In a report on the team’s bullpen for Newsday, David Lennon says, “Sandy Alderson deserves credit for signing Chris Young, however, “Spending pennies on the bullpen is not going to earn many Executive of the Year awards.”
Similarly, Dan Martin of the New York Post says, “The Mets are quickly finding out that when you shop for bargains, there’s usually a reason they’re on sale.”
Well, as Lennon first points out, seeking bargains is working just fine with Young and Chris Capuano, and RA Dickey if you do back to the previous off season. But, that’s the whole point: some work, some don’t. The thing is, in either case, it’s probably way, way too early to make these sort of judgements.
Here’s the thing, right now, Mets relievers are walking too many people, then giving up hits. Why? I don’t know. Is it because they’re the result of bargain hunting? I doubt it. I mean, if spending top dollar on relievers guaranteed success, what happened to Scott Schoeneweis, Guillermo Mota and JJ Putz? By the way, so far, what type of return are the Yankees getting from spending $42 million on Rafeal Soriano and Pedro Feliciano? One is on the DL, the other has a 9.80 ERA.
Sandy Alderson did the right thing by initially keeping Blaine Boyer and letting Jason Iringhausen keep working in Extended Spring Training. Now, Boyer is released and Izzy is on his way to Flushing. Had he done it the other way around, and had Izzy not been right, they’d be down two guys. This way, they’re down just one. Manny Acosta will soon clear his 10-day window, meaning he can again be called upon. They’re are other options available in Triple-A as well. The bullpen is going to be a fluid, constantly-changing project all season… just like more or less every other team in MLB, including teams who overspend on it. The good news is, for the first time in a while, the Mets have options and ways to keep tweaking in hopes of finding the right mix. The bad news might be the talent is just not good enough to matter. In either case, at least the team is in a position to mix, match and find out.