John Axford (AP)

Indians on the verge of signing RHP John Axford

The Indians are on the verge of signing free agent RHP John Axford (Olney, Dec. 15) to be their closer (Heyman, Dec. 11).

The Mets planned to meet with Axford’s agents during the winter meetings (Duquette, Dec. 11) and are also looking into free-agent relievers Chris Perez (Rubin, Dec. 9) and RHP Mitchell Boggs (Sherman, Dec. 9).

The Orioles have also made an offer to Axford (Morosi, Dec. 12).

Michael Baron, Contributor

The Mets are clearly concerned about Bobby Parnell‘s status heading into camp., evident by their interest in arms like Axford. It seems they’re trying to find multiple options – along with internal option Vic Black – in the event Parnell isn’t healthy or has issues bouncing back from his neck surgery. I wonder how successful they’re going to be in finding an external solution, considering they can’t guarantee guys like Axford the closer’s job. It could be a safer bet for him to go to a team where it’s his job to lose…


Axford, 30, went a combined 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 relief appearances with the Brewers and Cardinals in 2013.

39 comments
bk_shogun
bk_shogun

Wow Baron, how many times are you going to regurgitate the same cut and paste about Parnell-- along with internal option Vic Black--? You are truly terrible

The Feels
The Feels

I SINCERELY hope Baron is not making a dime for any of his contributions outside of photography. Oh my lord. That last sentence just numbed my insides. 

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

I was just reading an ESPN piece about Bartolo Colon and how he is able to survive with primarily fastballs because he changes speeds, locations and movement with it, and he also isn't afraid to throw strikes. This makes me wonder if he would be perfect to mentor a guy like Rafael Montero, whose game is built off of incredible control and decent strikeout numbers. His walk rate increased in his jump to AAA, so I have to think Colon's game is something Montero could base his off of. I'm a huge supporter of Montero, even though he doesn't get much love from scouts, but he has advanced command to go with plus stuff on a few different pitches. He makes quick adjustments as he progresses through the system, which shows he is a quick learner, and he is the furthest developed of the Mets pitching prospects. Very excited to see him pitch this year, and hopefully for several years in a Mets uniform.

anthony G. Decesare
anthony G. Decesare

If the brewers are willing to give up jim henderson or Kotzler for Ike, might have to do it and get this thing over with.

Max Denby
Max Denby

Call me crazy- and I would love another bat and a SS, but with the cash we have and the market, it may just be time to load up the bullpen and go to war. A great pull pen with our staff could go a long way in CitiField

Herb Goldstein
Herb Goldstein

The Mets have the basis of a pretty solid bull pen in place as of now. Without Parnell, we have Black, Torres, Edgin, Germen, Rice, Familia. If they get a solid fifth starter (Thornburg?) then Mejia could move to the pen to compete with Black for the interin closer's job.

Sandy will probably still want to sign an experienced reliever to stabilize a young pen. I don't really like the options that have been linked to the Mets so far. (Gregg, Boggs)  I know it may sound crazy, but bringing in K-Rod, if he would accept a minor league deal, could do the trick.

hashburry
hashburry

All the talk of a solid pitching staff and the Mets really have very little in place in the pen.  A recipe to once again start the year with a lousy pen that disheartens the team early in the year.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

If Parnell is healthy, I think our bullpen could be ok. Parnell, Black, Germen, Torres (long man). That's not bad from the right side.

Erin II
Erin II

As such, it could be a safer bet for him to go to a team where it’s his job to lose…"



Indians GM, Chris Antonetti: " Yes, that`s right Mr. Axford, we would like you to join our bullpen, where your primary job will be to lose ball games for us. Do we have a deal?

tk2120
tk2120

my favorite thing about metsblog is reading the name of a player that the mets are 'interested in' one day, and then reading that he's close to signing somewhere else the next day..

wallywhite
wallywhite

Yeah right. Nice sweater by the way....

Eli Battistoni
Eli Battistoni

If we going to sign anyone.  It's worth it to sign Jaoquin Benoit.  Need an established quality arm.  He can slide into any position if and when Parnell comes back. 

Alan Derosby
Alan Derosby

I agree completely.  If you can get these guys at a cheap price, then go for it.  But no reason to overpay.

David Fernandez
David Fernandez

Seriously. Sign the cheapest one and hope for the best. Parnell will be back by May. Give Black the opportunity to close for the first month. It's not the end of the world... the bullpen game is a crapshoot and it varies year to year. Signing an "experienced" closer is not going to make sure the 9th is shut down unless you get a closer like Kimbrel.

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

Our main focus should be SS. We have guys like Puello Flores Plawecki Ynoa DeGrom Matz Tapia lawley that are decent prospects. If you put a couple of these guys packaged with Montero then you can get Owings or gregorious

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

I wouldn't overpay for any of these guys. I'll take Gregg Bailey Axford Perez which ever one is the cheapest. And then I would sign Boggs to an under 1 million contract

Kevin Russell
Kevin Russell

@Zach Ripple very interesting thought. If Montero doesn't get traded for a SS then Colon would be a perfect mentor.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

I'd be ready to go to war if we had a new SS. Especially if it were Chris Owings. I like Black, Germen, and Torres from the right side. If Parnell is healthy and back to form, all we need is a couple of lefties.

thenymets
thenymets

@Herb Goldstein After Mejia looked fantastic as a starter (small sample size I know...) and knowing that he has struggled in the past as a reliever, why on earth would you want to move him to the pen?

thenymets
thenymets

@hashburry Not sure what you define as "very little in place" but there is Black, German, Torres, Edgin, and Scott Rice all of whom put up very capable numbers last season with Parnell coming at some point later in the season.


They could use another decent arm or two and take some flyers on other guys but "very little in place" is a little extreme of a statement.


gameball
gameball

@Erin II 

Yeah, my brain shut down for a minute when I read that.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

I wouldn't trade Montero for Gregorius. His offensive numbers just aren't that good. Owings, on the other hand, looks like a stud. I would give up Montero plus another prospect or two for Owings.

Max Denby
Max Denby

I agree. I know it's unpopular but maybe Ruben is better after fat camp? He was a very good defensive SS when he came up.

metstastic
metstastic

The thinking of some is That if they are a fantastic starter, they'll be an even better reliever. Sorry, doesn't work that way. Stop yanking him back and forth. It's what caused his problems in the first place.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Mejia's injury issues could have him destined to be a reliever. From what I have read, his delivery puts a lot of strain on his elbow. He certainly has the ability to be a strong starter. I'm just not sure his arm will be able to handle the innings load. I can definitely see him becoming a closer or set up man down the line.

Max Denby
Max Denby

Agree. They will not move Mejia back to the pen. They already messed him up trying that before

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

They should have kept Hawkins. He is a very valuable type of guy to have in that pen.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Are all the guys you listed already signed for 2014?

mojorisin
mojorisin

they were 17-2 vs the White Sox and 13-6 vs Minnesota, that's how

David Fernandez
David Fernandez

@bcleveland honestly speaking what is worse case scenario? Out for his career? I hardly doubt that. I just think this is all blown over and they just want some insurance in case he goes down again. 

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Tejada was a decent defensive SS when he came up. He hit well enough at times too. My problem with Tejada is that he hasn't shown commitment to his conditioning and therefore has been injury prone. For a guy with limited tools, no speed or power, he should be working his but off in the gym. Maybe the fitness camp will help, but I just don't believe in him as an every day player.

Robby Johnson
Robby Johnson

@kenmetskni I loved his stuff as a starter this past season though - and that was with bone chips.


Similarly, I remember Darling talking about how he simplified his mechanics in order to locate his secondary pitches, so perhaps that took care of the arm stress.  In any case, he looked nothing like the Mejia of old when he was up.  I'd love for him to cement himself in the rotation this year.