Saturday, December 29, 2012

A look at why the Mets would be looking at relievers after last off-season

Last off-season the Mets made the pen their priority and most would say they got burnt in their endeavours.  The one area the Mets spent money last year was on the pen and they were not rewarded for their investments.

They signed Frank Francisco to be their closer giving him 2yrs at 12M, due to injuries he only appeared in 48 games while posting a 5.53 ERA, blowing three saves and losing three games.  Francisco will be back this year and claims that he's now 100% healthy and his results will be better.

Next they signed Jon Rauch to set-up and close if Francisco was unavailable or ineffective, Rauch received a one year deal worth 3.5 M.  He appeared in 73 games to an ERA of 3.59 while blowing 4 saves in 8 opportunities. Rauch is a free agent and I haven't heard anything about the Mets being interested in him returning.

Then the Mets traded their starting center fielder, Angel Pagan for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.  Many felt Torres despite a solid 2010 was nothing more then a fourth outfielder and the real target of the trade was Ramirez.  The veteran reliever had four solid seasons with the Royals, Red Sox and Giants before his trade to the Mets, Ramirez was looked at as the seventh inning guy who could move up to the set-up role if needed.  While he only cost 2.65M for the year he did cost Pagan in the trade, he appeared in 58 games to a 4.24 ERA and blew two saves in three opportunities.  Ramirez wasn't offered arbitration and like rauch there hasn't been much discussion of him returning.

Tim Byrdak only cost 1M for 2012 but at 38 y/o all the wear and tare on his arm made him a risk, at one point Byrdak was the Mets best reliever.  He lost the second half of the season to injury and his numbers don't look pretty but much of that could be blamed on pitching injured.  Byrdak appeared in 56 games with a 4.40 ERA and was unable to convert the to save opportunities he was given.  Byrdak signed a minor league deal and should return around half way through the season.  

The biggest returning reliever was Bobby Parnell, all the acquisitions should have bumped Parnell into an inconsequential role but do to the others ineffectiveness Parnell was given chances to redeem himself.  Once again I found Parnell inconsistent struggling within himself between a pitcher and thrower along with struggling to handle pressure situations.  Parnell pitched to a solid 2.49 ERA in 78 games but also blew five saves in 12 opportunities.  Parnell will be back an only cost 700k or less but can he be trusted as the set up man.

The key pitchers in the pen cost 13.65M and in all blew 16 saves and Parnell had an ERA under four.

That's not including D.J. Carrasco who was cut due to ineffectiveness in the second year of a year year deal.

The Mets then called up Josh Edgin, the lefty appeared in 34 games to an ERA of 4.56.  Robert Carson also came up for 17 games to a 4.56 ERA.  Elvin Ramirez appeared in 20 games with a 5.48 ERA.

Mets haven't decided what Jennry Mejia and Jeurys Familia are if they are starters they should be in Las Vegas starting everyday but if their relievers they could end up in the pen.  Jeremy Hefner made 13 starts and relieved 13 times to an ERA of 5.09, he could be a decent swingman.  Finally Collin McHugh made 4 starts and 4 relief appearances with an ERA of 7.59.

Other candidates include Invites Aaron Laffey and Carlos Torres.

Despite the Mets getting burnt last year on the free agent market it makes sense for them looking at the relief pool since what they have now is untested and inconsistent when given a chance.

 #mets are scouring relief market. plenty of good options left, including ones who can close. (i.e. valverde, krod, capps)source Jon Heyman