So let’s play with this topic, then. Francisco Rodriguez, the now former Mets closer, was traded with $5 Million to the Brewers for two PTBNL. The Brewers basically got an amazing deal here because they got a good reliever, who will have no choice but to set-up Axford, and the Mets are paying for him. All the Brewers will have to do is buy-out his option for $3.5 Million after this season, and they’ll be free of the option. K-rod has no choice but to act like a good teammate and compete…that is, if he plans to have a job pitching next season. In the long run, it probably won’t matter who those two players are.
Here’s the part I get. I was not paying Rodriguez $17.5 Million next year. If he stayed on the Mets, barring injury, he would have been paid $17.5 million next year and there would have been no trading him. In addition, we have no idea if there would be further problems for Rodriguez domestically, injury wise, or performance wise. His fastball is not what it used to be. So, to be honest, this would probably have been the best possible thing for the Mets because we avoid paying him $17.5 million and get something in return for him rather than nothing. (Although I have no idea what to expect from those two PTBNL – I’ll tell you something, I’m not expecting anybody I’ve heard of.) We paid for the career year and his great overall performance with the Angels (which, by the way, had made him one of my favorite pitchers around.)
Here’s the part that somewhat bothers me. Trading K-rod now is basically waving the white flag for THIS YEAR. No matter which way you look at it, it’s going to be really hard to convince me that Alderson believes in this team for this year. Parnell, Izzy, and Beato cannot be counted on for half a season to be viable closers. Izzy is the only one with any real experience as a closer (and if he saves seven games as a Met, he’ll end up with 300 for his career). Beato’s packing a 3.38 ERA in 40 MLB IP and this is Parnell’s 4th season and his career WHIP is 1.529. Izzy might be fragile but he would be the best shot the Mets have as a closer if they want to compete this year – but I think that notion has been dispelled.
K-Rod was probably our best option going down the stretch – but I can understand why he went ahead and shipped him off. I can only hope this can be looked as a prerequisite to re-signing Reyes and not a fire sale. If this is indeed a fire sale, Carlos Beltran to the Giants will be next. From then on, we can see any small moves like Capuano being sent to a team for cash to bolster the depth in their pen (That won’t happen.) Carlos Beltran situation bears watching in the future because by trading Beltran, they are truly giving in on this season. One could make the argument that management expects Parnell to step up to be a closer and that the 1-Inning closer is overrated (which I don’t subscribe to), but you can’t make an argument that Alderson’s not waving the towel for the season if he trades Beltran away. And to be honest, I do see him trading away Beltran now to save the money and to get something in return.
If we do re-sign Reyes, this team will plan to compete next year. With a healthy Reyes/Davis/Wright in the lineup next year and Santana back for a full year, things just might be different around here. Parnell is going to have a lot on his shoulders if he gets the closing job for the remainder of the season.
Here’s some random food for thought, though. Heath Bell, Jon Papelbon, Jon Broxton, Matt Capps, and most likely Joe Nathan will all be free agents next year. Broxton/Nathan are coming off injury – and I’d take a flyer on either but… I don’t think they will pursue these guys at all. I’ll be putting up a post comparing Parnell and Beato in my eyes later on.