San Diego Padres v Baltimore Orioles

What reliever/starter should the Mets sign before PSL?

Sandy Alderson is reportedly looking for a veteran set-up man, either by trade or on a minor-league deal.

The Mets had been linked to free-agents RHP Alfredo Aceves (Cafardo, Nov. 13) and RHP Mitchell Boggs (Sherman, Dec. 9).

In addition, the Mets hope to add a starting pitcher, “probably on a minor-league contract,” to compete for the final spot in the rotation, according to Sandy Alderson (Rubin, Jan. 7). They have reportedly shown interest Jerome Williams (DiComo, Dec. 7), Bruce Chen, John LannanPaul Maholm (Heyman, Dec. 10), Freddy Garcia (Puma, Dec. 10Rubin, Jan 10) and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

In the opinion of ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Garcia makes the most sense because he can transition to the bullpen when Noah Syndergaard is inevitably promoted from Triple-A during mid-summer.

Michael Baron, Contributor

The Mets were very pleased with the progress Jenrry Mejia showed in his brief stint last summer. I’ve heard they view him solely as a starter now, and are looking for him to earn the final spot in the rotation. However, they are very aware of past injuries, so they are looking for insurance for Mejia on the free agent market, while also seeking depth for the entire rotation, because they don’t have much to fall back.

The arms they’ve been linked to this winter make sense for what they’re seeking, especially Garcia, who could join Carlos Torres in a swing-man role (spot starter and reliever). But, they should also be interested in bringing back Aaron Harang or taking a look at someone like Tommy Hanson, since both could thrive in the big ballparks in the NL East.

Interestingly enough, there has been some buzz about Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom pushing to make the team out of camp. It sounds as though they could be secondary options to Mejia as well, since they are both major-league ready.


For a list of available free-agent relievers, check out this post on MLB.com.

42 comments
Söze, Keyser
Söze, Keyser

The one bullpen guy the Mets shouldn't have let get away, they did...LaTroy Hawkins...hope this isn't Darren Oliver redux, a guy they never really did replace.

I realize Hawkins isn't a spot starter type but the bullpen looks vulnerable at present...hell, its been a mess since after 2006. Better hope Parnell comes back healthy and doesn't regress. Most of the rest are unproven, at best.

Craig Kelly
Craig Kelly

IMO, Bruce Chen is far and away the best option.Experience as a SP and RP and was in a similar role last year, as a swingman, in the 2nd half of the season when KC brought up their young guns.
Plus, he is a LH, and I think we could use another.  Josh Edgin was erratic last year, and had to be sent down to AA to get his head together.  Scott Rice was solid last year, but pitched a ton, and there is no proven track record, and I could easily foresee TC pitching him too much and blowing out his arm.  That would leave us w/ no other option but to call up Leatherisch, whom I wouldn't rush.  Chen is worth a 2 year deal and replaces Rice next year.

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

I think Aceves would be the best fit from an ability standpoint (good stuff, has moved between starting and relieving before). But he has an attitude problem and wasn't particularly liked in Boston. But he would fit the team's needs pretty well and might be signed pretty cheaply. He and Torres would be two quality swing guys.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

If the Mets want a pitcher who has the experience to transition from starter to the bullpen I don't agree that Freddy Garcia makes the most sense of the guys available. I like both Bruce Chen and Chris Capuano better than Garcia since they've both been better recently and are lefties which would be more valuable to the Mets both in the rotation and/or out of the pen. Plus they're both a little younger which could be an even more important factor when talking about guys in their mid to upper 30s.

anthony G. Decesare
anthony G. Decesare

I still think Ike gets traded to the Brewers for a RP, either Kintzler or Jim Henderson. I think Eric Young could end up at 2b, which means Murphy at 1b and Lageres in CF. Or Ey plays LF and Lageres is on the bench, Murphy is at 2b and either a Duda or Morales at 1b.

A guy that I think could be a this year's version of a Marlon Byrd type candidate to be signed to a minor league and could make the team.....Bobby Abreu.

nick12345
nick12345

They should get someone young stop getting 40 year olds!

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

None of those names cited are all that impressive. Bruce Chen is Tom Glavine-lite. I would much rather see what our guys can do in Spring Training. On an unrelated manner, I just heard that Jason Bay was released by Seattle. Let's hope Sandy doesn't pull a Bobby Bonilla and give him a second chance. I have been following baseball for the better part of 50 years and don't think I have ever seen one batter lose it as thoroughly and completely as Bay. Tom Tresh maybe.

Michael Warren Herbert
Michael Warren Herbert

Assuming everyone is healthy, Alfredo Aceves & Bruce Chen would be tops on my list.  Chen has pitched well enough for anAmerican league team, and Aceves can easily start, re-leave, or close.  I would also like to take a short on Dice-K if our ptiching guys liked what they saw out of him...

slainte2
slainte2

Neise, coming off partial shoulder tear; Colon, 40, and in shape (a round shape), Mejia, fragile and never exceeded 109 IP, Wheeler, 2nd year and on an innings count, and Gee.


This is a rotation that will be babied.


Matt - would love for you to get Ron Darling perspective on the LaRussa/Duncan mid-season "pitching group experiment" of 1993.  Darling was one of nine Oakland A's starters set up into three groups of three.  Each pitcher went 3 innings/50 pitches.  Each group pitched every third game.  The experiment ended after six games ... pitchers didn't like it (starters not eligible for win ... plus it was just different).


I suggest a variation ... that Mets take this fragile rotation, and have starters know going into the season that they are going no more than 5 innings... let 'er rip, b/c that's all you have to give. Still five day rotation.  Then take three "next tier" starters, have them start clean 6th inning, and ask for 3 innings every third game.  One time thru lineup (hopefully) ... let them know when they are going, so they rest their arms on off days.  Close out games with Parnell and Black (not just save situation ... every game, each pitching every other day.), couple of specialists to get out of trouble as necessary, and for extra innings.


After a third of season, see how we are doing ... if nothing else, starters have saved a few bullets, and a few innings, and can pick it up into more traditional approach for balance of season.


metfan8669
metfan8669

I prefer Chen, Maholm, Williams and Lannan over Garcia.  But Garcia isn't terrible.   Whichever of those guys are going cheap, get.  As long as they are healthy.

mingo
mingo

I liked what Daisuke did last year after he started throwing strikes.

Poop-a-doodle-doo!
Poop-a-doodle-doo!

I can live with Mejia in the 5th slot if he can stay healthy.

You got:

Wheeler, Gee, Neice, Colon, and Mejia

Is this a third place team, over .500, 2nd wildcard contending rotation?

Maybe...


mets2014
mets2014

I think Kevin Gregg is a good replacement for Hawkins and maholm to battle mejia...they should not overspend here

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

Lannon or Mahomes i would go for . but i would try to get Arroyo. but unlikely will happen. 

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Pass on Harang, not sure how much he had left and the 3 homers he gave up in that meaningless September game didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth.

Unless Hanson has somehow added velocity again and his shoulder doesn't look like a plate of linguini, maybe he could be an option..

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

@slainte2I think you bring-up some excellent points. This is a potentially fragile starting rotation. And that is genuine cause for concern. I don't want to look up in August and see Chris Schwinden.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@mingo Meaningless games, you can draw no conclusion from it.  And he is nothing more then a crap 5 inning guy that will destroy the pen even on his best days.

Gerard Farrell
Gerard Farrell

@Sentimental SteveYou can count on Meija to be done by mid-July just in time for Syndergaard. Any other injury (Which WILL happen), we have Montero coming up. So I do see our rotation, impending ridiculous injury to contend for the 2nd wildcard

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

@Ron Davis Arroyo is still looking for a multi-year deal. Doesn't make sense for the Mets at this stage.

zoddie
zoddie

@Kenneth Meltsner @slainte2  We should have plenty of depth by August.  Niese - Wheeler - Colon - Gee - Mejia.  Then Carlos Torres, deGrom, Montero.  By September, maybe even Syndergaard.  


And next year Harvey and Hefner come back, so the Mets don't need any multi-year contracts.

slainte2
slainte2

@Sentimental Steve@slainte2 

I think our rotation has upside and talent ... its just so potentially fragile.

Problem with competing will be our offense ... we are going to be playing station to station baseball due to complete lack of team speed, yet way too many strikeouts in that lineup ... so we will be relying on longball, in a stadium that is not suited for it.

metstastic
metstastic

@BringBackDaveTelghe@mingoYou can't expect much from these minor league deals.. If they were more than 5 inning pitches, they wouldn't have to resort to settling for a minor league deal!

zoddie
zoddie

@Gerard Farrell @Sentimental Steve Don't forget about deGrom.  He's a bit older than Montero and has a bit more time in AAA.  He won't be as good as Montero but should be ready sooner.

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

@zoddie Syndergaard will hopefully be up by July like Harvey and Wheeler were. In addition to those 9 guys, I'd bet they'd give Eric Goeddel, Logan Verrett, Cory Mazzoni, or Darin Gorski a shot at a spot start too before falling back on Schwinden.

slainte2
slainte2

@metfan8669@slainte2@Sentimental Steve 

Torres, Familia, German ... maybe degrom, Dice K ... probably a lot of starters can get thru a lineup once,  Second time thru gets sticky ... third time thru is real trouble.

A Q&A with Darling on innovative approaches to rotation/bullpen management would be interesting, and way better post that the usual Ike/Drew "updates".



metfan8669
metfan8669

@slainte2 @Sentimental Steve - I agree with some of what you say slainte.

The rotation can be very good, but has potential to slip.  But you add a very interesting discussion about use of pitchers.  Which of those names listed above would add to your suggested approach?  Probably relievers.  Guys that can pitch an inning or two every day.   This would probably make Torres a very valuable guy on this team.

metfan8669
metfan8669

@Sentimental Steve @metfan8669 - Chen is coming off a great year, but how much will he ask for and will he fall back to producing like 2012 where he has a 5.00 ERA.    I like Lannan because he is a LI native and is only 29.  He has upside.

I also think J.Williams can be an innings eater and keep the team in games.  So I guess my choice would be Williams and Lannan.  Then I feel we would be VERY deep.  But these guys deserve a shot to play in the majors somewhere, so I don't see the Mets outbidding other teams with a lack of depth at SP.  

But if we signed Garcia and Matsuzaka instead, I would not be satisfied.