As the Mets sort through their to-do list and figure out how much they have versus how many things they need, they may want to consider a low cost option to replace J.J. Putz as the setup man, a setup man they hardly got their money’s worth on in 2009.
There is a very good chance that Joe Beimel will once again test the free agents waters this winter. Last season, he was hoping to land himself a three year deal but as spring training neared without any offers, he settled instead for a one year deal with the Nationals for $2 million dollars. He was subsequently traded to the Colorado Rockies.
Last March I wrote the following about Beimel in a post entitled, Mets Should Make A Move On Joe Beimel.
As soon as the Dodgers decided to non-tender left handed reliever, Joe Beimel, I remember thinking to myself, this guy will be signed within a week. Wrong again…
The 31 year old specialist had a solid season last year after posting a 2.02 ERA in 71 games.
During the 2007 season, Beimel set a record for the Dodgers by making 83 appearances, the most by a left-handed pitcher in the Dodgers history.
I took a look at his three year average as I believe it’s more reliable than just looking at one season.
In 216 games he has a 3.04 ERA, but more importantly he held left handed hitters to a .232 batting average and has only allowed two homeruns in 280 at bats against him. That’s pretty impressive. In that same span, J.J. Putz allowed 10 homeruns.
While with the Dodgers, he was not only used as a lefty specialist, but also as the team’s setup man and emergency closer.
Well, now with the season over, Beimel again proved to be a solid value at $2 million dollars. He finishes the regular season with a 3.58 ERA, but if you took away his brutal month of May when he was over used by the Nats and logged a season high 13 innings, his ERA comes in at a sterling 2.67.
Beimel may be willing to take a similar deal again this off season, and like last season he is one of the best available lefty relievers out there. He has already pitched extensively as a setup man and even appeared as a closer at times.
There seems to be some momentum building around Bobby Parnell as the setup man. I say not so fast. He’s young and we shouldn’t just thrust him into the role simply because we have no other options. Beimel would make a better option.
Beimel is more experienced, has a great record of success over a long period of time, and would cost the Mets less than half of what they paid J.J. Putz.
Furthermore, I rest my case with this final note on Joe Beimel.
He has a very cool broken heart tattoo on his right shoulder, superimposed over the New York City skyline with the motto “Only God Knows Why”. It’s in remembrance of 9/11 and the quote is the title of his favorite Kid Rock song.
It’s a win-win-win situation.