They were two years too late, but better late than never.
The Mets finally gave Marlon Anderson the 2-year, $2M contract he sought at the end of 2005, locking him up through 2009. Considering that Anderson has been one of the top bats off the bench for several years now, and has a special affinity for playing in a Mets uniform for Willie Randolph, this deal is a no-brainer. Anderson could turn out to be the player with the best price:value ratio on the team.
In addition to signing Anderson, the Mets also announced that the option on Jose Valentin’s contract would not be picked up, and that David Newhan refused a minor league assignment to become a free agent. Add in the fact that Damion Easley was re-signed last week, and the Mets’ 2008 bench is starting to shape up. For pinch-hitting, they have Easley from the right side and Anderson from the left, and Endy Chavez most likely will be retained as a fourth outfielder. The status of Ruben Gotay is up in the air — who can really say for sure if the Mets will once again carry four second basemen, particularly if they wrap up Luis Castillo to play every day? Another spot on the bench will belong to whomever the backup catcher is, be it Ramon Castro or someone else. Looking at the potential holdovers, there isn’t much space left on the roster. Would the Mets keep Carlos Gomez around for pinch-running, or will it make more sense to get him more seasoning in AAA?
Of course, much depends on what the Mets do with their current personnel in regard to trades. But if no one is sent away, I’d imagine that besides a catcher the Mets might consider signing an outfielder / first baseman with a strong bat to come off the bench. An Eric Hinske? Or would that be redundant with Marlon Anderson around? Time will tell.
In other news, Brian Lawrence’s option was not picked up and Dave Williams became a free agent. No surprise in either case, and good luck to both of them. They’d be a nice one-two combo in a Sunday softball league.