Mets talking about Ibanez

July, 29, 2008
The Mets have continued discussions with the Mariners about outfielder Raul Ibanez, but as of early Tuesday afternoon, nothing seemed particularly promising.

The Mets intend to wait until the last day or two before the trade deadline, so they can get as much information as possible about the progress of Ryan Church, as he comes back from a concussion.

The Mets' priorities as they near the deadline are No. 1, a reliever; No. 2, a corner outfielder; and No. 3, an experienced starting pitcher. If the conversations with the Mariners heat up, they could conceivably expand the conversation to include Arthur Rhodes, the veteran lefty.

Rhodes, 38, has been excellent in matching up against lefties this season, striking out 26 in 21 1/3 innings overall this year. Lefties are hitting .184 with two doubles and 13 strikeouts in 38 at-bats against Rhodes and the Mets don't have the kind of power lefty they want for the middle innings. Ibanez, 36, is hitting .282, with 15 homers and 62 RBIs.

Buster Olney | email

ESPN Senior Writer


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