Tag Archives: Cy Young Award

Closer Market Gets Crowded As Hoffman Joins Free Agents

This week Trevor Hoffman joined the ranks of the currently “between contract” closers. It’s a pretty impressive list right now with K-Rod, Brian Fuentes, and Hoffman all free agents. Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz are rumored to be available for trades as well.

The Mets couldn’t have picked a better time to be in the market for a closer. We haven’t heard any rumors about the Mets making an offer to anyone yet. So we know they’re not immediately jumping into the fire after any of the available free agents.

Hoffman could be a good one year stop-gap until Eddie Kunz is ready to take over the reigns as the closer. Sure, he’ll be 41 years old this year. And his fastball is topping out in the mid to high 80’s now. But he’s still got the great change up. And he’s not far removed from some excellent seasons.

Last season Hoffman had 32 saves with a 3.77 ERA and 1.037 WHIP. Not bad for an old man. The Mets would’ve killed to have someone like that last season after Billy Wagner went down. In 2006, Hoffman had 46 saves and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting and tenth in the NL MVP voting.

I’d rather have Hoffman for one season than Fuentes for three and K-Rod for four or five. The way relief pitchers are up and down from season to season, you just can’t trust them to be consistent over any great length of time.

Omar Minaya should really think about getting into a short-term deal with Hoffman. Not to mention the fact that his price tag will be significantly lower than the other free agents. And the Mets are still on the hook for Billy Wagner’s $10.5 million salary in 2009. It’s not my money that they’re spending but I’d rather see the resources applied across the multiple potential openings in the bullpen, left field, and rotation than to one “great” closer.

Image via Wikimedia

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On Deck: Saturday May 3, 2008 D-Backs

New York Mets (15-12) at Arizona Diamond Backs (20-9)   3:45pm

Mike Pelfrey (2-1) vs. Brandon Webb (6-0)

TV: Fox   Radio: WFAN

What to watch: Going against Webb is a really tough draw for the Mets. He won the Cy Young Award two years ago, and looks like he’s on his way to doing it again this year. If Carlos Beltran can wake up offensively the Mets will have a much better chance against Webb.

National League Cy Young Award Contenders

Johan Santana's 2006 AwardsImage by resedabear via Flickr

When Johan Santana was traded to the Mets this off-season I was thinking that he would win the Cy Young Award for the National League hands down. He still might do that but there are other pitchers having better April’s than Santana.

Brandon Webb (6-0) has been lights out this year and won the award two years ago. His 1.28 ERA and the Diamond Backs early season success has him as the early favorite.

Jake Peavey (2-1), last year’s winner, has a 2.09 ERA in San Diego. With little offensive support and the D-Backs looking like a runaway train in the West, he probably won’t win it again even with another big season.

Johan Santana (3-2) is still in the running. His 3.12 ERA is just fine but not elite material yet. He’s still got plenty of time to take his place among the league leaders so don’t get down on him (or boo him).

John Donovan at Sports Illustrated wrote a good analysis of the pitchers that have Cy Young Award aspirations this season, and the talent to get the award.

Check out the picture of Santana’s 2006 awards: Cy Young Award, MLBPA Players Choice Award, and Baseball America Player of the Year.