Archive: March 13th, 2010

April Fools Comes Early

Kelvim Escobar told Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional that he will decide on April 1st whether or not to pitch in 2010 (hat tip to TheRopolitans, via MLBTR).

Does anyone else see “April 1st” as a fitting day to make such a decision?

Yes, from the beginning the Escobar signing was seen as a “risk-reward” situation. But you have to wonder if any other team was willing to risk $1.5M guaranteed on a pitcher with extensive, chronic shoulder problems, had been shut down after tossing only five innings in 2009, and would not have passed a physical.

We are going to assume that the Mets gave Escobar a “Putz Physical”, because if his arm was “weak” in February, then how could it possibly have been healthy, or “strong”, in mid-December?

The Mets’ pattern of throwing good money after bad continues, and nothing is learned by mistakes. I understand the idea of “low risk, high reward”, and often support it. But you have to examine exactly what “low risk” really means.

$1.5M doesn’t seem like a “high risk” for big-market team like the Mets — and it shouldn’t be. But when you gamble $1.5M on damaged goods, and you pencil in those goods as your setup man, how can it be defined as “low risk” ?

What makes the “low-risk” gampble more risky is inserting another “low-risk, high-reward” proposition as Plan B — a Japanese import.

We’ve beaten this horse before, but it bears repeating: the Mets overspend as a rule, and yes, it IS an issue even when it’s “only” one or two million dollars. The Mets bid against themselves in spending $3.5M on Escobar and Cora — a sum total that would have netted, say, Bobby Crosby and Bobby Howry … or, say, Felipe Lopez, Clay Condrey, and LOOGY Javier Lopez. We could play this game all day — fill in the players of your choice. Bottom line is the Mets continue to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, gamble on multiple high (not low) risks, then wonder how the second-highest payroll in MLB can result in second-to-last place finish.

One thing’s for sure: I know exactly how I’m betting if I see Omar Minaya rolling the dice at a craps table in Atlantic City.

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