Mets Like Randy Wolf

According to various sources, the Mets are interested in adding Randy Wolf to their 2009 starting rotation.

To me, that’s a nice idea — IF the plan is to make him the #5 starter. His lefthandedness is a big advantage in the NL East, and his veteran status suggests that he’s unlikely to crap the bed. He’s a tough competitor and a battler, which will endear him to New York fans. Finally, he is a complete pitcher — meaning, he does everything from field his position to keeping runners close to placing bunts.

However, if signing Randy Wolf is an alternative to acquiring a #3-type starter — i.e., Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez — then I’m not sure what the Mets’ brass is thinking. Besides not being a middle-rotation guy anymore, Wolf’s injury history is unsettling. He’s suffered both elbow and shoulder injuries during his career, and though he managed 190 IP last season, there’s no guarantee he won’t miss 80 games like he did in 2007.

Unfortunately, this is not the Randy Wolf in his mid-twenties — a young kid with a sharp breaking ball, 90+ heater, and a potential all-star. Rather, this is the Randy Wolf approaching his mid-thirties, age and injuries having robbed speed from his fastball and causing him to hang on to his career by thread. At his absolute best, he might give the Mets a season similar to Steve Trachsel’s days in Flushing — 30 starts, .500 record, somewhere between 160-190 innings. That’s a solid fifth starter, not a #3 on a championship ballclub.

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 December 15, 2008 at 1:42 pm
    Let’s be frank: of the free agent pitchers still available, only Lowe and Ollie fit the bill as far as what the Mets need. And that would be a 200-inning pithcer with capabilities of winning 15+ games. All the big teams have 2 monster starters. Philly with Hamels/Myers, Cubs with Zambrano/Harden, Yankees with Sabathia/Burnett, Angels with Lackey/Santana, Red Sox with Daisuke/Beckett, even Tampa with Shields/Kazmir. The Mets have Johan, and that’s it. I hesitate to put Pelfrey in that bracket yet because I don’t see him as a lock to be a #2 caliber pitcher quite yet. Maine is a solid #3, when healthy. Randy Wolf would be a #4 at best, but more like a #5. Adding Wolf would allow Niese time at AAA and Pedro to move on, but it still leaves the Mets devoid of a true #2. And though better options existed, Ollie and Lowe are the closest to #2 starters as the Mets are going to find now, and that’s what they need most desperately. I guess you could throw Ben Sheets’ name on the list, too, but his health issues make him far too unreliable to be a #2 on a championship caliber club (see Milwaukee last year).

    I’d really like to see the Mets put the pedal to the metal. After 2 straight gut-wrenching seasons, I think it’s called for. So if Ollie gives you butterflies, and Lowe’s pricetag is too rich, and Sheets’ health gives you nightmares, GO FOR JAKE PEAVY. A Johan/Peavy/Pelfrey/Maine rotation puts all doubts aside as far as if the Mets have enough talent to make the playoffs. You could argue they’d have the best 1/2 starters and 1/2 bullpen in baseball. That’s the way you get yourself back on the map. I know San Diego could balk at the package the Mets have to offer, but I at least want to Mets rumored in the negotiations. Make it seem like you tried, Omar.

  2. Micalpalyn December 31, 2008 at 12:12 pm
    NICE!! Couple of things. I think it looks like Lowe will sign. But I agree with Dude that Peavey must get discussed. Easily Lowe could then be #3. I dont see Wolf as a factor beyond the facts you both allude to: His make up, cost and ability to fill a slot. Really I see him a a stop gap and mentor to Nises and Holt.