Last-Minute Pickups

The Mets’ roster is set, and, barring an injury, there is next to no possibility of a change being made for at least two weeks — when Duaner Sanchez is eligible to come off the disabled list.

However, there are a handful of mildly interesting ballplayers available after final cuts were made around the Majors.

Nelson Cruz, Rangers
Cruz was the loser of the Jason Botts vs. Nelson Cruz spring training smackdown. I like Cruz — who happened to pass through the Mets organization early in his pro career — and think he’d be valuable off the bench for his power potential. He is out of options so Texas designated him for assignment. While I love Brady Clark, he or Angel Pagan becomes redundant when Moises Alou returns. The 27-year-old Cruz is the type of player the Mets don’t currently have: a slugging righthanded-hitting outfielder about to enter his prime years.

Jay Gibbons, Orioles
The Mets are desperate for a legitimate, veteran, righthanded-hitting outfielder / first baseman with power. Gibbons — released by the Orioles — fits the bill only too perfectly. Except for one thing: he has a 10-game suspension pending due to an HGH purchase in 2005. The Mets may not like the idea of bringing in a player with that kind of baggage … but who knows?
*** UPDATE ****
I’m an idiot … Gibbons is a lefthanded hitter. Thanks to isuzudude for setting me straight.

Woody Williams, Astros
Counted on to be the ‘stros #2 or #3 starter, Williams shat the bed this spring (11.25 ERA) and was released. Upon his release, Williams announced his retirement and stated that he would not pursue an MLB job elsewhere. Too bad, he might have been a decent option as a #5 starter.

Edgardo Alfonzo, Rangers
This is an emotional choice — though, Fonzie did hit .308 before being amongst the last cuts by the Rangers.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude March 31, 2008 at 11:11 am
    One problem about Gibbons, Joe. He’s left-handed. He’s also a bum who was on PED’s and can’t field.

    I’m still holding out hope the Mets can pry Murton and a back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher from the Cubs.

  2. Micalpalyn March 31, 2008 at 11:15 am
    In the end few suprises. After reading the last Tatis entry on rotoworld it was obvious Tatis was a non factor. Merely a thank you for helping fill out our rosters.

    Clark:I am in wait and see mode. I think Pagan (ala Millz) will be demoted when Alou returns…which will be?

    Pelfrey: I think he could fill out the 5th starter job. But on that note, its interesting that you wasted 3 sentences on Woody williams. I think Robinson Tejada, formerly of the Phils would also be a strong candidate as present and future 5th starter insurance. I would also add Claudio Vargas. with Duque, Pedro and Ollie in walk years i am looking to see if a future gem (other than Jason Vargas) in the mold of Dave Cone and John Maine can be mined by Omar. I think this is the last yr Pel can be optioned (?) so a lot is riding for him. But I think Omar should be also eyeing the Ed Jackson, Jason Hamels throw down. One has to go when Kazmir is activated.

  3. joe March 31, 2008 at 11:31 am
    Thanks isuzudude … entry has been corrected.

    Mic — c’mon now, do I ever waste sentences? I threw Woody out there partly as an FYI, partly because I think he could be better than any current options. He threw 188 innings last year, posted a 5.27 ERA and 1.43 WHIP and a 2-1 K/BB ratio, and is a longtime veteran who knows how to pitch — not great, but acceptable for a fill-in fifth starter. Part of his ERA problems were due to 35 HRs given up in a hitter’s park. Again, not a great option, but better than say, Brian Lawrence, Dave Williams, or Jose Lima, as far as stopgaps go.

    Tejeda is interesting, but walks as many as he strikes out, and he’s never been successful at the MLB level. I don’t see much difference between Tejeda and Pelfrey at this point. Will I take him in AAA for depth? Sure.

  4. Micalpalyn March 31, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    as usual, you sent me scurrying to the google to check my information. And I dont think I was wrong. bottom line is Tejeda has two problems, the AL and the Rangers. heck he is being replaced by Jamey Wright and Dustin Nippert.

    What i see is a Ollie Perez who has a great FB decent change and sometime curve and needs a stable pitching coach and some confidence. but again he is young and has great tools. PROBLEM is we have no roster space unless Pel is demoted and Robinson would be given the 5th spot….which is no riskier than the Ollie experiment or even present circumstances.

  5. joe March 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm
    Mic, I get it — you like Tejeda.

    Personally, I don’t like the Tejeda to Ollie comparison, because Ollie had a better history — he’d already succeeded, in fact dominated, prior to his downfall. Tejeda, however, has never shown any kind of success at the MLB level, other than a 4-3 record and 3.57 ERA in 13 starts as a rookie — which can be explained away by the “never seen him before” factor. Tejeda has gotten progressively worse as he’s been exposed.

    But, I haven’t seen Tejeda up close / in-person, so I can’t disagree with your assessment that he has raw skills that could turn into something. Again, I’m all for adding him to the org. as AAA depth, and see what happens.

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