In his most recent column, Joel Sherman is reporting on several rumors. We’ll go over them one by one.
Jenks / Dye / F-Mart
Sherman claims there is nothing to the rumor that the Mets will trade Fernando Martinez to the White Sox as part of a package for Bobby Jenks and Jermaine Dye:
“Talked to a few Met officials who called it nonsense. The Mets have made Martinez all but untouchable.”
However, Sherman does report that the Mariners are making J.J. Putz available:
What falls under the category of real, the Post has learned, is that the Mariners have made J.J. Putz available.
Gee, thanks for scoop! However the rest of the planet above that rock the Post has been under, heard this about a month ago.
Sherman goes on to state:
“The Mets like Putz as much – or possibly more – than any of the available free-agent closers.”
Not sure why they’re so high on Putz, though I like him better than Fuentes. Do they know he’ll be 32 years old in February? That his walk rate increased dramatically in 2008? (From 13 in 72 IP in 2007 to 28 BB in 46 IP in ’08.) Do they know he had a balky elbow last season, one that put him on the DL for a month? I’m not sure I’d be so quick to trade young healthy prospects for this guy.
“I do keep hearing from both inside and outside the Met organization that they really are dead set against giving either Rodriguez or Fuentes more than three guaranteed years. They certainly are not going to give more than three years unless an agent for Fuentes or K-Rod can show an offer from somewhere else for more than three years. It is hard to unearth a team that is ready to go to four years for one of them. The Mets are scared about Kerry Wood’s injury history, but if he were willing to do a two-year contract and come to New York he would become as appealing to the Mets as either K-Rod or Fuentes.”
Have to agree with Sherman here — it makes no sense for the Mets to go more than three years for either K-Rod or Fuentes, when it’s unlikely anyone else is willing to give them a longer deal. I bet Kerry Wood is willing to take a two-year deal — the only issue is whether he wants to pitch in New York. Why give three years plus your #1 pick for the other guys when you can get someone nearly as good for two years and no pick? Of course, an MRI of his shoulder is a prerequisite, but Rodriguez and Fuentes do not come without risk — either may be on the brink of a breakdown, for all we know.
Sherman says the Rays offered ChadBrad to the Mets, but there was no interest:
“The Rays offered Chad Bradford to the Mets because $3.5 million is too much in Tampa’s world for a set-up man, and Ray officials were shocked when the Mets told them it is too much for them, as well.”
If this is true, I’m equally shocked — beyond belief. After seeing Bradford pitch better for one season than any other 6th-7th inning guy in Mets history, and seeing him continue to be effective after leaving New York, and knowing that his underhanded style allows him to pitch, literally, every day, and seeing how cheap he is relative to other middle relievers, there simply is no logical explanation for the Mets to balk at such an offer. Now, if the Rays were asking for Daniel Murphy, I understand. But if it was a salary dump, and the Rays were looking to open a conversation, this makes no sense.
The only reasoning that makes sense — again, if the rumor is true — is that by bringing back ChadBrad, the Mets think it will make them look like the bungling idiots for allowing him to walk away in the first place. Because if you remember, they thought Bradford wasn’t worth a 3-year deal (but somehow, Scott Schoeneweis was).
C’mon now …. swallow your pride, admit your mistake, and trade a bag of balls for Chad Bradford. He can pitch in ANY relief situation (including closer, if necessary), he’s cheap, he has one year left, and he’s better than anyone currently listed as a reliever on the 40-man roster.