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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Garland’

Thoughts on Lowe-balling Derek

Posted by jmkraft on January 14, 2009

Well, it appears that the Mets will not acquire the services of Derek Lowe after all. We learned yesterday that he will be heading to Atlanta instead for a four-year, $60 million deal.

With few other good pitchers on the market, it was clear that Lowe would be getting a pretty good deal somewhere. But the Mets obviously considered the 35-year old overpriced, and he probably was. Four years for someone in the later stage of their career is a lot, and on one hand, I’m happy that the Mets were conservative on their offer instead of making a Castillo-esque mistake. 

But on the other hand, Lowe is a low-risk (how many times can I use this pun in this post?) player who will probably mature well. Lowe has no injury history, and sinkerball pitchers seem to mature better than fireballers (like Pedro Martinez, for instance). 

I really think the Mets were convinced that their low-ball offer would hold up until the Braves became involved. Once that happened, it was pretty clear that they had a dilemma on their hands. But with Omar preferring Oliver Perez to Lowe anyway, the last thing the Wilpons probably wanted  was to get into a bidding war with a team desperate for a front-end starter.

Now we have to assume that the Mets will get more aggressive about Perez. It’s far from a foregone conclusion that Perez returns, but I can’t see a scenario in which the Mets don’t sign him. The Mets are going to have to accept the fact that Perez will make more money than they want to pay him, because Scott Boras, Perez’s agent, knows that the team is backed into a corner now. Sure, Omar can go out and sign Randy Wolf, Jon Garland, or Pedro Martinez, but those are three much less desirable options. 

In Perez (assuming the signing actually does happen), the Mets move forward with a pitching enigma. Perez can be really, really good or really, really bad. All of the talk about his maturity improving because he got married is ridiculous, and I don’t really see how that’s going to affect him on the mound. There’s tremendous upside with Ollie, but how much longer can we talk about upside with a 27-year old pitcher? But the fact is that a four year deal for a pitcher of his stature, at his age, is not a bad deal. Physically, he is entering his prime. Mentally, well, who knows?

I’m not happy about missing out on Lowe, but Perez is really not a bad section option. Let’s just hope that the Mets don’t drop the ball on him too.

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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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