As the Mets search high and low for starting pitching, Fausto Carmona has emerged in their crosshairs, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
The Mets may prefer Carmona to any of the other potential high-priced free agents such as Cliff Lee, Jake Westbrook or Ben Sheets because all three are eligible for free agency after the season. Carmona's price would come higher because he's locked up for years, but the Mets may be more willing to pay the price as opposed to a three-month rental.
The Indians pitcher is making $4.9 million the year, plus $6.1 million in 2011. Cleveland also holds club options for 2012 and 2013, making Carmona an attractive long-term candidate -- presuming he doesn't regress. The youngster is currently enjoying his best season since the 2007 campaign which saw the Indians come one game away from the World Series. Injury isn't completely to blame for his two-year absence from success: He made 46 combined starts at the big-league level from 2008-09 and nine minor-league starts. He did hit the 60-day DL in July, 2008 for a left hip strain.
The Indians wouldn't be opposed to dealing the 26-year-old but would require a hefty return. Cleveland may be rebuilding, but Carmona is certainly a big part of the rebuilding effort.
-- Evan Brunell
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