Ken Davidoff of Newsday paints the picture perfectly this morning.
The free-agent market on closers has diminished to where the Mets, the only big-market team looking for an elite reliever, should have their pick of either K-Rod or Fuentes, the top two available options. Though clubs such as Milwaukee and Texas will be shopping for a closer, as well, the struggling economy has limited many clubs’ budgets.
Mets officials carry concerns about both of their candidates. Fuentes, more obviously, is 33, and he lost his closer’s job in 2007 as the Rockies reached the World Series. For K-Rod, the Mets have asked around the industry about the 26-year-old’s mechanics, his arm strength and why the Angels don’t appear particularly interested in retaining him.
Who would you sign?
Pros – Won’t break the bank, Lefthanded, Great season in 2008, Nice strikeout totals
Cons – 17 blown saves in last 3 years, He’s 33 years old, Wants 4-year deal
Pros – 27 years old, Spectacular 2008 season, Solid track record. Elite closer
Cons – Declining velocity, No more 90+ K’s per year, Wants 5 year deal