Pridie Gone, Evans and Buchholz Free

The Oakland Athletics have signed Jason Pridie, who was waived by the Mets a few days ago and exercised his right to become a free agent.

Interesting the Pridie was able to find employment so quickly. Just as interesting, that the great genius Himself — Billy Beane — is who signed him. Makes you wonder: did the brilliant Mets front office blunder? Which of Pridie’s stats is Beane looking at and deeming a market inefficiency? Is Pridie the next Scott Hatteberg? Inquiring minds want to know …

In all seriousness, I like Pridie and believed it made sense for the Mets to keep him around. But, the fact they let him go makes me believe that the Mets will tender a contract to Angel Pagan, since there are no other centerfielders in the organization with MLB experience (OK, maybe you can count Fernando Martinez and Jason Bay). Not that Pridie would have had a shot at starting in 2012, but he was a solid backup. What do you think? Is this a move designed to insure that Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis moves up the totem pole and gets a legit shot at MLB playing time in 2012? If so I’m happy with that plan.

In other news, both Nick Evans and Taylor Buchholz have officially declared free agency. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will flee Flushing. But it does mean they are free to explore all options. I know that Evans is not likely to become an everyday player for a championship team, but I do believe he has value to someone. I can see him turning into a Garrett Jones — getting a chance to play fairly regularly for a bad team, putting up surprising power numbers, and making a decent living for himself as part-time MLBer. I also still think he should consider donning the tools of ignorance, just to add some value as an emergency backstop.

As for Buchholz, there is still a question as to whether he will pitch for anyone in 2012, since he is still dealing with depression. I believe that a healthy Buchholz can be a solid middle reliever. But, I also put his need to heal from his mental issues over my desire for him to pitch for the Mets, and if to become mentally healthy it makes more sense for him to play elsewhere, I’m not going to begrudge the guy nor get upset about him leaving. Obviously I have no knowledge of the details of his challenges but I do know that New York is one of the most stressful places in the world to live and work — even if one is not a MLB player. Buchholz seems like a nice kid with legit talent so I hope he gets through this and is able to play baseball again, be it in New York or elsewhere — if that’s what he wants to do.

Two other former Mets free agents are in the news: Omar Minaya and Bobby Valentine. Both, apparently, are being considered for jobs with the Boston Red Sox. Interesting, no?

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. Joe November 18, 2011 at 10:15 am
    I think Pridie would make a good fourth outfielder; don’t know if he is more, but he’s a good part to have. There is always the Endy Chavez talk.

    I was somewhat surprised no team took Evans off waivers. There are a bunch of non-championship teams (and those who choked and didn’t go all the way) that could use him.

    Of all the teams, Bobby V. going to the Red Sox … well, that will be as fun for the Yanks as the Mets seeing a lot of Papelpon.

  2. izzy November 18, 2011 at 11:18 am
    I think the only reason Pridie seemed like a good centerfielder was that Angel Pagan was so horrible. Pride took a direct route to the ball, something Pagan forgot how to do. Every big league centerfielder takes a direct route excpet Pagan. does that make Pridie good? Hardly. Evans had more value in that he proved he could be adequate sub at 1st, 3rd and the corner outfield spots. Plus as a righty with a little pop, not a bad fill in for davis or Duda. If Bucholtz comes back, the most he’ll get is a minor league deal. Probably best for him to work out of KC than NYC.
  3. Timo November 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    With the minor league signing the Mets did yesterday. The Pridie and Evans situations makes perfect sense….NOT. The Mets signed Vinny Rottino, 4 season in the bigs (26 games) and a career batting average of .194. They also signed 1st baseman Valentino Pascucci. So who needs Pridie or Evans when we signed those guys.
    I’m totally confused. Letting go Pridie and Evans because you are rebuilding makes sense. However, signing Vinny and Val are not rebuilding people. Luckily they were only minor league deals and hopefully they are NOT on the 40 man roster.
    This offseason is going to be really interesting for the Mets.