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Rumor Mill: Piazza a Padre?

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From Buster Olney's Blog on ESPN:

The Yankees won't carry Piazza as the backup catcher because Joe Torre has long preferred a strong defender in that role, and Piazza is a defensive liability behind the plate. Heard yesterday that San Diego is the front-runner for Piazza if the Yankees decline the chance to sign Piazza (and they are leaning against signing him).

From the Philidelphia Inquirer:

Talking with Piazza. The Phillies have talked with free-agent catcher Mike Piazza about a possible contract, a baseball source said, but it seems Piazza might have better options with the San Diego Padres or Chicago Cubs. Piazza could make a decision before the end of the week.

Pads made an offer?

Piazza, who hit .251 with 19 homers and 62 RBI with the Mets last year, has minimal offers from the Padres, Phillies and Indians to play a reserve role, but none of them are anywhere near his believed asking price of $7 million-$8 million a year.

Former Mariners Pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa might also be picked up by the Pads:

Hasegawa hasn't formally gotten a job -- yet. When he does, it's likely he'll wind up in Southern California. The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in signing him.