Junk To Jump On
What’s that saying? One man’s junk is another’s treasure?
The Mets are desperate for arms — for both the bullpen and the starting rotation. The relievers are out of gas and ineffective, and the Mets will have to plan for absences by John Maine and Pedro Martinez. I hope I’m wrong, but my gut tells me that Pedro will be back on the DL shortly, and that Maine will have problems with his shoulder for the rest of the season.
So let’s take a look at the scrap heap.
He’s a free agent and scheduled to be auditioning on August 5th. If I’m the Mets, I don’t wait — I roll the dice, sign him today, sight unseen, send him to the minors, and hope for the best. I’d give him two years, in fact, so there’s backup depth for ’09.
Livan was DFA’d by the Twins yesterday after posting a 5.48 ERA. You know what? He’s leaving the Twins with a 10-8 record. How many Mets have 10 wins? Um, none. Yes, he was hit hard in the AL, but he is fine as a #5 in the NL. Pick him up, put him in AAA, and have him ready when Pedro or Maine goes down. At worst, you have someone as a backup in case Jon Niese isn’t the Sandy Koufax the Mets keep telling us that he is.
The Cardinals finally gave up on Clement, who decided he wasn’t progressing quickly enough. Chances are, he won’t help this year, but you never know. Sign him to a contract through 2009, send him to Port St. Lucie, and tell him to take all the time he needs. If he can’t make it back to MLB this year, you have a possibility for ’09 (see Freddy Garcia). Who knows, he might get back just enough velocity and endurance to be a middle reliever in September.
By the way, the Red Sox just signed Joe Borowski to a minor league deal. I suggested that the Mets pick up the Bayonne Bullet and put him in AAA a month ago, so send that idea to the circular file.
Oh, and don’t get me wrong — the Mets should, and will have to, give the kids a shot now. Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz, Bobby Parnell (a.k.a., “The Untouchables”), and anyone else down on the farm should be promoted, pronto. My suggestion is to promote the youth and pick up these junky veterans to take their places in the minors — this way there’s a backup plan in case the rooks aren’t quite ready. It’s always a good idea to hedge your bets. Plus, I’m of the belief that a big league bullpen, in this day and age, requires a minimum of 10 pitchers who appear in at least 10 games to get through a season (see bullpen articles ONE and TWO. The Mets have only 8 relievers who have appeared in at least 10 games to this point.