The Mets plan to go outside the organization for their 2012 closer, Sandy Alderson has indicated. And Francisco Rodriguez will be among several closers available as free agents.
But a reunion? That doesn't seem likely.
Still, after tossing a scoreless eighth inning in Milwaukee's win in Game 1 of the NLCS, K-Rod expressed receptiveness to returning to New York.
"Of course," Rodriguez told Newsday. "I don't have no hard feelings for nobody. They did what they had to do. They needed to unload a lot of money and I was making too much money. But you never know what's going to happen one year from now, two years from now."
In reality, team brass' belief is that the downward trend in the cost of closers since K-Rod signed with the Mets three offseasons ago, plus the glut of closers entering the market, will land the Mets a capable closer at a reasonable cost.
ESPN's Jayson Stark recently compiled this list of available closers:
Marquee attractions -- Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell, Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez.
Fascinating names with contract options -- Jose Valverde ($9-million option), Joe Nathan ($12.5-million option), Francisco Cordero ($12-million option), Kyle Farnsworth ($3.3-million option), Brad Lidge ($12.5-million option), Jon Rauch ($3.75-million option), Rafael Soriano ($11-million player option).
Not to mention -- Jonathan Broxton, Matt Capps, Frank Francisco.
Other guys who closed once upon a time -- Kerry Wood, Octavio Dotel, Mike Gonzalez, Fernando Rodney, Takashi Saito and Ryan Franklin.
For a full offseason analysis, read this article from the conclusion of the season.