You may have already read that even though the Mets just signed right-handed reliever Kiko Calero to a minor league contract, the Mets still remained interested in free agent reliever Joe Beimel.
The Mets already have an offer on the table for the local southpaw, but Beimel is looking for something closer to $2 million and the Mets offer is reportedly half that amount.
While looking over Calero’s numbers last season, I was immediately impressed with how well he fared against left-handed hitters. I decided to compare his performance against Joe Beimel and the results show that the mets may already have their LOOGY in Calero.
Here are their head-to-head comparisons versus left-handed hitters in 2009. (Stats provided by Baseball Reference)
What really stands out to me more than anything is that Beimel allowed four homeruns while pitching in spacious Dodgers Stadium and Calero allowed no homeruns in cozy Florida. (In fact, Calero allowed one HR all year in 2009, and that was to our own Fernando Tatis.)
Calero’s one flaw is that he walks more batters, but usually gets out of his jams. His .187 BAA ranks up there with the elite closers of the game. That’s something you look for in a LOOGY when he’s asked to get a big out with runners on base.
Calero also gives the Mets something they have lacked in the last three seasons, and that is a cross-over reliever who is effective against both RH and LH hitters.
So is Kiko Calero a better LOOGY than Joe Beimel? Probably not…
I’m not suggesting that the Mets step on the brakes and pull their offer to Joe Beimel. But if we were to fail to sign him, this Calero acquisition may soften the blow a little.