After being non-tendered by his previous clubs two years in a row, D.J. Carrasco signed the first multi-year contract of his life last winter — a two-year, $2.4M deal with the Mets that included another $150K in performance bonuses. At the time, it was seen as a prudent move by the new Mets front office, in that it was an inexpensive contract for someone who was seen as a reliable, above-average middle reliever. Additionally, there was talk of Carrasco providing additional value as a spot starter.
As it turned out, Carrasco failed as a reliever and in his one and only start at the big-league level. He spent part of the year in AAA Buffalo in an effort to regain his stuff. At times, Carrasco was effective, but for the most part he was middling at best, and overall underwhelming. By August, he was all but a lost cause, and transformed himself into exclusively a submarine pitcher in a desperate attempt to become relevant again. Unfortunately, the experiment failed miserably, and by the end of the season he was nothing more than a mop-up reliever.
It’s hard to imagine where D.J. Carrasco fits into the Mets’ plans next year. The submarine experiment was successful in proving he is not a submariner. He delivers the ball from several different angles, but inadequately from all of them. The Mets owe him another year and $1.4M, and that’s enough reason to keep him at the AAA level for depth and to hold out hope that he’ll figure out something that can be used in MLB again. To me it makes sense to plan the 2012 pitching staff without him, and if Carrasco can provide something, it will be a pleasant surprise.