Sonnanstine and Corpas Off the Table

The Chicago Cubs have signed free agent pitchers Andy Sonnanstine and Manny Corpas to minor league contracts, inviting both to spring training.

While I don’t believe either of them would have turned the Mets into a contender, I’m mildly surprised that neither wound up with an invitation to Port St. Lucie. To me they seemed to fit into the low-risk, low-cost, low- to medium-reward strategy that the Mets appear to be using in their scale-down phase of history.

As we discussed a few weeks back, the Mets are in dire need of starting rotation depth, and Sonnanstine was one of the lowest-cost options available. He’s no Greg Maddux, but Sonnanstine does have experience and could have been helpful either stashed in AAA or slotted as a long man / spot starter. Who knows, with a good spring and a few breaks he might even have taken the #5 spot. I think a move to the NL will help the righthander, particularly in the first half of the season during his first go-around the league.

As for Corpas, he’s never been a starter but he has had success as a reliever — including both as a setup man and a closer. He missed all of 2011 after Tommy John surgery and by all reports is back to nearly 100% health. Before his injury, Corpas threw a heavy 91-93 MPH sinker, wicked slider, and a decent change-up; he was more of a groundball guy but did get some swings and misses with the slider. In his career, Corpas has had his ups and downs — more downs than ups, actually — but again, he would have come cheap, he has some experience, and he would have provided the Mets depth in a place where they need some (the bullpen). Though, maybe Sandy Alderson has chosen to scrap the “sign pitchers coming off surgery” strategy since it wasn’t too productive last winter.

What’s your thought? Would you have liked to have seen the Mets sign either of these pitchers? Who else is left on the market that the Mets should consider — and can afford?

(And for those who say “ho-hum, why is this news?”, I beg you to offer me a more interesting subject to write about that is at least loosely connected to the Mets — cuz I’m running out of ideas in this cold dark winter of discontent.)

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. kranepool December 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    sure it’s not a sexy discussion but I agree Joe Sonnanstine and Corpas are perfect low risk high reward pitchers for an organization without pitchng depth.

    There’s Kyle Davies, Zach Duke John Grabow and Edwin Jackson but who knows if there are funds for even a D-list starting pitcher SAD!

  2. NormE December 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    Last week someone (can’t remember who) suggested moving Murphy to 3B and Wright, because he is the better athlete, to the outfield—using Bay in a platoon with Duda.
    I didn’t care for the idea, but would be interested in your take.
  3. mic December 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    Norm, aah no..If you can move Wright you might as well trade him.

    Anyway. The above and post below are not too shabby. The Mets lost Cappy, and I dont think Gee is a given to replace him. Andy in my view could help add options if you trade Pelfrey (to free up 5M), or there is Spring injury.

    Personally the NON-signing means 2 things; They could go to the Familia-Harvey well early, or Santana is better than the press clippings say.

  4. argonbunnies December 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm
    Upside too low. Those guys are disaster insurance and nothing more.

    If we enter the season without any disaster insurance, then I’ll be upset. But it shouldn’t be hard to find, right?

  5. Joe December 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm
    I see the Cubs did not resign Sean Marshall. Something of a loss there. As to the Mets losing out, they need some depth, but these aren’t really must haves. I reckon there still are mediocre swing guys out there with AS in particular not showing much recently for the Rays.
    • Joe Janish December 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm
      The Cubs TRADED Sean Marshall to the Reds for Travis Wood.

      Agreed, no “must haves”, but are there any “must haves” when you have resigned yourself to finishing in last?

      I’m really curious as to whom the Mets will have as a backup plan for the rotation. It’s looking pretty scary right now, almost as if they intend on losing 90+ games in order to gain one of the top three picks in the 2013 draft.

      • Joe December 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm
        Okay as to Marshall. One article notes they TRADED Marshall, who from WGN came off to me as a valuable reliever and spot starter, for an “unproven” starter.

        Moving to the specifics at issue, not some general comment on the Mets loserdom, my thought remains — these two might be useful, but particularly as to AS, really, is there no one else out there who would give you about the same? AS is not really going to do much to stop that 90+ lose season.

        • Joe Janish December 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm
          Whoever suggested that there wasn’t someone out there who could give about the same as Sonnanstine? Not me.

          At the same time, please, make a suggestion. Who else can give about the same as Sonnanstine and fit into the Mets’ budget, which appears to be based on the old Italian Lira rather than today’s USD? Not saying it’s impossible, but the pool of options isn’t exactly overflowing.

        • Joe December 28, 2011 at 12:04 am
          Lol. Didn’t say you did. You just talked about the Mets “resigning” and appearing to be ready to lose over 90 games and wrote a post how they let two decent options (at least for them) go & so forth.

          I said that they would be useful but that given their mediocrity and all, there seems to be other options. You already had a post listing various garbage heap back of the rotation level starters. I’m not sure what I would add, particularly in December, to pick or choose or add a few more.

          As to “lira,” is that what they are paying the new relievers they got? Okay. From that Audrey Hepburn flick, I recall you can get a lot for cheap.

  6. Tony December 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    I was surprised when you consider Sonnastine can start and relieve, and signed for a minor league deal. There are still a few unsexy names left, Duke, Maholm, and some #5 types like Francis, Cook…January seems like bottom feeding time for the Mets FO.
  7. Rob December 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm
    Joe: The Mets aren’t going to sign anyone else this year. They’re going to stand pat and wait for spring training to “evaluate” the players that they have. Then they’ll make some moves in July to get rid of the remaining high priced players that they have. I wouldn’t be surprised if they showcased Santana and tried to trade him (if he doesn’t have a no-trade clause or he was willing to waive one). Face it…they just don’t have the money to spend…they can’t operate profitably in NY…and the Wilpons will be with us for the forseeable future. It’s so depressing that I’ve considered turning to cricket over the summer…or girl’s softball…or arena football…or chess…

    Gosh I’m depressed. If they don’t make another move this offseason, I’m just going to go home and consider rooting for the Nats. At least they’re spending money.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Joe!


    • Joe Janish December 27, 2011 at 10:25 pm
      Thanks for the holiday wishes, Rob, and right back atcha!

      Don’t burst my bubble … I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the Mets to make another big free-agent splash by signing someone like Shawn Camp, Rodrigo Lopez, or Koyie Hill … or maybe all three!

      • Rob December 28, 2011 at 3:37 am
        Oooohhhh boooooyyyyy….can’t wait. I’m so excited I can’t contain myself.

        Where’s my razorblade?

        • DaveSchneck December 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm
          Don’t you know that Sandy passed on AS and MC because he still plans to field a “competitive” team in 2012? He’s just waiting out the market, poker-faced, in order to swoop up Jackson, Oswalt, and Madson at bargain prices, trade Niese for a C and OF, and take the NL east by storm!
  8. BCA December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am
    I Hoped the Mets would have signed a starter by now. Its also looking like most decent players don’t want to play for the Mets right now. There are teams that have had really bad years and bounced back to contention. Right now with the present ownership, this could be impossible. The Wilpons are more interested in saving themselves and if it may bring the team down even further.
  9. Jujo December 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm
    There was an article about a possible trade of D Wright to the Phillies for Dominic Brown, Vance Worley and Phillipe Aumont (minor league reliever). Based on where things stand currently (Mets behind everyone in NL East), if this is possible they should do it. I would also like to see them pry Placido Polanco from the Phils because he is a defensive stopper. He could become the Mets new 2B while Murphy goes to 3B. Then the Mets would have another major league starter (probably close to a #2), a promising outfielder, minor league pitching depth and a real 2B. In addition, they unload $15 mil a year in spending. Now D Wright is the face of the Mets…but the way they are comprised right now, they will be last in 2012, 2013 and probably longer. With this trade (if the Phils would do it), a sensible plan would be in place to keep the Mets comptetitive until the farm develops. Of course if the Wilpons would sell the Mets things would get much better immediately. Your thoughts?