Mets seek starting pitcher, linked to Marcum, Pavano, Saunders & Young

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets are still looking for a veteran starting pitcher, who they will most likely sign off the free-agent market.

This winter, the Mets have been most linked in rumors to Shaun Marcum, Joe Saunders, Carl Pavano and Chris Young, though Jair Jurrjens, Kyle Lohse, Derek Lowe and Daisuke Matsuzaka, among others, are also available.

Shaun Marcum

I like Saunders, but I’ve heard he’s sitting on more than one two-year offer and has yet to accept, which would suggest he’s holding out for (and thinks he can get) a three-year deal…

From what I can gather, the Mets are looking to give only a one-year deal. They have the money to pay any of the above, but they would prefer not to give out a long-term contract. They’re using New York City, their pitcher’s park and a guaranteed spot in the rotation as bait.

Like Young, I’ve heard Pavano can again be had for one year with a low base pay and lots of incentives. However, league insiders I’ve talked with also think Marcum could be forced to take a one-year deal because of concerns surrounding his elbow and shoulder. Also, Scott Boras has been known to sign one-year deals for his clients, like Lohse, if the market dries up and the free agent class projects to be weak the following winter, which it does.

There have been rumors linking the Mets to the Dodgers, Tigers and Rangers regarding their excess starting pitching, but if the Mets decide to trade from their crop of young, right-handed pitchers, I assume they’d try to get a bat not an arm.