Morning Grind: Santana, Harris, Hairston, Young

An article by posted on January 20, 2011

Hope everyone is having a good week…  Here are the recent Mets headlines:

Mets Sign Willie Harris, Scott Hairston

Adding depth to the outfield, the Mets have inked outfielders Willie Harris and Scott Hairston to one-year deals. Willie Harris has been a thorn in the Mets side for years, not necessarily with the bat, but with the glove. Harris has made spectacular outfield grabs to kill late inning rallies against the Mets, most recently in 2010 laying out to rob Rod Barajas of what would have been a sure-fire walk off knock.

The signing of Harris adds some speed off the bench as well as the ability to play nearly every position. Harris will likely be a 4th outfielder or a utility bench player for the Mets in 2011. His offense is a question mark though. In 2010, Harris failed to reach a .200 batting average going .182. Although his low batting average, in his career as a pinch hitter, Harris has a .325 On-Base Percentage, .100 points higher than his batting average as a pinch hitter. When the Mets need to start a rally, Harris can draw walks and be a legitimate threat on the bases.

Scott Hairston, like Harris, plays both 2nd base and outfield. I have been dying for the Mets to sign one of the Hairstons. They play smart baseball and seem to have success wherever they go. Although I would have rather see his brother, Jerry Hairston Jr. in Flushing, Scott can be a home run threat off the bench and a valued influence on the younger players.

Both players will likely be on the bench for the Mets in 2011 and serve as 4th and 5th outfielders. Solid signings that add depth to the roster at a cheap price.

Mets To Sign RHP Chris Young

After several months of speculation of the level of interest the Mets had in Chris Young, that question has finally answered. The Mets have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the 31-year old righty. This move is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward scenario. Young has a career 3.80 ERA with a 48-34 record to match. He has posted four seasons in his career with an ERA south of 4.00. Young has been shaped perfectly to pitch for the Mets due to his tenure with the Padres. The Padres gave Young little run support and he pitched in PETCO Park, a pitcher’s ballpark. When Young’s team scores 0-2 runs in a game, he has posted a career 2.61 ERA, meaning he works better with less run support. Young is also a fly-ball pitcher, perfect for the spacious Citi Field. If Young can remain healthy, he could be an enormous steal for the Mets.

Santana Cleared To Begin Rehab

Mets ailing ace Johan Santana has been cleared by the team’s medical staff to pick up a baseball for the first time since being shut down for the season with a shoulder tear. Santana should begin throwing within the next week. This is a crucial first step in his recovery, and the Mets need Santana back ASAP. The 2-time Cy Young award winner has not been given a timetable for his return, although it is estimated he will return around the All-Star break. Santana will likely be back in time for the second half of the season, where statistically, he is one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. Down the stretch, Santana is a career 65-23 with a dominant 2.75 ERA. Alot of factors would have to play in the Mets favor, but if Santana can return at a reasonable time and everything goes right, they could maybe, just maybe, contend for the Wild Card come 2011.

Feel free to leave your opinion on any of these topics and happy commenting!

About the Author ()

Clayton Collier, a senior editor for MMO, is a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting at Seton Hall University. He is also a staff member at 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall's modern active rock radio station. Following him on Twitter: @Clayton_Collier or E-maili him at MaybeNextYearMets@yahoo.com

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