NEW YORK -- After meeting with Carlos Beltran in Puerto Rico for four hours Monday, the Mets on Tuesday were finalizing the details of their offer to the prized free agent, sources familiar with the negotiations told Newsday.
The Mets' opening bid is expected to be in the range of $100 million, according to one Newsday source.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya and owner Fred Wilpon were among
those who flew to San Juan to visit with Beltran, agent Scott
Boras, and Boras' associate, Mike Fiore. Senior vice president of
baseball operations Jim Duquette and special assistant Tony
Bernazard also made the trip.
Several teams have submitted bids in the range of $90 million previously, meaning the Mets would be the highest bidder to date.
Boras had set a $119 million, or $17 million a year for seven years, as the entry-level bid sought for Beltran. Some Yankees officials had been hesitant from the start to meet Boras' asking price, and they're expected not to compete with the Mets or others to get him.
"We had a very productive meeting," Boras said after Monday's
session at a San Juan hotel. He would not discuss whether the Mets made an offer during that meeting.
A similar trip helped Minaya and the Mets lure star pitcher
Pedro Martinez this offseason. Minaya traveled to the Dominican
Republic at Thanksgiving and dined with Martinez, who agreed to a
$53 million, four-year contract with New York last month.
Beltran led the Houston Astros within one win of their first
World Series last season, batting .417 in the NL Championship
Series with four home runs, five RBI and four stolen bases. He
also hit .455 with four homers and nine RBI in the first round.
Beltran has said he thinks he would be prepared to play in a
pressure-packed environment such as New York.
The Astros would like to retain Beltran, but if they don't reach
an agreement by Saturday they can't re-sign him until May 1. The All-Star center fielder said the
Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have shown interest as well.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.