Mets Sign Ken Takahashi

Finally, the Mets have found a LOOGY to help Pedro Feliciano shoulder the load — they’ve signed the recently released Ken Takahashi.

OK, in reality, there’s little if any chance of Takahashi going north. Most likely, he joins what may be an all-lefty bullpen in Buffalo, hanging in the bullpen with the likes of Casey Fossum, Adam Bostick, Jon Switzer, and Heriberto Ruelas.

On the one hand, if he does eventually get promoted to the big club, he could have a stint of success, based on the fact that no one has seen him before. In a LOOGY role, that stint could be spread out for a couple months. On the other hand, Takahashi is my age, meaning he’s too damn old to be an MLB rookie (though I’d love to put him on my Sunday league roster).

For a full analysis on Takahashi, including a video, see NPBTracker.

In related LOOGY news, the Dodgers signed Will Ohman on a minor league contract (for about a million less than the Mets guaranteed Tim Redding) and the Rangers released Jimmy Gobble.

Despite Ohman’s success against lefties over the past few seasons, the Mets were never interested.

Though Gobble has now been released twice this spring, neither of his previous employers face Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez 19 times a year. I still believe this turkey is worth bringing aboard … certainly he’ll be more useful than Fernando Nieve or Elmer Dessens.

Speaking of … Dessens and Nieve are still in camp, while Nelson Figueroa is not? Where’s the logic in that? Figgy was one of the most impressive pitchers during the WBC, facing some of the best hitters in the world in a tournament that was taken very seriously by everyone other than the USA.

Put another way: Figgy fared better than Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt in March, yet was given a ticket to triple-A so that room could be made for Elmer Friggin Dessens. Go figure.

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 April 1, 2009 at 7:56 am
    I don’t get the infatuation over Dessens either. When I heard the broadcast crew say that the Mets were mulling over the decision of who to bring north, and included Dessens’ name in the discussion, I was dumbfounded. When did Elmer Dessens become a viable asset? He’s since been reassigned to minor league camp, but god forbid he steal starts at AAA away from true prospects like Antonini, Gee, or Owen. And if we see Dessens pitch in a Mets’ uniform at anytime during this season, odds are pretty good that we’ll have to wait until 2010 for another chance at the postseason.

    I saw the Mets also make a bunch of other moves, some of which surprised me. Jose Valentin’s been released, after a relatively good spring. From my perspective I’d love to have him around in AAA as a player/coach while staying in shape in case Wright or Tatis suffered an injury. But I guess he has other plans. Tony Armas was also released. I like him a lot, and he was stellar for New Orleans last year before getting hurt. But I guess he realized his role with the Mets, and wants a better chance at cracking the big leagues elsewhere. Fernando Nieve was waived, which I guess had to happen if he wasn’t making the 25-man roster. I have my fingers crossed that he goes unclaimed and decides to stick around the organization, because I got a funny feeling that patience will be a virtue in his case.

  2. […] He had a good-not-great resume as a longtime starter in Japan, which enabled the Mets to get him dirt cheap this winter. He’s already 35 and the team had modest expectations for him into the season; […]