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The Mets face a deadline with Hisanori Takahashi

Oct 24, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

Hisanori Takahashi throwing

Interesting situation between the Mets and Hisanori Takahashi.

According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the Mets have until October 31 (next Sunday) to sign Takahashi to a new contract or else they are prohibited from signing the left-hander until May 15, 2011.

Why? Well, it’s little complicated. When the Mets signed Takahashi to a minor league contract in February, there was a clause inserted in his contract which stated that he must be released by October 31 in order to become a free agent. According to MLB rules, any player who is released after midnight August 31 and before Opening Day of the next season cannot sign a major league deal with the same team until May 15. So, basically, if the Mets don’t re-sign him by next Sunday, he’ll end up elsewhere.

Only adding to the uncertainty is that the Mets haven’t decided on a general manager. Acting GM John Ricco has been handling the negotiations with Takahashi’s agent Peter Greenberg. It’s hard to know if Sandy Alderson or Josh Byrnes would agree with handing Takahashi a multi-year contract, for example, but the left-hander looks like he would be an asset to any pitching staff.

Takahashi, who turns 36 next April, went 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 12 starts and 41 relief appearances with the Mets this season. After Francisco Rodriguez went down with a season-ending thumb injury, he went a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities.

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