MAJOR UPDATE: Be My Valentine

David Lennon reports in today’s Newsday that negotiations for Jerry Manuel’s managrial contract may be falling apart…and the door is slightly ajar for a return of Bobby Valentine.

A person familiar with the situation said the Mets were prepared to give Manuel a two-year deal worth roughly $1.5 million and that the team has indicated it’s not willing to move much off that figure. By comparison, Willie Randolph’s first contract with the Mets, signed in 2005, was a three-year deal worth $1.875 million.

Although the Mets definitely value what Manuel, 54, did to resuscitate their season, they do not see him as irreplaceable despite his popularity in the clubhouse and good relationship with the New York media horde – two things that worked to his advantage after taking over for the fired Randolph.

But if negotiations do fall through, one of the names that could surface again is Bobby Valentine. The club’s chilly relationship with Valentine has thawed during the past year, and the Mets’ job is one of the few that might prompt him to leave Japan.

If the Wilpons show any savy whatsoever, they will do what it takes to get this done.  As I have written recently, I like the job Manuel has done and wouldn’t mind him coming back.

But, the team is clearly lacking the resiliency that was a trademark of most of the teams during Bobby V’s tenure as Mets manager.  Sure Bobby will reuffle some feathers along the way but he very well may be exactly what this franhise currently lacks.

Plus bringing back Bobby V will re-energize a good portion of the fan base, who will view the move as favorably as a big free agent signing.  Lennon adds:

Having him return to open Citi Field next April would be like the franchise welcoming home a prodigal son.

MAJOR UPDATE:

1050 ESPN’s Andrew Marchand spoke to Bobby V and got the following quote:

“I am working for a team that needs me and wants me as their man. I love it here, but I am an American and love great challenges. I was a in a Met uniform in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000, and would love to be there in the next decade.”

You really don’t have to read between the lines to see that Bobby would welcome the opportunity to come back.  My offseason just got a whole lot brighter.

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