Figueroa Elects Free Agency

Nelson Figueoroa in the Citi Field dugout for the New York MetsAlthough official word has not yet been published, inside sources suggest that Nelson Figueroa has elected free agency rather than accept a demotion to AAA Buffalo. **UPDATE: Adam Rubin has been given similar information. **

Hat tip to loyal MetsToday reader HDarvick for the scoop.

Figueroa was waived by the Mets after pitching six strong innings in a start against the Brewers last weekend, filling in for the ailing Mike Pelfrey. While he wasn’t claimed by another MLB team, I imagine he has some options — the Angels, for one, immediately come to mind as a team in need of starting pitching.

It’s hard to blame Figgy for declining the opportunity to return to balmy Buffalo. First, because it’s Buffalo. Second, it’s hard to imagine what more Figueroa could have done to earn a spot on the big league roster — if his stellar WBC performance and strong start on Saturday weren’t enough, then it’s clear the Mets don’t value his skillset, so why hang around? Third, the Mets have over $3M invested in Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia, both of whom are expected to be ready in the next few weeks — so the chance of Figueroa getting the call the next time a spot start is needed is next to nil.

If indeed Nelson chooses free agency over assignment to the minors, I wish him the best of luck. He’s a good man who gets the most out of his abilities and deserves a fair chance to stick in MLB.

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.