Non-Tenders and Others
Kiko Calero signed a one-year deal with the A’s, so he’s not an option. Too bad, I was liking the idea of him coming to camp. Of course, it’s very possible he was nowhere near the Mets’ radar.
My second-favorite non-tender choice, Neal Cotts, also signed a one-year deal — with the Cubs. Scratch him off as well.
Brendan Donnelly was non-tendered by the Red Sox, but he was also implicated in the Mitchell Report as someone who sought out an anabolic steroid known as Anavar and purchased Deca-Durobolin from former Mets bat boy Kirk Radomski. Even though the Red Sox internal staff noted before acquiring him that “He was a juice guy but his velocity hasn’t changed a lot over the years … he could be a breakdown candidate,” I doubt the Mets will be signing ANYONE mentioned in the Mitchell Report.
25-year-old LHP Heath Phillips was non-tendered by the White Sox. Young lefties always make nice pickups, but Willie Randolph doesn’t like pitchers named “Heath”. Oh well.
Mark Prior was non-tendered by the Cubs. Goddammit Omar, get on this one ASAP yesterday!!! Yes he’s a serious health question and a gamble but he won’t cost a prospect, won’t cost a draft pick, and if he comes back healthy could be the ace the Mets are dying for. Basically, a MUCH safer and cheaper alternative to A.J. Burnett. Do it do it do it!
The Tigers non-tendered Chad Durbin. Hmmm … he pitched a damn good game against the Mets in 2007, and went 8-7 with a 4.75 ERA in 19 starts for Detroit. A move to the NL might make him a very solid #5 starter.
Miguel Olivo was non-tendered by the Marlins. Too late, Miggy — we already have Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro.
Dallas McPherson was non-tendered by the Angels. The Mets don’t need a third baseman but the 26-year-old slugger might be able to transition to first base — where the Mets may have an opening in a year. His issue is a herniated disk in his lower back. I have two and can still CATCH in my late 30s. Certainly he can suck it up to play some first base.
Lefty Mark Hendrickson is a free-agent. What the hey? I’ll take him on a minor league deal.
Interestingly enough, Hendrickson was let go to make room for Tanyon Sturtze, who signed with the Dodgers after letting the Braves pay him to sit on the DL for all of 2007. Now Joe Torre has both Scott Proctor and Sturtze to abuse all over again. My guess is that Sturtze is a masochist.
The Brewers non-tendered both Matt Wise and Kevin Mench. I say sign them both. Wise would be a nice addition to the bullpen and Mench can bat against lefties in place of Ryan Church. The only issue is finding both a helmet and a pair of shoes to fit Mench, who has both a pumpkin head so big they call him “Shrek” and an inability to decipher a brannick device.
Former Met Jason Tyner has been non-tendered by the Twins. Pass. There’s a guy who should have become better friends with Kirk Radomski.
Though the A’s non-tendered, and then signed, Calero, they also non-tendered Lenny DiNardo, the big lefty who had a 4.11 ERA in 35 games, including 20 starts. He’s in the same class as Hendrickson and Durbin — a guy who could well be a solid #5 or at least good depth in AAA.
Pitchers T.J. Beam, Matt DeSalvo, and Darrell Rasner were non-tendered by the crosstown Yanks. Rasner is the best of the three, but at best a 5-inning starter. If he has any potential in middle relief, he might be worth signing to a AAA dea.
Scott Munter was non-tendered by the Giants. He’s a big guy — 6’6″, 240 lbs — who doesn’t strike anyone out, even in the minors. Pass.
Former Astro one-hit wonders Morgan Ensberg and Jason Lane were non-tendered by the Padres. The bigger surprise is that neither were mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Pass.
Akinori Otsuka was cut loose by the Rangers. On the surface, this looks like a no-brainer target — after all, weren’t the Mets talking about trading Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman for Otsuka just a year ago? Ah, but what a difference a year makes. Otsuka missed much of 2007 with an injured elbow. He’ll be 36 next season and the word on the street is that he’s not far away from Tommy John surgery. Pass — except on a minor-league deal.
RHP Josh Towers was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. Pass. I’ll take Durbin or DiNardo.
Randy Wolf signed with the Padres. Great. One less schlep to have to worry about hogging a roster spot all year.
As for the Mets, they non-tendered Johnny Estrada, Juan Padilla, and Ben Johnson. Obviously, we no longer need Estrada with the acquisition of Brian Schneider. However, I sincerely hope both Padilla and Johnson are signed quickly. Though Padilla won’t be ready for Opening Day, he’s always been a favorite of mine and I think he can help out in the bullpen at some point. Allowing Johnson to leave is really painful considering how Heath Bell turned out. Also with Lastings Milledge leaving, I’d like to see the hustling Johnson given at least half a chance to be the 25th man in spring training. The Mets don’t have any other true righthanded hitting outfielders for the bench — or am I missing somebody? (No, Damion Easley doesn’t count.)
So there you have it. Even after all this non-tendering, I still think Octavio Dotel is the best relief option available. However I’d really, really, really like to see the Mets make an outrageous offer to Mark Prior, throwing caution to the wind. It’s only money, right? And that’s the one thing the Mets have plenty of.