Just got back from the Baseball Writers Association of America's New York Chapter dinner and it was a great affair with our own Bob Klapisch drawing a standing ovation - bigger applause than David Wright, really? - from the packed room at the New York Hilton.
Between the handing out of the MVP, Cy Young Awards and the rest of the hardware, I managed to talk to a few people and see that one thing that was not about to be announced was just who the starting pitcher will be that the Mets will sign - eventually.
It certainly sounds like it's going to be Oliver Perez with one baseball official stating that the Mets will be patient - just days after another team official said that the offer on the table had an expiration date and it was coming quickly. The Mets are still looking at a pool of pitchers - a pretty large pool still this late in the winter - and Perez is their No. 1 choice, but not their only choice.
The team has still been in talks with Arn Tellum, the agent for Randy Wolf, and there is still interest. But even Wolf admitted to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that it seems like he's clearly a fallback.
"They've been honest with everyone," Wolf said. "Their priority, pretty obviously, is Oliver Perez. I understand. It's their guy. They know him better than anyone. They see the potential that could be there with him."
Of course, there is the other side of Ollie that the Mets have seen plenty of. When I mentioned to a Mets' official tonight that they should be the last team to overpay him, having seen his flaws close-up as often as the flashes of potential, I just got a shrug of the shoulders in return.
The darkhorse is Ben Sheets, who the Mets remain in discussions with, but are also hesitent to offer up any sort of guarantee for. The Mets won't give a two-year guarantee right now and if someone will, he's going to be off their radar.
The deal for Perez is obviously longer and for bigger dollars, despite the fact that he threw four less innings that Sheets last year. But Sheets remains a health risk the Mets don't appear willing to go on a liimb for.