Roundup: Angels in Piazza mix, Leiter move on deck

The Anaheim Angels are in the mix for Mike Piazza and the Mets prepare to finally cut Al Leiter into free agency, in Monday's Mets roundup:

The Anaheim Angels may be in the running to acquire New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Mets GM Omar Minaya used last week's general managers meetings in Key Biscayne, Fla. to discuss the topic of trading Piazza, who has been the Mets' franchise player since 1998. It is believed that the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers were also mentioned as potential destinations for the 36-year-old backstop.

Acquiring Piazza would be a splash for the Angels, who, under owner Arte Moreno, are actively looking to trump the Dodgers' reign on the area. The move would also make more sense for the Angels than the Dodgers because Piazza would be able to serve as a designated hitter for many games.

Leiter move on deck

After weeks of chess, the Mets will finally make a move Monday regarding Al Leiter.

The team is certain to decline the left-hander's $10 million option for 2005, at which point Leiter will cash a $2 million buyout from the club and become a free agent.

Though the Mets have expressed interest in bringing Leiter back for a one-year contract at $4 million before incentives, Leiter's agents and the club have not been able to come to a compromise over a negotiating period that has lasted nearly a month.

The Mets and Leiter will continue to negotiate now that he is a free agent, but the Yankees are said to be interested in wooing Leiter as a fifth starter or as a long man out of the bullpen.

Leiter has said that he would like to stay in New York for what will likely be his final season, but would consider a move to the Bronx his Mets plans fall through. The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies also loom as possibilities.

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