When the 2009 season ended for the Mets, the consensus among fans was that number one our priority list was getting a top of the rotation starter. We all breathed a sigh of relief, when Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya both indicated the same thing back in October.
Since then, we have seen over a half dozen pitchers who could have fit the bill sign with other teams. Those pitchers include Randy Wolf, John Lackey, Roy Halladay and a few more lesser pitchers.
The Mets have been very busy signing several relievers and backup catchers in the last three months, but have yet to address the team’s biggest need, a number two type starter to pair with Johan Santana.
With most of the quality starting pitchers already getting accustomed to their new homes, the list of quality pitchers continues to dwindle.
Now here’s something that flew under the radar this weekend…
During an appearance at a Roberto Clemente benefit last week, Omar Minaya was asked to preview the 2010 rotation. According to Howard Goldin, Minaya responded,
“Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez , Jonathon Niese and possibly a free agent. Minaya tried to assure the Mets supporters the team would be improved next season, “Last year was a very difficult year. Injuries came together. These things happen. These things build character. Things will turn around.”
Even more shocking is his continuing insistence that Mike Pelfrey (5.04 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) is the team’s number two starter behind Johan Santana.
It also boggles my mind that four out of the five pitchers Minaya named are coming back from season ending injuries and even surgery in the cases of Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese and Oliver Perez.
All this time we were led to believe that the Mets missed the boat on Halladay, Lackey, Wolf and most recently Jason Marquis, because they were so wrapped up in the Jason Bay negotiations, but it now appears they never had any intentions of signing them at all.
For months we’ve been debating between a dozen or so free agent starters and trade targets while we waited to see what the Mets would do, and now it appears that they may not do anything at all.
Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez and Niese?
That is quite possibly the worst rotation in the NL East (save the Nationals) unless you measure your success in walks allowed, balks, wild pitches and hit by pitches in which case the Mets would reign supreme.
With the news that Ben Sheets is demanding $12 million dollars, and Joel Pineiro is seeking a 4 year deal, don’t expect the Mets to pursue them, especially when they found the 2 year $15 million dollar Marquis deal a little too rich for their taste.
Will the Mets come out of April with more than five wins?
As it stands now I would say that is very unlikely.