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Mets plan to end the Bay standoff by the middle of next week

ESPN reports that the Mets have apparently given Jason Bay's people a deadline to decide if he will accept the club's contract offer.

New York is ready to move on to other options if Bay doesn't take the four-year, $65 million proposal on the table. But Buster Olney said the Mets aren't planning to switch gears and go after Matt Holiday. Instead they have another Cardinals free agent on their minds: starting pitcher Joel Pineiro.

Pineiro was said to be in line for a five-year, $50 million contract when the hot stove league began. But, like just about every other player out there, he has seen the market lurch to a halt and is now expected to come much cheaper.

It hasn't been revealed when the Mets will switch gears. But, according to Olney, New York plans to have the Bay situation resolved, one way or the other, by the middle of the week.

It would be nice if the Mets blew their money on pitching to make the pool of teams that could become involved with Holliday that much more shallow. I wonder where in the world Bay would go if the Mets pulled the plug. It doesn't seem like the Red Sox are going to be able to make anywhere near the kind of offer they made for their former left fielder before they jumped the guy and signed Mike Cameron to a $15-million, two-year deal.