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Friday, July 22, 2011
Interest in Paulino, but Mets need him in '12

By Adam Rubin

The Mets have received no shortage of inquiries from other teams regarding catcher Ronny Paulino, but it looks like the organization will need to get a highly favorable offer in order to move him.

After all, Paulino will be arbitration-eligible and not a free agent after the season because he has not achieved six years of major league service time, so the Mets control his rights for 2012. And Paulino's modest base salary this year -- $1.35 million -- makes him affordable for next year, even with an expected raise.

If Paulino is dealt, Mike Nickeas would return. But it would leave the Mets in search of a No. 1 catcher for next season, or at least someone to share time with Josh Thole.

Also:

• Team sources confirm the Mets won't trade Jason Isringhausen. They need to get through the season being able to finish games, and Izzy also is valuable as a mentor to Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato.

Nick Evans probably did not play his final game as a Met, even though he was designated for assignment Friday to make room for David Wright. After Carlos Beltran is traded -- and once Evans has spent the required 10 days in the minors -- he is the top candidate to return to the major league roster. That's in part because other candidates are all injured. Zach Lutz has suffered a second concussion. Fernando Martinez is out with a hip injury. And Kirk Nieuwenhuis had season-ending shoulder surgery.