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  • Jan

    New York Mets Hot Stove Check-Up

    Mets GM Omar Minaya took care of the biggest void the Mets had during the last 2 MLB seasons – the bullpen. Minaya signed dominant closer Francisco Rodriguez to a 3-year deal at a fairly “economical price” and then dealt a few players to land another legitimate closer (who will now serve as K-Rod’s set-up mane) J.J. Putz from the Seattle Mariners. If the Mets had had either of these guys in 2007 and 2008, it probably would have been the Mets and not the Phillies who advanced to post-season play from the NL East. The Mets bullpen blew so many leads during the course of each season, one of these guys would have made a huge difference down the stretch.

    Rodriguez has been as close to automatic as one can come during the last 4 MLB seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. From 2005 through 2008, Rodriguez saved 45 games, 47 games, 40 games and a major league record 62 games. He has a career ERA of 2.35 and a career WHIP of 1.11 – fantastic numbers for a closer. He has also struck out 587 batters in 451.2 innings of work. The one concern – he has a lot of mileage on that dynamic right arm of his. Rodriguez has pitched in at least 59 games in each of the last 6 MLB seasons. In 2008, Rodriguez pitched in 76 games – a career-high and an absurd number for a closer. Rodriguez is still young – 27 years old – but it was a still a good move by Minaya to limit the number of years on the contract to 3. With those kind of innings logs, who knows how long this kid is going to be able to keep up his efforts.

    Putz saved 36 games in 2006 and 40 games in 2007. For one of the worst teams in baseball in 2008, Putz played in 47 games and still saved 15 of them.

    The Mets are still looking to add a starting pitcher. Tim Redding is close to signing an incentive-laden contract to give the Mets some depth in the back end of the rotation. The Mets are also still in the hunt for Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez or Randy Wolf.

    So far so good for Minaya. I found this hot stove report a good read from Jeff Passan. The Mets still need to perform on the field, but by addressing the bullpen issues, I like the Mets chances for the dethroning the Philadelphia Phillies as the 2-time defending NL East champions. If not, it could be Minaya looking for a new job in 2010.

    omar minaya.jpg

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