Latest on Joe Saunders and the Mets

Joe Saunders polaroidThe Mets have reportedly shown interest in signing LHP Joe Saunders to fill their vacant spot in the starting rotation.

9:58 am: The Mets, Twins, Padres and Orioles all remain interested in Saunders (Duquette, SiriusXM Radio).

Jan. 16: The Padres are not in on Saunders or Shaun Marcum, and haven’t been all winter (Brock,

Jan 16: The Twins are pursuing Saunders (Morosi, FOX Sports).

Jan. 5: Saunders is seeking a three-year contract (Rosenthal, FOX Sports).

Statistics, commentary and information on Saunders...

Michael Baron, Contributor

The Mets are unlikely to replace the 233 innings R.A. Dickey gave them last year from one individual. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t come up with the innings between a new face and added contributions from the holdovers (and potential internal arms) in the rotation.

In regards to Saunders, a three-year commitment might not be a good fit considering what is coming up through the organization in that timeframe. But if those demands come down, he could be a guy who can help find the innings the Mets seek. He isn’t going to “wow” anyone with his stuff, but he’s proven to be a durable and steady left handed pitcher over the course of his career, although he did deal with a shoulder problem last year which caused him to miss a month. If he had stayed healthy, he could have easily thrown 200 or more innings last season. He usually sits in the upper 80s to low 90s with his fastball and off-sets that with a good tailing change-up. He pitches to contact and gives up a lot of home runs, but pitching in more pitcher-friendly parks – such as Citi Field and the rest of the parks in the NL East – would probably reduce that number.

Stats: Saunders, 31, went 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA in 28 starts with the Diamondbacks and Orioles in 2012, allowing 195 hits, 39 walks, and 21 home runs in 174 2/3 innings. He has pitched at least 185 innings in four of the last five seasons.

Contract: Saunders signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Diamondbacks prior to the 2012 season.