2005_12_smikewaves.jpgIf the ceremonies at the end of the season and the trade for Paul Lo Duca didn't make it clear enough, it's now official. The Mets will not be re-signing Mike Piazza (at least until May 1st) as they declined to offer salary arbitration, effectively ending his eight-year stint with the team. The 37 year-old Hall of Fame bound catcher hit only .251 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI last season. The .251 average was his worst since entering the Majors in 1992. In all likelihood, Piazza is now on his way to an American League team to be a designated hitter.

The Mets also declined to offer arbitration to Braden Looper, Miguel Cairo, and Roberto Hernandez. They did however offer a contract to Hernandez, who is reportedly being perused by several other teams.

Photo by Kenji Takabayashi/MLB.com