Never mind what the Marlins are doing — nothing compares to the madness of the Mets at the winter meetings!
Sure, the Mets lost shortstop Jose Reyes, but Sandy Alderson is not one to let grass grow under his feet. The genius GM made a whirlwind of moves guaranteed to make the Mets almost as good as they were in 2011 — and at minimum, assures them a fifth-place finish in the NL East.
Sit down, because the plethora of moves will knock you backward if you’re standing.
First off, the Mets signed Jon Rauch to a one-year deal. As you know, Rauch is Gulliver to the Lilliputians, an absolute giant at 6’10″, 300 lbs. Remember Chris Young was similarly huge, and he was a great pitcher, too. Rauch slots right into the back end of the bullpen, where R.A. Dickey‘s 7-inning efforts have a chance to become victories. Rauch is coming off a poor season that can probably be blamed on a knee injury that required surgery in the offseason, so you KNOW this was a brilliant move. Look at how well the Mets did signing pitchers coming off injuries last winter. Woop woop!
But they didn’t stop rebuilding the bullpen there, because the Mets also signed Frankie Francisco — to a two-year, $12M deal (who said the Mets weren’t going to be big spenders this winter?). He collected 17 saves and struck out 9 batters per nine innings for the Blue Jays last year, and likely will fight Rauch for the closer role. Two closers in one bullpen … wow … just … wow.
And yes, those crazy Mets made yet another deal to bolster the bullpen, swapping Angel Pagan to the San Francisco Giants for reliever Ramon Ramirez and centerfielder Andres Torres. Ramirez had a sparkling 1.16 WHIP and 2.62 ERA through 66 appearances in 2011; he solidifies the seventh inning. Meanwhile, Torres steps right into Pagan’s role in centerfield, bringing with him much better defense, better baseball IQ, and very little offense. But who needs offense when you have these three guys shutting the door in the final three frames?
All this excitement has made me completely forget about losing that All-Star shortstop to Miami. What was his name again?
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. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.