Garza Is Too Rich For Mets Taste, Gorzelanny On Their Radar

An article by posted on December 17, 2010

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have shown some interest in acquiring left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny from the Chicago Cubs.

Alderson is believed to have inquired about the Cubs’ Tom Gorzelanny, who made $800,000 last season and wouldn’t break the Mets’ shoestring budget even if he were to double that number in arbitration. According to reports, the Cubs have been aggressively shopping the lefty, who went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA last season. The Mets like the fact Gorzelanny would bring strikeout potential to a rotation — which includes Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese – that largely relies on opponents putting the ball in play.

Other Cubs pitchers Randy Wells and Carlos Silva are reportedly available as well.

Gorzelanny, 28, earned $800,000 last year and finished 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA. He is eligible for arbitration this winter and could double last season’s salary.

Matt Cerrone of Mets Blog gave a personal scouting report on Gorzelanny and said,

He’s a good pitcher.  He has a very good fastball, and a wicked slider.  He could be better if he walked less people, and learned to command the big inning.  To me, at best, he’s probably a third or fourth starter.

I don’t see Gorzelanny as anything more than a #5 starter at best, despite his wicked slider. I think the Mets are well stocked with these types of pitchers (#5 starters), in my opinion. It’s a top of the rotation pitcher we need, like the one in the next part of this post.

In another pitcher in the Mets news, and one that I found quite surprising, the Mets have discussed Tampa Bay Rays pitcher internally, but decided he is too high priced at what could be a $5 million dollar arbitration award.

Matt Garza’s name has popped up in recent organizational discussions, according to sources, but the fact the Tampa Bay righty probably will be awarded more than $5 million in arbitration makes him an unlikely fit for the Mets, who are looking to spend roughly half that amount, combined, on another starter and reliever.

But a source said Alderson has “wiggle room” within the payroll — he can appeal to COO Jeff Wilpon on a case-by-case basis — and Garza, who won’t become a free agent until after the 2013 season, might be worth pursuing. But the Rays’ asking price would be high, likely starting with prospects Wilmer Flores and Jenrry Mejia.

This is certainly a touchy situation. For one the Mets can desperately use a young arm like Garza’s who would be well suited for Citi Field, and probably would benefit with no DH and pitching in the NL. Even without those benefits he has proven to be better and more consistent than Mike Pelfrey in the last three years.

What the Mets would have to give up for him is unknown, Puma speculates it could be Flores who is 3-4 years away, and Mejia who is talented but unproven. But you never know what the rays really want until you pick up the phone and ask them.

If the Mets do have “wiggle room”, I would certainly explore that given the quality, youthfulness, track record, and upside of Garza in this particular case. However, that “wiggle room” sounds like “a big if” at this point.

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