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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Marquis’

Why is everyone trying to sign Tim Redding?

Posted by jmkraft on December 21, 2008

When the Washington Nationals non-tendered Tim Redding last week, it seemed that no one would really care. The only team linked to Redding, in fact, was the Colorado Rockies, who were about to acquire him for Willy Taveras before that deal fell apart the week before. But since then, Redding has become one of the most talked about free agent pitchers on the market, reportedly targeted by up to nine teams, including the Mets.

This interest is puzzling at best, and goes to show how trendy certain free agents can become. Redding is not a bad pitcher, but he’s not a good one, either. He’s a serviceable, affordable fifth starter, and, at best, he’ll give his team a chance to win every fifth day. And that is exactly why he is attracting so much interest on the market.

In today’s climate of inflated prices for starting pitchers (see: Silva, Carlos), pitchers like Redding become more desirable because of their price. For a team like the Mets, who are waiting for Jon Niese to develop, a pitcher like Redding would provide a good stopgap until Niese is ready. Of course, the danger is that Niese will not be ready this year, and that the Mets will have to go through the season with Redding in the rotation. 

Of course, Redding would not be the only starting pitcher signed by the Mets this offseason. The Mets will almost certainly sign a more established starter, whether that turns out to be Oliver Perez or Derek Lowe. In a rotation of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Perez or Lowe, and John Maine, Redding would fit in nicely as the fifth starter. But before jumping on the journeyman, the Mets must ask themselves, is Redding the best man for the job?

Let’s compare Redding with two other pitchers who have been discussed for the fifth spot, Jason Marquis (who would have to be acquired via trade), and free-agent Freddy Garcia. Here are the 2008 pitching lines for Redding and Marquis, and the 2006 line for Garcia, who was injured in 2007 and most of 2008:

Redding: 33 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 182.0 IP, 195 H, 100 ER, 27 HR, 65 BB, 120 SO, 10 W, 11 L, 95.1 P/GS, 1.43 WHIP, .275 BAA, 4.95 ERA

Marquis: 28 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 167.0 IP, 172 H, 84 ER, 15 HR, 70 BB, 91 SO, 11 W, 9 L, 94.2 P/GS, 1.45 WHIP, .267 BAA, 4.53 ERA

Garcia: 33 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 216.1 IP, 228 H, 109 ER, 32 HR, 48 BB, 135 SO, 17 W, 9 L, 100.5 P/GS, 1.28 WHIP, .267 BAA, 4.54 ERA

One thing is clear upon comparing these lines; these three pitchers are very similar on paper. So the question is, if these are the three candidates for the fifth spot (plus Niese), which would be the most desirable? Marquis is a New York native (and, as Mets fans know too well, he can hit), but the Mets would have to surrender a prospect or two in return. Garcia is the most dominant of the three, but he is unreliable and an injury risk. Redding is cheap, used to pitching in the NL East, and acceptably mediocre. Of course, the last time he pitched for a New York team, he surrendered six earned runs in one inning pitched, so who knows how he would respond to the big stage. But Redding seems to be the prototypical fifth starter, and that is why I believe Omar Minaya will ultimately sign him.

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Heyman: Mets, Cubs talking Marquis trade

Posted by jmkraft on December 11, 2008

Per Sports Illustrated‘s Jon Heyman:

The Mets and Cubs are discussing a trade that would send Jason Marquis home to New York.Marquis, a Staten Island native, would fill a need in the Mets’ rotation at a reasonable cost. The Cubs are offering to pay some of Marquis’ $9.5-million 2009 salary to defray the cost. The Mets could also consider sending reliever Scott Schoeneweis to the Cubs to further offset Marquis’ salary.

Not a total surprise here, as Marquis fits the bill for the fifth starter the Mets have been looking for. At the very least, acquiring Marquis would have two nice side effects. One would be to put some pressure on Jon Niese, who otherwise would come into Spring Training annointed as the fifth starter, which has trouble written all over it. The second is to get rid of Scott Schoeneweiss, who is probably unfairly maligned by Mets fans because he has been grossly misused in his tenure with the team. But with two lefty-specialists on the roster, the bullpen is unfairly constrained, and it’s time to get rid of one of them. 

Here are Marquis’ stats from last season:

29 G (28 GS), 0 CG, 0 SHO, 167.0 IP, 172 H, 87 R (84 ER), 15 HR, 70 BB, 91 SO, 11 W, 9 L, 94.6 P/GS, 1.45 WHIP, .267 BAA, 4.53 ERA

Those stats are almost identical to his career averages, so we know what we would get. I don’t like his WHIP or K/BB, but he’s a serviceable fifth starter who gives his team a chance to win every fifth day (gotta love those baseball cliches).

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My [remaining] Mets Hot Stove Wish-List

Posted by jmkraft on December 11, 2008

At the beginning of this year’s Hot Stove season (aka the offseason), I wrote a post  indicating my wish list for Omar Minaya and the Mets’ brass. Here’s an update:

1) A set-up man with closer experience. This could be filled soon if the JJ Putz trade goes forward. If not, I’m looking for either Huston Street or Chad Cordero to fill the gap.

2) At least one starting pitcher. At this point, I think we’re out of the running for Derek Lowe, which is probably a good thing, because the market is way too inflated for a pitcher of his age. Jon Garland or Jason Marquis would be expensive options to compete with Jon Niese for the fifth starter spot, as would Pedro Martinez. Even more expensive would be Oliver Perez, whom I think the Mets will ultimately resign. There really is no great option here, so I’d rather see Omar get creative here, if possible.

3) At least one veteran outfielder. Raul Ibañez probably won’t happen, but I’d be just as happy with Juan Rivera, who could prove to be this year’s most significant bargain. 

4) As many bullpen arms as possible. Seriously, bring in as many guys as is fiscally possible and let them battle it out in Spring Training. Relievers are inconsistent by their very nature, so this is not a bad strategy.

5) Some kind of miracle which would purge Luis Castillo from Flushing and replace him with Orlando Hudson. Sadly, this is just not going to happen. Sigh.

6) A solid utility infielder, and preferably one not named Felipe Lopez. I don’t know why I have a bad feeling that Lopez could find his way to Citi Field. Maybe it’s because the Mets are the place where former Nationals go to continue their mediocrity. Should Castillo find himself starting at second in 2009, he’ll certainly need a backup who is capable of starting if and when he goes down.

7) An end to the “evvvvvvvverybody clap your hands” chant. And to the wave. And to the excessive playing of Sandstorm. Can we enjoy a game in peace for once?

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Should the Mets resign Pedro Martinez?

Posted by jmkraft on December 10, 2008

Just after the Mets finally agreed to terms with Francisco Rodriguez today, it was reported that Omar Minaya and the Mets brass are interested in bringing back Pedro Martinez next season. This goes against previous reports which had suggested that the Mets and Pedro were ready to part ways.

I can’t make up my mind here. Part of me wants to believe that Pedro had such a bad year last year both in baseball and in his personal life that he is poised for a resurgence next year. And I really, really don’t want to see him with lights out stuff on, say, the Nationals. But part of me also realizes that Pedro is over the hill, and that last year wasn’t an abberation, but merely a premonition. 

I’d feel comfortable bringing Pedro back if the Mets make at least one other deal to solidify the back end of the rotation. We’re not going to sign C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, or Derek Lowe, but that doesn’t mean Omar shouldn’t do everything in his power to bring in a Kyle Lohse-caliber arm (I’m still bitter about not inking Lohse when we had the chance last year). Jon Garland has been mentioned, as has Jason Marquis, who could probably be swapped for Aaron Heilman. Let’s also not forget about Oliver Perez, who might not find another suitor with his exorbitant price. Combine all of these options with what Jon Niese might bring to the table and the Mets could have some good options. 

My plea to the Mets fans and members of the sports media who are going to be tearing Pedro a new one while the internal debate on whether or not to bring him back progresses, is to remember how great of a pitcher Pedro Martinez is. The guy is a Hall of Famer, and while he is certainly past the prime of his career, he is still Pedro Martinez. My point is, if the signing is low risk in nature, why not see what can happen?

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