In 2007, Marlon Anderson parlayed a .319 average in just 60 at-bats into a two year deal worth $2.2 million dollars. Not bad for a bench player who had hit .231 in the first half of that season before being cut by the Dodgers and signed from the scrap heap by Omar Minaya.
Last season, Anderson slipped back into his old ways and batted .210 for the Mets in the first year of his big contract. Whenever the Mets needed a big hit, Anderson was the pinch hitter of choice, and he amassed a .127 batting average in 55 at-bats with runners on base.
Now, the 35-year old outfielder has seemingly become an even bigger liability.
At a time when the Mets need some right handed pop off the bench, the Mets will have Anderson’s lefthanded bat along with fellow left handers Alex Cora, Jeremy Reed and Cory Sullivan. Of course on the days that Dan Murphy starts, Fernando Taits can provide some help if called upon.
Anderson’s presence on the team would probably mean a ticket to Buffalo for righthander Nick Evans and the switch hitting Angel Pagan who is a natural righty.
For some strange reason, one of my knocks on Omar Minaya, is that he has a bad habit of rewarding aging mediocrity with multi-year contracts. He did it with Julio Franco, then with Guillermo Mota, and then again with Marlon Anderson. For now, I will stay mum on Luis Castillo, but I know you were thinking of him too.
Considering the glut of mediocre left handed hitters on our bench who have almost no power to speak of, and the lack of any right handed hitter who could become a late inning option off the bench. wouldn’t it make sense to cut Marlon Anderson and give 27-year old Angel Pagan a chance to flourish?
I would love to see Nick Evans make the team also, but he’s too solid of a prospect to have waste away on the bench. He needs to get plenty of at-bats in AAA so we can evaluate if he can be a solid contributer in 2010.
The other option would be to sign a right handed outfielder from the leftovers in free agency.
However, I like Angel Pagan based on what little I saw of him, and was actually very pleased when the Mets acquired him from the Cubs before last season.
It seems obvious to me, that both Reed and Sullivan will figure to make the team along with Anderson, Cora, and either Castro or Cancel if Catro gets traded.
As long as Anderson holds onto a fixed roster position, it makes the bench a lot weaker and vulnerable than it has to be. I view Pagan as an upgrade over Marlon Anderson right now.
Even if it means eating the one million dollars that is still owed to Andersom, the Mets should really cut him lose and give someone younger and better a chance to make the team out of Spring Training.