Hotwire: Market for Benitez Rising

The Mets are moving in a direction that could end in the dealing away of both Armando Benitez and Jeromy Burnitz before the month is through. The closer's tradability continues to rise day by day, as more teams, some unexpected, seem to be jumping into the mix to not only make them him their closer, but, in some cases, their eighth inning set-up man. Jim Duquette also makes some comments on who is available and about those that aren't.

Armando Benitez
According to New York Newsday, citing one major-league executive, the selection of Armando Benitez on the National League All-Star team has "helped his credibility in some people's minds."

Interim general manager Jim Duquette continues to receive inquires for the closer who, in 43 games, has 21 saves, a 3.11 ERA, and 48 strike outs in 46 1/3 innings. Despite reports saying otherwise, the Boston Red Sox still are in serious contention for his services.

The Seattle Mariners have also expressed interest due to the health of Kazuhiro Sasaki, who has been on the disabled list since June 11 with fractured ribs. Oddly, the New York Times has reported that San Diego is interested.

Rather that pick up Trevor Hoffman's $10 million option for next season, San Diego may just pay the $2 million buyout and therefore would be in need of a closer, the Times stated. That opens the door for Benitez.

Jeromy Burnitz
The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to monitor the Met outfielder, but are waiting news on Brian Jordan before they make a move for a bat, Newsday reports.

Dodgers general manager Dan Evans is waiting for the report on whether or not Jordan will need surgery for a strained tendon in his left knee. If so, they might push hard for Burnitz who has become one of the hottest hitters in the National League.

The New York Post also reported that the Minnesota Twins have shown interest.

Jim Duquette: Anyone can go
With the New York Mets obviously out of contention, Mets interim general manager Jim Duquette made his declaration that anyone on the team, including both Jose Reyes and Mike Piazza, are available for the proper price.

"No, I don't think we have any untouchables," he said to the Post.


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