According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets are considering Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte to fill out their starting rotation.
For his part, Minaya has played it cool, suggesting that he has other options if Perez falls through. Two of the most intriguing names still available are Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte, with the Mets only recently showing interest in the former Brewers ace. A person familiar with the situation said yesterday that Sheets is now being discussed, but it’s unclear what the parameters of such a deal would be.
In other words, Sheets and Pettite are fallback options in the event Oliver Perez can’t be signed. Why? Why not sign Sheets or Pettitte IN ADDITION TO continuing negotiations with Perez? Why do the Mets seem focused on having “just enough” when every other playoff-bound team is stockpiling starting pitchers? (The Cubs, for example, just added LHP Garrett Olson to their stable of arms.)
First off, I’m not putting any stock into the Andy Pettitte talk. Sure, I’d love to see him in a Mets uniform, but it smells to me to be a negotiation ploy on Pettitte’s part — not unlike Jorge Posada’s insincere overtures of a year ago. With talk of the Yankees dropping their $10M offer, Pettitte is desperate for leverage, and the possibility of becoming a Met is too much for the Bronx faithful to bear. Fleeing for a faraway location such as Houston or LA is not as devastating as seeing Pettitte in a Mets cap on the back page of the tabloids every fifth day — the Yankees would overpay for no reason other than to appease their fan base.
That the Mets are considering Sheets is great news, as he has big-game skills (whether he can execute in big games, unfortunately, is another story). But, Sheets is certainly not the type of pitcher that the Mets can rely on to make 30+ starts and provide 190-200 innings. He’s an ideal gamble to fill out the back end — much the way the Red Sox are counting on Brad Penny. If they sign Sheets, the Mets are still short one pitcher for the front end. There are too many existing question marks — the health of Johan Santana and John Maine, the readiness of Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell — to bring in another question mark to fill a hole.
Again, I love the idea of Sheets — so long as the Mets don’t stop there. Bring in Sheets, AND Perez, AND Freddy Garcia or Pedro Martinez too. To make the postseason, a team needs both quantity and quality comprising the starting rotation pool.