Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Earlier today, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said the Mets are still looking to add relief pitching, despite signing LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison in the last day. The way I understand it, the Mets are eager to find another pitcher with experience and potential to pitch late in games, maybe even taking the closer role from Frank Francisco, who does not have a lock on that job.
The Mets flirted with the idea of using free-agent RHP Roy Oswalt for that spot, according to people familiar with the situation, which means they’re being creative. They have acknowledged their interest in free-agent closer Brian Wilson, but he has yet to demonstrate that he is up for the task.
Ideally, I think they’d like to find a veteran starting pitcher who, if he doesn’t make the rotation, which he probably will not, can switch roles and have an impact at the back end of the bullpen.
Derek Lowe is still available and seems to make sense for this spot. He’s looking for work, still wants to be a starting pitcher, but has yet to sign on with a team. I recall hearing a handful of teams were interested in him, but they were looking at him much like the Mets should, as a “swingman.” He has told people that isn’t what he wants to do, but at this point in the off season I wonder if he’d reconsider. I feel like Daisuke Matsuzaka could fit this role as well, but he might prefer to make more money and return to being a starting pitcher in Japan at that point.
In terms of experienced relievers, obviously the team should continue to pursue Wilson, and they may or may not be considering Francisco Cordero, Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez, all of whom are still available on the open market and could be (gulp) worth taking a chance on.
Personally, I have no interest in Matt Capps, Jeremy Accardo or Kevin Gregg. I mean, if they have nothing better to do than compete on a minor-league deal for a spot in Spring Training, that’s fine. But, I’m putting zero eggs in their baskets.
4:37 pm: The Indians have signed Capps to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training.