Could Hisanori Takahashi be staying in the Big Apple after all?
Takahashi, who recently completed his first season stateside with the Mets by serving as starter, reliever and closer, has a clause in his contract that forces the Mets to release him by Oct. 31 in order to become a free agent. Without that clause, Takahashi would be bound to the Mets for the next five seasons.
One wrinkle: by being released, New York would be unable to sign Takahashi until May 15. Up until today, there was no word that Takahashi was going to ink with the Mets by Sunday and would have the Mets losing out on one of their lone bright spots from 2010.
However, the new agent for the Japanese left-hander, Arn Tellem and the Mets are currently engaged in talks to extend the negotiation window as Tellem tells ESPN New York . It doesn't guarantee that Takahashi stays in town, but extending the deadline would be a positive step forward.
No free agents can begin negotiation with any team until five days after the conclusion of the World Series regardless, so even just extending the deadline until five days after the World Series would push the date past Oct. 31 and give the Mets more time to bring Takahashi back.
New York likely prefers Takahashi as a reliever, but he is known to prefer starting. That may be an option, and right now, only new GM Sandy Alderson knows how he views Takahashi.
-- Evan Brunell
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