It’s obvious the Mets need a starting pitcher, probably two. They need a second baseman, too, but Daniel Murphy looks like he’s healthy enough to compete in Spring Training, the Mets took a second baseman with very nice looking peripherals in the rule five draft, and Justin Turner might show his stuff in Spring Training, too. So they now have bodies there, let’s move on the starting pitching. The following is a list of the remaining available starting pitchers, as of around 2am Sunday morning, according to mlbtraderumors.com:
Brian Bannister, Jeremy Bonderman, Brian Burres, Bruce Chen, Doug Davis, Justin Duchscherer, Jeff Francis, Freddy Garcia, Rich Harden, Cliff Lee, Braden Looper, Rodrigo Lopez, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millwood, Brian Moehler, Dustin Moseley, Jamie Moyer, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, Andy Pettitte, Nate Robertson, Ian Snell, Jeff Suppan, Jarrod Washburn, Brandon Webb, Todd Wellemeyer, and Chris Young.
I like the idea of offering a low-risk, high-reward contract to Bonderman, Duchscherer, Francis, Harden, Webb and Young. I also wouldn’t mind giving Dustin Moseley a shot as this year’s Takahashi. He didn’t do a bad job at all for the Yankees in a similar role in 2010, even beating the Red Sox in a nationally televised game. I wouldn’t hate him as the 5th starter, actually. Obviously, Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte, Jamie Moyer and Carl Pavano are not on the Mets radar. “Been there, done that” distance should be put in between the Mets and Bannister, Chen, Garcia, Looper and Pedro. The rest of the list is so bad, even Omar stayed away when those guys were available to him.
In a perfect world, Dillon Gee would start the season in AAA. I liked what I saw out of him last season, but would like to see it refined a bit more. I wouldn’t hate it if he was forced into a starting role in 2011, but I think he would benefit more from perfecting secondary pitches in Buffalo, away from the prying eyes of the rest of the league. But the pickins are obviously real slim and the Mets might not have the benefit of preparing Gee in AAA the way they now can do with Ruben Tejada.
All that being said, I would never say no to anyone signing a minor league deal. Another outside-the-box idea is to see how cheap Ian Snell would be out of the bullpen as a ROOGY. That’s been an area of improvement for some time now for the Mets and Snell’s peripherals against righties are promising. Also promising, and somewhat surprising, is his success in high-leverage situations in his career. Snell owns a 3.30/3.88 FIP/xFIP line against both lefties and righties when he really needs an out.
It’s indeed the bottom of the barrel from here on out unless Sandy can swing a big trade. What are the readers thoughts on starting pitching, looking at this depleted list?