The Mets have less than a week to re-sign reliever Hisanori Takahashi or he can become a free agent and, if he does, is prohibited from signing back with the Mets by May 15, the New York Times reports .
Takahashi's agent, Peter Greenberg, told the Times negotiations were underway to keep the left-hander in New York.
Takahashi had singed a minor league contract in February, but had a clause that said the team had to release him by Oct. 31 to become a free agent if he hadn't signed a new contract. According to Rule 8 (i) (2), any player released after midnight Aug. 31 and before Opening Day, cannot sign a major-league contract with the same team until May 15.
"Hisa loved his time in New York, and hopefully, something can be worked out," Greeberg told the Times . "If not, then he will have to look elsewhere."
The Mets, of course, don't have a general manager at the moment. Assistant general manager John Ricco has been handling the negotiations.
Takahashi, in his first year in MLB, appeared in 53 games, starting 12 for the Mets. Overall, he was 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 122 innings.
As a reliever, he was 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitch. He was 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA as a starter. Left-handed batters hit just .217/.274/.270 against him.
Takahashi will be 36 next season.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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