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The Mets are waiting for agent Scott Boras to finish off the Mark Teixeira Sweepstakes before they seriously engage Boras in negotiations for their top two pitching targets, Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez.

The Mets are hoping to sign one top pitcher. Lowe appears to be their first choice on the Category A list, followed by their own Perez. Third on that list is Randy Wolf. Mets people love Lowe's consistency and durability but will try Perez if the price on Lowe is too high (figures being mentioned last week at the Winter Meetings were $66 million for four years).

After the Mets try to secure one pitcher from Category A, they will try to sign a pitcher from Category B, which is the less costly list. Pitchers on that list include free agents Freddy Garcia and Tim Redding, plus Cubs starter Jason Marquis, who's available in trade with the Cubs believed willing to pay about half his $9.5-million salary.

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