Bay Watch Redux
The Jason Bay saga continues for yet another day as both sides continue to hold firm on their positions. The Mets of course, are yet unwilling to budge from their original 4 year offer, while the Bay camp insists it will take a deal longer than 4 years for them to agree. Adam Rubin of the Daily News writes,
The Mets continue to hold to their position that they don’t need to significantly improve their offer of four years for approximately $65 million, at least not until they are convinced that the 31-year-old Bay has a better alternative.
My biggest fear is that as long as the Mets remain in this holding pattern, some team can still swoop in, make a substantially better offer, and pull the rug out from under the Mets. Ken Davidoff of Newsday reported that the Mets expected to hear back from Jason Bay today. Hopefully, this could lead to some sort of resolution.
Mets Get Their Setup Man
The Mets finally made it official and announced the signing of Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi to a two-year, $3 million dollar deal. Igarashi will essentially replace J.J. Putz and become the Mets’ setup man for closer Francisco Rodriguez.
The 30-year-old righthander went 3-2 with three saves and a 3.19 ERA in 56 games last season.
“We’ve had an interest in Ryota for two years,” GM Omar Minaya said in a statement “He’s got a power arm and an outstanding split-finger .”
From all accounts, this looks like a great signing for the Mets and at reasonable cost as well. Igarashi was considered the hardest thrower in Japan and features a mid-nineties fast ball among his repertoire.
A National Treasure?
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com believes the Mets and Phillies are among several teams who are interested in the recently on-tendered relief pitcher Mike MacDougal, formerly of the Nationals.
MacDougal, 32, was 20 for 21 in save opportunities last season after joining the Nationals. The right hander has a career ERA of 4.09 with 70 saves in 314 games.
He has a very heavy fastball that sits at around 96-97 mph, along with a plus slider, and an average change-up and curve ball. He has been plagued with control problems throughout his career.
I’m not sure what the interest is here… With Igarashi already on board, as well as right handers Sean Green, Brian Stokes and Bobby Parnell, I don’t see the logic in adding another RH reliever, especially one that will probably get a multi year deal averaging a minimum of $3 million annually.
Mets Still Interested In Cuban Free Agent
Jorge Arangure of ESPN says that 21 year-old Cuban free-agent Aroldis Chapman threw about 50 pitches for dozens of scouts representing about 15 MLB teams in Houston.
Arangue’s report suggests that the results of the exhibition were somewhat inconclusive. Due to bad weather the workout took place indoors. Chapman wore sneakers, and threw about 40-50 pitches off a wooden mound reaching as high as 97 mph, though mostly in the 92-93 mph range. He did not face any live batters.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN (via MetsBlog),
“Some evaluators view Chapman as a left-handed Stephen Strasburg, who was the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft last year.”
You had me at Strasburg… Chapman is young, has electric stuff and is left handed… All qualities that would keep me very interested and engaged. If he is really a “number one overall” caliber talent, the Mets should make every attempt to reel him in.