Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote today that one MLB Executive told him the likelihood that the Mariners will trade Felix Hernandez are so slim, that teams should just cross him off their list.
However, the same executive believes that Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros and Mike Pelfrey of the Mets will be available at some point between now and the trade deadline.
If this is true, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. In fact it makes sense on many levels.
The Mets gave Pelfrey a sweet deal after they drafted him, that paid him $6.6 million for his first four years. Last season they picked up his club option for $500 K and this year he avoided arbitration and agreed to $3.92 million dollar salary.
The truth is that Mike Pelfrey is not the pitcher they thought they were getting when they selected him in the first round of the 2005 June Draft.
Since his MLB debut in 2006, Pelfrey has made 114 starts and owns a 43-42 record to go with a 4.35 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. In 687 innings pitched, Pelfrey has walked 253 and struck out 390 batters for a 5.1 K/9. When the Mets drafted him, Pelfrey had a K/9 rate of over 10 which he also maintained in his first season in the minors in 2006. In part, that’s what led to his promotion later that year.
Pelfrey credits his success last season to noted sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman who passed away this winter.
He got rocked in his Opening Day start after a terrible spring. Pelfrey was charged with five earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out two in a 97-pitch effort over 4 1/3 innings.
He couldn’t put hitters away, his sinker wasn’t working, and his fastballs were all up and flat. At this point, I see Jon Niese with a higher ceiling than Mike Pelfrey.
If pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Jenrry Mejia develop as many expect, you could essentially see Pelfrey, the de facto ace, as the odd man out.
The question then becomes, what could we get in return?