Sometimes, good news comes early — such as in this case: the Mets have announced their first big free-agent signing of the offseason, by re-upping lefthanded one-out specialist Tim Byrdak.
To me this is curious news, for a few reasons.
First of all, after putting together a solid year, why wouldn’t Byrdak choose to hit the open market and go to the highest bidder? While there are many LOOGYs hanging around MLB, not many have been as effective as Byrdak this season — so one would think he’d do pretty well as a free agent. But, from what has been made public, Byrdak is happy in New York and is fond of security — i.e., knowing now where he’ll be next spring. That’s understandable, especially considering all the bouncing around Byrdak has done in his career.
But that leads me to my second question: why were the Mets in a hurry to re-sign a LOOGY, when it appears that a) they’re still having financial troubles and b) 2012 will be another rebuilding year? Why would a rebuilding team need a lefty specialist in the bullpen? Wouldn’t it make more sense to find someone young — ideally someone from inside the organization — who can retire batters on both sides of the plate?
Maybe the idea is to keep Byrdak around as a trading piece for next year’s July deadline — though I’m not sure how much you can get back for a LOOGY. Or maybe the Mets are thinking Byrdak will have another stellar year and turn into a Type A free agent after 2012.
We don’t yet know the terms of the deal, but people are already proclaiming it to be a “smart move”. I’m not so sure, as I don’t see the point, from either perspective.
About the Author
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.