Tag: scott schoeneweis

Free Agent Focus: Scott Downs

There has been some buzz here and there around the Mets blogosphere that Scott Downs should be a target for General Anderson. Certainly, the team will need some help in the bullpen, especially if Pedro Feliciano finds employment elsewhere — as it appears is likely to be the case.

But I don’t think Downs makes any sense, despite the fact he is a proven lefthanded reliever with the ability to retire both lefties and righties.

First, you have to consider his age — he’ll be 35 years old before Opening Day, folks. That’s right, it’s not a misprint; Downs was born on St. Paddy’s Day in 1976. Just because you never heard of him before two years ago doesn’t mean he’s only a few years out of the minors. His advanced age alone is reason enough for the Mets to steer clear — particularly since this team will be in a rebuilding phase through the next two years. By the time the team is ready to contend, Downs will be in his late 30s.

Second, even if the Mets were interested, they can’t afford him. A lefthander who retires RHs and LHs with equal aplomb, allows less than a baserunner an inning, and rarely gives up gopher balls, doesn’t come cheap. Downs’ agent will present the recent signing of Joaquin Benoit to a 3-year, $16.5M deal as a relevant comp. Benoit, by the way, is only a year younger than Downs. Considering that Sandy Alderson has about $5M to play with on free agents this winter, my guess is he won’t want to blow the whole load on one individual. Chances are, the bidding will start at $5M per year — if not more — and deeper pockets such as the Yankees, Rangers, Angels, and Phillies could all be in play for his services.

Finally, there is history to consider. Do you remember the last time the Mets shelled out over $10M on a 3-year deal for a thirty-something lefthanded reliever coming off a career year? It didn’t work out so well.

Scott Downs would be a nice piece to a championship puzzle, but that’s not the puzzle the Mets are working on in 2011.

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Actually, Scott, I Had Forgotten

Scott Schoeneweis pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks

Where They Are Now: Scott Schoeneweis

This is a new category of posts, not to be confused with “Where Are They Now”. In this section, we’ll cover the news of former Mets who are still playing baseball, but not in Queens.

To kick off the new feature, we spotlight Scott Schoeneweis, who is now hurling in Arizona. And from the below quotes from MLB.com (hat tip to Walnutz), he’s hurling more than baseballs.

Despite what appear to be solid numbers last year — Schoeneweis put up a 3.32 ERA in 73 games and gave up 55 hits in 56 2/3 innings — he knows he’ll be most remembered for one thing.

“I gave up a homer to [Florida Marlins utilityman] Wes Helms in a 2-2 tie on the last game of the season, and we went on to lose the game,” Schoeneweis says. “It was a solo homer. It wasn’t like I had a four-run lead and gave up a grand slam.

“And I had pitched pretty well in four or five outings earlier that week. But that’s not what gets remembered. What gets remembered is that I blew it and the bullpen blew it, but the fact of the matter is that the team lost.

“Guys didn’t get hits in key situations. Other mistakes were made. I mean, did we as a bullpen contribute to what happened? Of course. But was it all our fault? No.”

Funny, Scott, but I actually HADN’T remembered that you were the one who gave up the homer to Wes Helms in that fateful final game. It must’ve gotten lost in my memory with all the other big hits you gave up in your two years with the Mets.

No, the thing I remember you for most is the idiocy of Omar Minaya to let Chad Bradford leave for Baltimore because three years was too long a deal for an effective middle reliever, yet it wasn’t too long to wrap up a rundown LOOGY. I also remember:

– the Mets “physical” that you passed to gain that ridiculous contract, despite suffering from a bad leg
– your innate ability to clear the bases / allow inherited runners to score
– the fastball that fell to 88 MPH from 94 MPH
– the irony of your fastball’s demise coinciding with MLB’s toughened PEDs testing
– the 15 homeruns you allowed in 115 innings in 2007-2008
– your perfectly tailored uniform, and nicely manicured hands

No worries, Scott, we’ve forgotten that one homer from game 162 of 2008. You are and will be most remembered for the fleecing you pulled on Minaya, and the consistent disappointment you delivered to Mets fans.

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Mets Trade Schoeneweis

The New York Mets have traded Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for righthander Connor Robertson.

Good dump here. Scho never fulfilled the promise suggested by Omar Minaya when the Mets signed the NJ native to an ill-advised, three-year contract. More and more I’m liking the flexibility of the Mets’ 2009 bullpen — fluidity, and the ability to move people up and down, is a much better plan than the outdated “roles for the season” strategy that hasn’t worked in Flushing the last two years.

With Scho out, will Omar now go after LOOGY Joe Beimel? Seems to me a possibility. Though, I’d be just as happy signing Ricardo Rincon to a cheap, one-year deal. The Mets need to assign a lefty to a pure LOOGY role — meaning, “Lefthanded One Out GuY”. Enough of the nonsense of trying to extend a LOOGY into a setup man — it doesn’t work.

Robertson, by the way, isn’t chop liver. He’s fairly young (27) and matches a good fastball with a decent cutter and slider. His one big positive is 377 strikeouts in 300 career IP in the minors. There are about a thousand righties in the minors with his repertoire, but not enough of them in the Mets’ system. Add him to the fastball-slider stable where Rocky Cherry resides.

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