Mets 2010 Starting Pitchers – Picking at Leftovers

Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners

Although you could fault the Mets and Omar Minaya on several fronts this offseason, one of the biggest glaring holes in the acquisitions was at starting pitcher. You could say that they should have gotten another first baseman or catcher. Personally, I think they’re fine at catcher. But I have been consistent in calling for a change at first base. Mostly, I hear from fans that the starting rotation is still a mess. Even Darryl Strawberry doesn’t like what the Mets have done, or haven’t done, this offseason.

Now that we’re only two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie, you have to consider the Mets picking up a leftover starting pitcher. The obvious choices are Jerrod Washburn, Chien-Ming Wang, and Erik Bedard. At this point in the offseason there are pretty slim pickin’s.

You could always throw in Pedro Martinez, but I doubt that the Mets would go back to him. I wouldn’t either. He was better than I thought he would be with the Phillies last year at 5-1 3.63 in 9 games. But that’s a really small sample. If you consider the fact that he effectively robbed the Mets of two and a half years of his contract, I can’t see the Mets going there again.

Bedard had surgery for a torn labrum and won’t be ready to start the season. Wang also has several months to go before he’ll be ready for the season too. But both pitchers have proven to be effective when healthy and neither is too old to make a comeback. The Mets should take a flyer on Bedard or Wang with an incentive laden deal. Washburn is looking old at 35, even for a soft-tossing lefty. With such limited options, the Mets need to take a gamble on Bedard or Wang.

Mets Top Stories- 4.6.09


I’m sure, like me, that many of you watched Derek Lowe and the Braves put the hammer down on the Phillies. Lowe threw eight shutout innings of 2-hit ball. Of course, the dreaded comparisons of Lowe and Oliver Perez are coming out already. Why didn’t the Mets sign Lowe instead of Perez? We already know why. Perez is nine years younger and costs $24 million less than Lowe.

Onto the top stories of the morning:

CBS Sports has a good recap of the opening night game the Phillies and Braves put on last night. Of course, Derek Lowe was masterful and Jordan Schafer hit a homer in his first major league at-bat. Who says kids shouldn’t do HGH?

Kevin McCarthy of Metsopolis writes a preview of the Reds-Mets series starting the season in Cincinnati.

Mets Prospect Hub posts the opening day roster for the 2009 Binghamton Mets.

Ben Shipgel of the New York Times writes about Johan Santana‘s increased comfort level with the Mets this season. He’s become more of a vocal leader with the departure of Pedro Martinez and is fitting in well in the locker room.

Sarah Green from Ump Bump has a good photo essay of her day at Citi Field on Saturday.

Darren Rovell of CNBC writes that the Citigroup executives will be conspicuously absent on opening day at Citi Field. They won’t be throwing out the first pitch as you would have expected a year ago. If they’re at the game at all, they’ll be hiding in their luxury boxes.

Mike Steffanos of Mike’s Mets writes the first part of his Key to the Mets for 2009 series. At the top of the list is the fact that the honeymoon is over for Jerry Manuel.

Mets P Tim Redding Injured

New York Mets vs Washington Nationals

Tim Redding’s spring training hasn’t started very well. He’s been shelled pretty much every time out so far. And now we have word from Mets GM Omar Minaya that Redding is suffering from “weakness” in his right shoulder. Now some would say that his right arm has always been pretty weak but this time its an actual injury.

Redding will be on the disabled list when opening day rolls around on April 6 and he won’t pitch anymore this spring. Normally, this wouldn’t be very significant for the Mets. But the fifth starter situation has become so dubious over the past three weeks that this does now impact the team.

Remember that the Mets won’t need a fifth starter for the first two or three weeks of the season anyway. So there isn’t an immediate need to sort out the situation. And we also have to remember that we are talking about the fifth starter. We’ve seen some awful pitching from Redding, Freddy Garcia, and decent work from Livan Hernandez this spring.

There are still some alternate options like Brian Stokes and Nelson Figueroa when he gets back from the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. So I’m not that worried about this issue now, and I’m certainly not advocating signing Pedro Martinez. I saw enough of him the last three years to know that he just doesn’t have it anymore.

Hot Stove: Lowe And Martinez News

Los Angeles…

Photo by /Newscom

Read more


Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago…

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Derek Lowe pumps his fist after getting the last out of the sixth inning during game 1 in their National League Divisional Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago on October 1, 2008. (UPI Photo/Mark Cowan) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Photo by /Newscom

Publish this image


Email image to a friend


There are a couple of minor stories out there now in the hot stove world. I try to keep these updated as much as possible but so many of these stories never pan out to mean anything. So I pick and choose the most logical stories to post here.

First, Pedro Martinez’ agent is talking to the Marlins this week according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes. That would be a great fit for both parties. Pedro would put some badly needed fannies in the seats in Florida. And Pedro could help the younger pitchers on the Marlins’ staff. He’s always been good about that, which isn’t always the case with veteran players.

Second, the Atlanta Braves are in serious talks with Scott Boras about Derek Lowe. Although it would be tough to see Lowe go to a division rival, the Braves need to do something after losing John Smoltz to the Red Sox this week. I’ll be shocked if the Braves offer Lowe a fourth year in his contract when the Mets wouldn’t go there. Other than that, Lowe is a good fit for the Braves. And there’s been talk that Chipper Jones called Lowe with a sales pitch for the Braves this week.

The Mets could always move on to Oliver Perez or Randy Wolf if they lose Lowe to the Braves. I’d be more comfortable if Lowe went to another division or the American League but that’s out of the Mets control.

Farewell Pedro, Mets Fans Hardly Knew You

pedrom11Although the signing of free agent pitcher Tim Redding to a one-year contract may seem very benign, it actually is significant for some current and former Mets. I thought that the Mets could have gotten Redding to sign a minor league deal. But by signing a major league deal, he’s guaranteed to be competing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

First, the impact of this signing means that Jonathan Niese and Bobby Parnell have a tougher fight to make the major league roster than they did earlier this week. I thought Niese, especially, had a great shot to secure the fifth spot in the rotation out of spring training. And that may still happen. But it won’t be easy. He’ll have to supplant Redding and his $2.25 million major league contract and relegate him to the bullpen. That won’t be easy. Most likely, Niese will start the season in Buffalo and have to work his way to the majors.

Second, the Mets haven’t ruled out Pedro Martinez returning to the Mets. And Pedro wants to come back to the Mets. By signing Redding the Mets have all but eliminated the possibility of Pedro coming back. Pedro likely won’t come back with a minor league contract. And Pedro won’t work out of the bullpen for the Mets. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer not a long reliever.

Let me preface this next paragraph by saying, I think Pedro is great. That said, I don’t want him back again. This is a time where we should look back on Pedro’s four years with the Mets because he won’t be coming back. And that’s okay.

Don’t feel bad for Pedro. He’ll be just fine. He’s made just over $146 million in his career. In his 17 year career, Pedro made about 36% of his money from the Mets over four years. The Mets were extremely generous to Pedro.

Pedro’s Mets career was great in 2005, but a disaster since then. We only saw Pedro in 79 games total as a Met. His record over the four year span was 32-23, not exactly beefing up his Hall of Fame resume. Since 2005 we’ve only seen Pedro in 48 games during the last three years of his contract.

Although it would be nice to see Pedro come back and get a chance to redeem himself for the last three miserable seasons he spent with the Mets, it’s not going to happen. I don’t say farewell to Pedro  with the same disdain that Yankees fans said goodbye to Carl Pavano. Pedro was almost always with the team, supporting them from the dugout. You can’t say that he didn’t care, he did.

The bottom line is that you have to be able to be on the field to make a contribution. And Pedro just couldn’t do that. Farewell Pedro, best of luck to you. See you in Cooperstown but it won’t be as a Met.

Flickr photo courtesy of bryce_edwards.