NEW YORK -- The New York Mets and the Indians, who have exchanged contracts and proposals and one telephone call after another, might be on the verge of completing a deal that would send Bret Saberhagen to Cleveland.
One executive involved in the talks last night called the deal "very much alive," and would not rule out the chance that the trade would be completed today.
Executives at Shea Stadium, in fact, waited in their offices until late last night for a call from Cleveland general manager John Hart.
Hart, however, was more restrained in his characterization of the status of the trade negotiations.
The Indians are in negotiations with the Houston Astros and two other clubs. Doug Drabek and Pete Harnisch are two Houston pitchers the Indians have targeted.
And Hart last night indicated they were still debating signing a free-agent pitcher such as David Wells.
The Mets, under the terms of the deal they proposed yesterday, would acquire Albie Lopez, a 22-year-old right-handed starter who was considered an untouchable prospect in Cleveland, as well as one of the club's shortstops.