Jon Garland Fits The Alderson Mold

An article by posted on December 10, 2011

It’s no secret the Mets have been penny pinching this offseason. Between the slew of minimal contracts we’ve offered and the lack of any offer to Jose Reyes, it is evident that Sandy Alderson and the front office are examining the bargain bin rather than the premium shelf to construct this team for 2012.

Despite this, the team is still in dire need of multiple positions – mainly concerning depth – and has little money to spend on them. One position that many believe the Mets should look into is another starting pitcher.

Currently the Mets will plan to send out some combination of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee. With the health question marks and general ineptitude of some of the members of the staff, it would be wise to add another name to the mix.

One such name that could hit the Mets radar is Jon Garland.

Coming off a right-shoulder injury that required arthroscopic surgery, Garland will likely come cheap on a one-year deal that will allow him to revalue himself. Much like last year’s Chris Capuano, the Mets would be trying to capture lighting in a bottle once again.

Before he was injured last season, Garland went 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA over 9 games, and over the course of his career he has posted a 4.32 ERA and gives up more than a hit per inning. While Garland isn’t going to blow anyone away, he was once considered to be an innings eater and could provide the Mets with some back of the rotation depth.

Capuano, who signed an incredibly incentive-laden deal with a base salary of $1.5 million with the Mets last offseason after starting the same amount of games and coming off an injury while posting an even lower 3.95 ERA, came back and was a strong and mostly reliable presence in the Mets rotation this year – something the team was desperately in need of.

There hasn’t been all that much buzz surrounding the Garland so far this offseason, but prior to the Dodger’s final homestand last year, the right-hander was said to have been ahead of schedule in his rehab and recovery and would be healthy for Spring Training.

While the Mets might be better off trying to trade for someone like Joe Saunders from the Diamondbacks, Garland would come much cheaper and will likely fit the mold of 1-year deals that Alderson is fond of handing out. Last year he made $5 million, so it is likely he would have to settle for less than that.

He isn’t flashy, but he seems like the type of pitcher that the Mets should take a gamble on, as the low risk could bring in a decent reward.

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