Mets' trade for Estrada puts O's on hold again

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

The Kickoff

November 22, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Now that the New York Mets have acquired Johnny Estrada, you'd think they no longer have interest in Ramon Hernandez. But not so fast. They could non-tender Estrada next month, making him a free agent. And they would still be in the market for a catcher.

They'd like one who is low-maintenance, unlike Paul Lo Duca, who turned out to be on the high end of that scale. They would also like one with healthy oblique muscles. And one who runs out every ground ball. That could work against Hernandez.

The Estrada trade again puts the Orioles on hold while the Mets decide what to do with him. Doesn't anyone want to make this team a priority?

Erik Bedard is the only guy on the roster who seems to make teams jump. And the Los Angeles Dodgers still are the best fit because they have the need and the most to offer in the way of prospects. But they are a little preoccupied with Miguel Cabrera, which puts the Orioles, you know, on hold.

The Cleveland Indians agreed to terms with Japanese pitcher Masahide Kobayashi on a two-year deal. Kobayashi promptly ate the contract. I wish the Orioles had gone after him, but the notion that they'd finally tap into the Asian market is pretty hard to swallow.

OK, I'm done.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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