Heyman notes there are plenty of good options left on the market, including those who can close, such as Francisco Rodriguez, Matt Capps, and Jose Valverde.
Yesterday, the Mets announced they signed LHP Aaron Laffey to a Minor League contract.
Michael Baron, ContributorThe K-Rod ship sailed last year – it’s time to move on. However, either Capps or Valverde could be interesting fits, either as insurance to Frank Francisco or as the Mets’ new closer altogether.
After a dominant 2011 season, Valverde struggled in 2012 and ultimately lost his job late in the year. He began pitching to a lot more contact. His velocity dipped a little bit which might have contributed to his struggles, but he still throws hard, and has been both a colorful and intimidating closer in his career. I wonder if Valverde might be interested in taking a one-year deal from the Mets to rebuild his value; Valverde could have a pretty good shot at closing games with the Mets considering Francisco’s elbow issues and overall struggles in 2012.
Capps missed most of the final three months of the 2012 season with a rotator cuff strain. He throws hard, but he doesn’t strikeout a lot of hitters, meaning the ball is put in play with regularity against him. He gives up a lot of hits and has seen his walk and home run totals go up over the last couple of years, which is not what I would expect from someone who has pitched a lot at Target Field. He appears to have the presence of a closer, and his bull-charge from the bullpen to the mound is always entertaining. A lot of his problems in 2011 could be attributed to bad luck, but considering that and his shoulder problems in 2012, I’d be concerned Capps is in the declining phase of his career.
Statistics and information on Jose Valverde...
Stats: Valverde, 34, went 3-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 71 games, having saved 35 games in 40 opportunities in 2012. He allowed 27 walks with 48 strikeouts in 69 innings last season.
Contract: Valverde earned $9 million in an option which was part of a two-year, $14 million deal he signed before the 2010 season.
Statistics and information on Matt Capps...
Stats: Capps went 1-4 with a 3.68 ERA with 14 saves in 30 games for the Twins in 2012. He allowed just four walks with 18 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings last season.
Contract: Capps signed a one-year $4.5 million contract with the Twins before the 2012 season. He had a $6 million option for 2013 which was declined by the Twins after the 2012 season.