Dice-K to AAA
Was anyone else surprised by this move? Personally, I get a queasy feeling whenever I turn on the TV and Matsuzaka is on the mound — I just can’t handle the snail’s pace and nibbling around the corners. But in his defense, Dice-K had a very strong spring, and had seemingly earned a spot in the starting rotation. Further, I thought for sure that the Mets would hold back Mejia for at least a month, for no other reason than to delay his arbitration.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but is it possible that the Mets are hoping they won’t need to promote Matsuzaka to the big-league roster, and in turn be on the hook for a $1.5M salary? That’s what his contract states — $1.5M if he makes the 25-man roster at any point in the 2014 season. I find it hard to believe that the Mets would use short-term finances as part of the equation in choosing between Matsuzaka and Mejia, but the difference IS about a million dollars (Mejia’s 2014 MLB salary is $509,675). Not only do the Mets save just a shade under a million bucks, but Mejia also pitched well enough to earn a spot, and he has the fan-loving status of being “home-grown.”
Regardless of what went into the decision-making process, expect to see Matsuzaka on the Mets big-league roster sooner rather than later. There’s no way that Jonathon Niese can safely increase his pitch count from 57 to 90 in a matter of two weeks (a safe and effective interval throwing program increases by only 10% every six days).
But that’s just my perspective. What’s your thought? Is Mejia on the roster and in the rotation a better decision than Matsuzaka?
On another note, is anyone else amused by the irony that “Dice-K” will be pitching in Las Vegas?
Post your notes in the comments.