Thoughts On The Reliever Market, Mets Needs, Spending

An article by posted on December 29, 2012

bullpen gateAccording to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets are scouring the market for bullpen help. Heyman mentions Jose Valverde, Francisco Rodriguez and Matt Capps as possible players the Mets might kick the tires on, but do we really want to go there?

It would have been nice to get a reliever like Jeremy Affeldt, who will get paid less than our own Frank Francisco next season, but it was clear he wanted stay with the World Champ Giants who signed him cheap. Good job by Brian Sabean.

The reliever I coveted most this offseason was former Royals closer Joakim Soria who is coming off Tommy John surgery that was performed back in April. The 28-year-old right-hander is a two-time All-Star and was signed by the Texas Rangers to a two year, $8 million contract with a team option for 2015. Soria is already throwing and is expected back in the bullpen by May. This young talent might end up being the free agent steal of the offseason and this was a coup for GM Jon Daniels.

There’s really not much left to choose from in the reliever market as we head into January, that much is clear. This is exactly what I knew would happen while we played the waiting game for the third offseason in a row.

Who wants to spend and overpay for any of these scrubs still looking for a job?

Not me… We don’t need another Frank Francisco disaster?

Meanwhile, on the subject of spending, Sandy Alderson said that he may not spend the $25 million or so they have in hand, potentially reducing payroll to under $90 million for the first time in 13 years.

That amount includes the money that David Wright deferred (interest free) to help the Mets sign players this offseason.

Their reasoning?  Everyone one that is still available is not worth their asking price.

I asked some of our writers if they were buying that…

XtreemIcon – I feel like there will be plenty of bullpen options and some outfield depth options, so if they don’t add any of those, I’ll question it. but I think the rotation is set, because I think Gee and Mejia need this chance to step up and show what kind of pitchers they can be (figuring Niese, Johan and Harvey are locks) and Wheeler will be only three weeks away at the earliest. As far as the outfield goes, if the Mets say Ludwick wasn’t worth 7 mil a year and Cody Ross isn’t worth three years to hit in that ballpark, I agree with that. I’d prefer to see how Baxter handles a starting roll and if Kirk can make the adjustment. Both are already better defensive players than Ludwick and Ross. Players like Hairston and Austin Kearns (righty hitter that plays a good right field with solid on base skills and extra-base pop) that can platoon if the younger guys can’t handle the starting role on their own should be the target. If that goes unfulfilled, I’ll be a little disappointed.

Craig Lerner - Free agency is much like supply and demand. As players sign and availability becomes scarce at certain positions, salary demands from those players become artificially inflated. I think this is the American way. At this point I’d rather trade to fill our needs than overpay for what’s left in the free agent market. That ship has passed.

Jessica – I think free agency has gotten a little insane in recent years. If Zack Greinke had signed an extension with his former team, there’s no way he would have gotten $147 million. I’m not sure what would have happened if David Wright ever made it to free agency, but he probably could have gotten more than $138 million, because he would have been the biggest fish in a little pond. Some teams want to fill their needs by signing the big names in free agency, the Greinkes and the Josh Hamiltons. But there’s more creative ways to fill our holes. As for the Mets current situation (I’m looking at an outfield where Lucas Duda is your veteran outfielder), I believe that the players available aren’t worth what they’re going to get. But I also have faith that Sandy will find a diamond in the rough just like Omar Minaya did with Dickey.

Rob (Tie Dyed) - I dont buy anything this front office tells me. I also no longer buy any Mets merchandise.

Matt Strachman - Absolutely. There isn’t anybody of substance available, and it is about time we stop throwing money at mediocre scrubs and expecting them to bust out.

Satish – That’s the reasoning? Well, I’ll give them credit. I thought they were just going to ignore us and not even try to make up a reason. I appreciate the lies, guys. But no, honestly, really? No one out there is worth it? I guess you could make the argument that what’s left isn’t worth it now. But there were some quality players out there beforehand.

Drew Staley – I’m not buying anything from this front office anymore. Neither should the Mets buy anything from the dredge left in free agency. If they could bring back Scott Hairston, then fine. Otherwise go make a trade or go dumpster diving. Next season will be our fifth losing season in a row. Why throw anymore money into that?

Joe Spector – I do actually and here is why. Andres Torres just signed for $2 million with the Giants. ANDRES TORRES. If he’s worth $2 million what is Delmon Young worth? $10 million? I think the closer we get to the start of Spring training, the players who are still unemployed will have to either lower their asking price or risk being unemployed. In this case, the market will come to the Mets and every other team as long as owners can not throw money at marginal players like Monopoly money.

Jim Mancari – The remaining crop of free agents is definitely weak. I think I would rather see the Mets sign Scott Hairston to a one- or two-year deal rather than overpaying for the overrated Cody Ross on a three-year deal.

So there you have it. As is usually the case on MMO, it’s 50/50, but we all agree on one thing and that is that the options left are not worth overpaying. As I wrote in a post earlier in the week, that’s the cost of waiting.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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