While reading this post by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, I came across some information that may play a big role on this supposed seven pitcher battle for the final two pots in the rotation.
See what you think:
Young’s contract was specifically structured for him to be a starter. He receives a $1.1 million salary, and can max out at $4.5 million with 31 starts and 180 innings.
Similarly, Capuano’s contract was structured to account for him being a starting pitcher. He has a base salary of $1.5 million and can max out at $4.5 million with 32 starts and 200 innings. Capuano’s contract does provide for $500,000 in bonuses on top of the $1.5 million base salary if he makes 60 relief appearances. But the reason he signed with the Mets and broke off talks with the Milwaukee Brewers, his former team, is because his interest was in starting and not in working in relief and the Mets were interested in him for a rotation role.
It would appear to me that both Young and Capuano’s structured deals make it quite obvious what their roles were expected to be with the Mets.
Of course they both have to prove they can perform just like any of the other contenders this spring, but clearly the front office already envisioned them as part of the rotation when they worked out the details.
Basically, all they have to do is go out and prove they are healthy and that there velocity is where it should be.
Obviously, these performance clauses give both players a lot more motivation than the others. Young can quadruple his salary and Capuano can triple his, but the only way that happens is if they pile up starts and innings.
Officially, the Mets have said that in addition to Young and Capuano, Pat Misch, Oliver Perez, Dillon Gee, Boof Bonser and D.J. Carrasco are all in the mix for the last two spots in the rotation.