The Oakland Athletics have signed Jason Pridie, who was waived by the Mets a few days ago and exercised his right to become a free agent.
Interesting the Pridie was able to find employment so quickly. Just as interesting, that the great genius Himself — Billy Beane — is who signed him. Makes you wonder: did the brilliant Mets front office blunder? Which of Pridie’s stats is Beane looking at and deeming a market inefficiency? Is Pridie the next Scott Hatteberg? Inquiring minds want to know …
In all seriousness, I like Pridie and believed it made sense for the Mets to keep him around. But, the fact they let him go makes me believe that the Mets will tender a contract to Angel Pagan, since there are no other centerfielders in the organization with MLB experience (OK, maybe you can count Fernando Martinez and Jason Bay). Not that Pridie would have had a shot at starting in 2012, but he was a solid backup. What do you think? Is this a move designed to insure that Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis moves up the totem pole and gets a legit shot at MLB playing time in 2012? If so I’m happy with that plan.
In other news, both Nick Evans and Taylor Buchholz have officially declared free agency. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will flee Flushing. But it does mean they are free to explore all options. I know that Evans is not likely to become an everyday player for a championship team, but I do believe he has value to someone. I can see him turning into a Garrett Jones — getting a chance to play fairly regularly for a bad team, putting up surprising power numbers, and making a decent living for himself as part-time MLBer. I also still think he should consider donning the tools of ignorance, just to add some value as an emergency backstop.
As for Buchholz, there is still a question as to whether he will pitch for anyone in 2012, since he is still dealing with depression. I believe that a healthy Buchholz can be a solid middle reliever. But, I also put his need to heal from his mental issues over my desire for him to pitch for the Mets, and if to become mentally healthy it makes more sense for him to play elsewhere, I’m not going to begrudge the guy nor get upset about him leaving. Obviously I have no knowledge of the details of his challenges but I do know that New York is one of the most stressful places in the world to live and work — even if one is not a MLB player. Buchholz seems like a nice kid with legit talent so I hope he gets through this and is able to play baseball again, be it in New York or elsewhere — if that’s what he wants to do.
Two other former Mets free agents are in the news: Omar Minaya and Bobby Valentine. Both, apparently, are being considered for jobs with the Boston Red Sox. Interesting, no?