Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote:Mesa softens stance on possible trade
Thursday, June 16, 2005
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
NEW YORK -- For nearly two years, closer Jose Mesa has vowed he would retire if the Pirates tried to trade him.
That no longer is the case.
He said yesterday he would accept a trade, but with three conditions:
He wants to remain a closer.
He wants whichever team acquires him to pick up his $4 million option for 2006.
He wants to remain in the eastern United States to stay closer to his home in the Dominican Republic.
If he is not satisfied with all three, he said, he would refuse to report to another team.
"If they wanted to trade me, I don't have a problem with them trading me," Mesa said of the Pirates. "But it's got to be to a team where I can be the closer or a team that can pick up my option before I go. I don't want to go to a team just to help them for one or two months, and then nothing. If I can close and they get my option, and I stay on the East Coast, I've got no problem."
Mesa, 39, does not have a contractual right to refuse a trade. He simply would decline to play.
His name has surfaced in increasing trade speculation of late. Early in the week, the Arizona Republic reported the Diamondbacks had made a priority of acquiring him.
Informed of that, Mesa replied with force: "No West Coast. No matter what team is interested in me, I don't want to go to the West Coast."
Mesa emphasized his revised stance should not be interpreted as wanting to leave the Pirates.
"My preference is to stay in Pittsburgh, no question about it. They've treated me nicely, and they gave me the opportunity to pitch when nobody else would. They've got a lot of respect for me, and I've got a lot of respect for them. I'd love to stay here."
This is why he's not going anywhere...and this is why Mike Gonzalez will not be closing this year...and this is why he'll blow more games for us.