Mets could enter the Guerrero picture

Updated: January 8, 2004, 10:21 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Mets have spent nearly the entire offseason denying they have any interest in signing free-agent right fielder Vladimir Guerrero. Well, that's no longer the case.

Vladimir Guerrero
Guerrero

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports that the Mets are seriously considering making Guerrero an offer. Three major league sources told Olney that if the Mets do make an offer it would be for far less than what the Baltimore Orioles are believed to have offered -- a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $65 million.

Guerrero reportedly countered that offer from the Orioles with a seven-year, $105 million request. No other offers are believed to have been exchanged between Guerrero and the Orioles, though it's believed the club will increase its reported initial offer.

Guerrero, who missed nearly two months of last season with a herniated disk in his back, batted .330 with 25 homers and 79 RBI for the Montreal Expos. He is a career .323 hitter, and is considered to be entering the prime years of his career at age 27.

The Mets have already signed two significant free agents this season, agreeing to a three-year, $20.1 million deal with Japanese shortstop Kazuo Matsui and a three-year, $19.5 million contract with center fielder Mike Cameron, who spent last season with the Seattle Mariners.