games in a season since 2005.
Castro will be a free agent at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez will play for Puerto Rico in the WBC, alongside Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran.
According to Lennon, “If Rodriguez has a strong showing, the Mets’ pursuit could heat up quickly.”
In mid-February, Rodriguez told the Associated Press he might soon sign with the Marlins, Astros or Mets.
The next day, Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post said the Mets are not interested Rodriguez, and weren’t talking to him about a contract, according to a high-ranking team source.
Speaking of the WBC, check out Chris Guy’s preview for Mets Minor League Blog, where he looks at Mets players in the tournament, including 24–year-old 3B Shawn Bowman.