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The Mets have placed an offer on the table for free-agent lefthander Oliver Perez, SI.com has learned, and are hopeful to have an answer in coming days regarding their prime pitching target.

The Mets are believed to have improved their original thought, which was for about $30 million over three years. But it isn't certain what their latest offer is.

Perez remains the Mets' top choice for the final spot in their rotation, though the team has remained in contact with three other free-agent pitchers -- Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Ben Sheets. They know they'd have competition for Wolf (Dodgers), Garland (Diamondbacks) and Sheets (Rangers, possibly Yankees) but aren't sure what other teams are competing for Perez.

The Mets had been hopeful to land free agent Derek Lowe earlier but were surprised when the rival Braves outbid them by $24 million, landing Lowe with a $60-million, four-year contract. Perez, 27, is eight years younger than Lowe, though not quite as consistent.

Mets GM Omar Minaya would love to import Perez, so the Mets are not likely to take one of the other pitchers unless he feels his chances for Perez are gone.

 

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