So how is everyone enjoying the K-Rod-less bullpen so far? I mean of course you all must have expected some sort of a downgrade in performance after swapping out Rodriguez for Igarashi, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted these dreadful results. The bullpen as a whole has been a virtual catastrophe except for Izzy who may not even be back next season. The Mets went from having one of the better bullpens in the majors, to what is now officially the worst bullpen in the game in August.
What to do, what to do…
As I’ve written previously, I never thought Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato had the stomach to pitch with the game on the line. It takes more than just stuff to close out games and protect one-run leads in the 8th or 9th innings – you gotta have that killer instinct – that hard edge – that intimidation factor. All the great closers have it, and it’s not something you teach or grow into either.
“We’ll see where we are at the end of the season,” Alderson said. “We do have an internal candidate or two, but I’d say that the options are limited. On the other hand, if you look at the closer market over the last couple of years, it hasn’t been a place where free agents are getting major contracts.”
“There could be a lot of guys out there that are capable potentially and we’ll look to see where the market is. Our bullpen is going to be an important focus for us next season. It needs to be improved, and now without K-Rod, it needs to have someone at the back end of it.”
So we’re back in the market for a closer…
Speaking of K-Rod, we’ll probably get to see him in action this weekend with his new team the Brewers. But in a story that never seems to go away, the NY Post wrote today that an industry source indicated that the Mets and Rodriguez could have worked out a deal to eliminate the option, but that Sandy Alderson orchestrated the trade before giving Scott Boras an opportunity to talk about it.
It also appears now that K-Rod fired his former agent Paul Kinzer because he could not negotiate a deal with the Mets to get rid of that option. The agent may have been milking it for more dough, even though his client just wanted it cut? Anyway, K-Rod replaced him with Boras, but before they could talk about getting rid of the option, the former Mets closer was traded far ahead of the traded deadline for two PTBNL who have still not been named.
Terry Collins is also quoted, echoing what he had said previously regarding K-Rod wanting to just drop the option and said, “One night we got up six and he didn’t get in and he came in that night and said, ‘How do we get rid of this option?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, that’s not my territory.’ ”
Your closer is usually the face of the bullpen… He’s the guy that everybody else on the team counts on when the game is on the line. Terry Collins refers to him as “the horse, that you can go to every night, and 99 percent of the time he shuts you down.”
By the way, at the end of the season K-Rod becomes a Type A free agent. That means after the Brewers offer him arbitration (which K-Rod will certainly reject), then the Brew Crew will get a first round pick from the signing team, plus a sandwich pick for next season’s June Amateur Draft.