Mets sign Taylor Buchholz and Chris Capuano

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Taylor Buchholz will earn a $600,000 base salary, and Chris Capuano will earn a $1.5 million base salary with the opportunity to earn more with incentives.

Rubin also says the signing of both Capuano and Buchholz does not take them out of the running for a starting pitcher, such as Jeff Francis or Chris Young.

He also provides some insight in to the fate of Igarashi.

Original Post, 6:57 pm:

The Mets have signed free-agent LHP Chris Capuano and RHP Taylor Buchholz to one-year contracts.

The team has designated RHP Ryota Igarashi for assignment, to make room on the 40-man roster. I was under the impression the Mets were factoring Igarashi in to their plans, so I assume they believe he will go unclaimed on waivers and likely end up back in camp.

Capuano, 32, went 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 24 appearances last year with the Brewers, including nine starts.  He missed the entire 2009 season recovering from his second Tommy John surgery.

I have no idea how much they’re paying Capuano, but I doubt it’s much.  In either case, I like this signing.  It’s a solid gamble, to say the least. In the last week, since contracts broke down between Capuano and the Brewers, I’ve had several fans e-mail suggesting the Mets bring him in. He’s very effective against left-handed batters, so, who knows, maybe he can solve the left-specialist ‘situation.’

Buchholz started 2010 on a rehab assignment, and made his return to the big leagues on July 24 following Tommy John surgery.  He was eventually put on waivers and claimed by the Blue Jays in early September, and ended the year throwing just 12 innings, during which he allowed five runs.

He was rated as one of the game’s top 100 prospects by Baseball America in 2003. In 2008, he had a 2.17 ERA in 63 relief appearances for the Rockies, during which opponents hit just .188 against him. It looked like he was on the verge of becoming one of the game’s elite relievers. He will be nearly two years removed from his surgery, come Spring Training, If he can get back to where he was before, it’ll be a huge payoff, to say the least.

Basically, I see these as low-risk, very high-reward bullpen signings, with Capuano also holding the potential to be a back-end starting pitcher.