Despite gaping holes in the outfield and the bullpen, there has been a bunch of speculation recently about the Mets chasing another starting pitcher. Okay, it’s the offseason and I know all too well how exciting it is to have something new to write about in late December. Still, would it be too much to have these new angles, oh I don’t know, make some sense?

The latest speculation is about Derek Lowe. Last year as a starter, Lowe had a 5.52 ERA with 45 BB and 41 Ks in 119 IP. This came on the heels of a 2011, where he posted a 5.05 ERA. In his last 306 IP as a SP, Lowe has a 5.24 ERA. Oh yeah, he’s 39 years old – turns 40 in June – and does not throw a knuckleball.

I thought speculation about the Mets being interested in Manny Parra was insane and this one isn’t too far behind that in the well-thought-out scale.

What makes this even more difficult to understand is that the Alderson-era Mets have already displayed the blueprint in how to successfully shop in the bargain basement for starters. You do not chase healthy guys pushing 40 or healthy guys who have done nothing but stink recently and especially not old guys who’ve done nothing but stink.

Two years ago the Mets brought in Chris Capuano and Chris Young. They were two guys who had been dogged by injury problems but who had been successful when healthy. There was a huge amount of risk with both pitchers and the Mets ended up batting .500 with them, as Capuano was healthy and a solid pitcher while Young made just four starts before coming down with a season-ending injury.

The key was that while these guys came with risk, they also came with plausible upside. Now, we can certainly argue how much upside they carried but I don’t think it was unreasonable to expect either of those guys, both 32 at the time, to put up a 4.00 ERA if they were able to remain healthy. These are guys that you would want as a SP4 or SP5 – not necessarily great but someone who would not embarrass you to hand the ball to every fifth day.

Tell me with a straight face you want to hand the ball to Lowe every five days.

Here are some other guys the Mets have been linked to recently and my thoughts about them:

Joe Saunders – I’m okay with him for a talent POV but he made $6 million last year and if he wants more than $2 million the Mets would be better spending that money elsewhere. You know, like on an outfielder.

Carl Pavano – He’ll turn 37 in early January and has one year (2010) since 2005 where his ERA was below 4.30 – anything more than a minimum wage NRI is a waste.

Shaun Marcum – Consistently outperforms his peripherals to the point that we can no longer call it a fluke. However, he comes with elbow issues and will likely command at least $7 million per year on a multi-year deal.

Francisco Liriano – Consistently underperforms his peripherals yet somehow snookered a team into giving him a 2/$14 contract. Good luck Pirates – you’ll need it. Actually, Liriano would have been a good pitcher to gamble on but $14 million seems like an unnecessarily high amount to wager. He’s under 30 and throws lefty – it’s not impossible that he’ll develop control and won’t post a 5.00 BB/9 like he has the past two years. I won’t be completely shocked if he turns in a good season – he had a 2.72 BB/9 in 2010 – but I can’t get over the price of this deal.

Chris Young – He had a 2.73 ERA in five September starts. He also had a 4.76 ERA in five August starts and I’m not sure you can make a convincing argument that his September numbers are more predictive than his August ones. I’d rather see him than Pavano but I’d really be stretching the truth to say that I’m eager to see him back for a third season. And that’s without getting into how much it would cost for the privilege.


By treating the offseason as a marathon rather than a sprint, Alderson came out ahead in his deals with both Wright and Dickey. There’s no reason to deviate from that plan now. It makes it hard on the bloggers in early winter, but I’ll gladly trade scrounging for stories now with the hope of writing something good when August rolls around. Hopefully we can do a better job of scrounging for stories going forward than old man Lowe.

52 comments on “Derek Lowe and other pitchers recently linked to the Mets

  • Pete

    I understand the Mets concern with Johan pitching a full season healthy. So why not go with a 6 man rotation and let’s see what the kids can do. Your right. Save the money which we don’t have anyway and continue with the plan of giving the kids the necessary experience to mature for 2014

  • Bobby Townsend

    I’m 50/50 on Lowe. You can give him the ball every five days but how effective can he be. There are times I think it is better to sign a healthy 38+ guy than a non-healthy guy who is on the north side of 30.
    Forget about it with Pavano. He can’t pitch in New York. Saunders pitched pretty well for Baltimore after the trade including beating Texas in the Wild Card game and a quality start against New York in the ALDS.
    Luke Hochevar could be available. Still lots to be decided with the Mets

  • Name

    I saw a report saying that Lowe wanted a guaranteed starting job – in my mind he is delusional. He should be lucky to get a MLB contract at all. He’s got nothing working for him at all. Ineffective, old, and crazy in the mind. I think Chris Schwinden could do the same job as Lowe could and i would take any of those other guys you listed over Lowe in a heartbeat, except maybe Pavano, who is just as old and can’t even relieve like Lowe.

    Best of the bunch of Marcum, but i don’t seem to recall the Mets seriously being linked to him, but now that Dickey is gone, maybe there is some more interest.

  • Chris F

    It is astonishing we need to consider a list of players that terrible for the Mets and try to find something positive about them. Lowe sucks. I certainly understand the gymnastics we need to go through to prepare for what is going to be a tough, real tough, stretch of time, but we need to recognize just climbing out of 4th in the NL East is a mountain too far to climb right now. Sure, we need to play the games, and baseball miracles happen, but the Phillies, Braves, and Nats are a quantum level better than us.

    While we cant just give up for 2-3 years, Im afraid Im resorting mostly to celebrating the individual accomplishments we may have. Nevertheless, what would be a great year for me:
    41 Wins at home.
    David Wright produces 25/100/.300
    Matt Harvey sub 300, 200 ip, 200k, in the talk for the hardware
    d’Arnaud makes it up before the ASG and makes a real impact
    Wheeler makes it up and matches Harvey’s intro from last year
    Niese repeats 2012
    We see at some point the rotation of the future: Harvey, Niese, Wheeler make consecutive starts
    Of the NL East teams above us, we win at least one season series.
    not lose more than 95 games

    • JerryGrote

      I understand the reason for some pessimism here. We truly have worked on a shoestring for the offseason. But let’s get a bit of a grip here … the vast bulk of a team that finished pre-AS at 46-40, where the #4 hitter was just abysmal. It’s of course easier to remember the decripitude of the last few months especially with an off-season focused on long term goals than it is to appreciate there is talent here.

      You have a team that went 10-26 against two of the better teams in baseball. First, ATL and WAS won’t be as good as the were last year; second, the Mets (yes, I know the Pythag) were simply not that bad in ’12. A minor turn there wheels us around quite a bit.

      This glass is more than half full. Alderson needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat and it won’t be easy. It might require dropping a really solid prospect or even two, or even spending up to $12MM more in ’13 (and giving up the picks). Let’s not drink too heavily from the poisoned cup just yet.

      • NormE

        Why won’t ATL and WAS be as good as last year?

        • JerryGrote

          Nearly everything broke about perfectly … for both teams. Let’s just look at the top four offensive players by WAR at Wash …

          LaRoche doubled his WAR at *33*. His OPS went up by 100 points; I have no reason to believe that is sustainable. He had over 3500 ABs at about a 1-2 WAR. Now he’s 50% better?

          Ian Desmond … do you think he realistically moved his production long term by 200 points? Again, this is a lifetime 670 OPS player that suddenly becomes an 850 OPS guy?

          Ryan Zimmerman has failed to play 120 games twice in the last six years; there is at least a better than average chance that his games played decreases.

          And I don’t think its out of the range of possibilities to expect a sophomore slump from Bryce Harper.

          Finally, the Nats will be putting into place a CF and leadoff guy that is changing leagues. There is something to be said for that. I might caution the rest of baseball that last year’s CFs in WASH put up 285/350/475. Span’s presence means less ABs for either Werth (no), Harper (definitely no), LaRoche or Morse, and Span’s numbers offensively are less than what Wash put up last year.

          What’s more, I think they squeezed out all of the numbers they were going to get out of everyong not named Strasburg on the mound. All that said, they were the best team in the NL and it is certainly reasonable to expect some regression to the mean.

          • Name

            Yay someone else who also expects a regression out of the Nats.

            My main reason for the regression is Davey Johnson’s style of babying his SP and usual doesn’t allow them to pitch more than 6 innings, which leads to his overuse of the bullpen. The bullpen posted a low 3 ERA last year while pitching the 2nd most innings (behind Colorado, which doesn’t really count because of the their 4-man rotation). Unless the bullpen can do the same thing next year, i expect a severe regression. I’m still predicting them to not make the playoffs.

      • Chris F

        Its easy to call it half empty, but I see it as part of the rebuild. Lets recall, this team has not even posted a .500 season in years. Meanwhile, the rest of the East (minus Miami) has continued to to get key pieces. I mean really, talking about other teams OF? We dont even have ONE MLB-level player in the OF. We have no power at the plate from the right side. And trading RA leaves the rotation in shambles for the moment. Johan will be the opening day starter…imagine that right now given what his last starts were in ’12. We have lost a lot of wins and a savvy leader. Harvey needs to instantly be veteran and Niese an ace. I mean the issues go on forever. Im just looking at reality from what I see. Call it poisoned cup if you wish, but thats not what I mean. The first half of last season was an anomaly. So many 2 out runs that could not be sustained. No hitter, back to back 1 hitters. Those wont be here. In any event, Im looking forward to some cool things we might see. But winning 85-90 games is not likely in the plans.

        • JerryGrote

          Ye of little faith

          CF 105 94 147 99
          2B 126 113 93 98
          3B 143 70 106 124
          1B 157 91 79 113
          RF 137 109 123 117
          LF 120 95 85 114
          C 100 149 118 87
          SS 97 98 56 101

          Which of these four teams has the best hitters on the field? FWIW, two of them are divisional rivals, one nearly beat the WS Champs for the divisional crown. All I am looking at is the best OPS+ over the last two years for the Mets (obviously, row 1); no real growth in ability but instead a return to norm.

          The Phillies, Dodgers and Braves (in order)are the other teams. One had the best bullpen in the world, and I wouldn’t bet the farm on any bullpen repeating. The other won 86 games with Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang making up 40% of the rotation. And the Phillies had no bullpen, and an aging and frankly underperforming starting rotation.

          I’m not a Cassandra and I don’t see 90 wins in our future. But with the smallest of financial flexability, you can make the deals that put a 105-110 OPS+, 200 IP pitcher and Coco Crisp in CF or similar.

          One last thing; the Washington Nationals brought up Bryce Harper, everyone of their best players played more and better, and improved 18 wins. The also took advantage of beating their patsy (the Mets) by improving against them by 8 wins. Don’t tell me anything can’t happen. This team does have the talent to win 83-86 games, with two or three marginal moves and some luck.

          • Chris F

            I certainly won’t tell you that magic can’t happen. Also, I don’t want to come across as a adversary here, even if we see things differently. I’ve been drinking Sandy’s kook-aid from a fire hose since his arrival, and now I just see things for what I think they are based on his track record. Of course, we need to play the games, so Christmas time blather is just pure gum flapping.. I mean Toronto is the winner already of the AL east, right?

            I still see a team in need of 20 more wins from last season to be a WC contender. We did not post a winning record against any NL division in 2102, even played 5 below .500 against the central. We have no OF. We have a meager BP at best. We have an unproven rotation. I see a large hurdle to climb. Will I be cheering hard as ever? Sure. Will I continue to watch every game? Sure. My mind is linked to above .500 in ’14, with hopes of seeing the rest of the East in some flux and so the Mets being genuinely competitive for ’15-18.

            • Metsense

              Jerry Grote you give us hope but I tend to agree with Chris. Our strength was our pitching, and with the offensive numbers “you” posted it appears that an upgrade wasn’t necessary. So just like Omar used to do by getting the best free agent (?) for the media splash, Sandy went and got the best prospect(s) for the same media splash. Now we are searching for a fifth starter from this group? Not too good. If a pitcher was being traded why didn’t Sandy go this route instead : If the Angels traded Kendry Morales for Jason Vargas why couldn’t the Mets have offered Dillon Gee for Mark Trumbo instead?
              This team needed some adjustments in 2013 to at least be better. It is hard for me to wrap my head around trading a 5M salaried Cy Young award winner (and getting a 6M back up catcher)and then looking to sign a 7M inferior pitcher. Why not then take the 7M and get a free agent OF instead? He could have waited for the minor league pitching to develope in a year and then trade some of it for a young catcher and put up with Thole/Shoppach for a year.
              Like Chris, I’m still a fan but I fear that if the Mets lose any more games than they have, then the fan base will totally erode, depleting the revenue further and continuing this cycle of not having enough money to moderately upgrade the team.

          • Pete

            the problem is this team has the potential to lose 100 games too. No outfielders, catching is going to be iffy at best and no bullpen. So even if we have a good offensive day the bullpen has NOT been fixed, What do you address first? For me its the bullpen that has been the achilles heel for the Mets. If the team can solve this then they have a chance at maybe playing 500 ball or better.

  • Mike Koehler

    I know I’m going to look like a tool, but work’s been so hectic I barely know Dickey went to Toronto.

    Outside of Wheeler, do we have anyone better than Hefner or McHugh who could be pressed into MLB service if/when Santana gets hurt? I understand there are no superstars, but anyone who could keep the team in the game for 5 or 6 innings for a month?

    If we do, then we should ignore most of these FA clowns. If we don’t, I’d advocate for Young, Marcum or Saunders, in that order. Or maybe, and maybe I’m a little crazy, Sandy swings a deal for an outfielder and we pick up a back of the rotation starter in the deal.

    • Craig

      I think we should go with Hefner(who pitched well at the end of last year), Mchugh, and any other in house pitchers that could fill the void until Wheeler arives in a couple of months
      into the season! They are a better option than Young etc! If you sign Young or another has been injury prone pitcher to a million dollar+ contract it will only give the mets an exuse
      to keep Wheeler in AAA till a september call up because they will not eat the rest of a pitcher’s contract they are paying a million+ too in the middle of the year and putting them in the bull pen wouldn’t work either for Young etc because their starting pitchers and can’t warm up fast enough for the bull pen!! I say just get us though till Wheelers ready!!

      • Mike Koehler

        But what if Wheeler needs until September to warrant a call up?
        Young is certainly a better option than McHugh, and while I like Hefner’s style, Young’s better than him too.

        • Name

          Do you prefer Young over Marcum because he’s cheaper and more familiar? (and would be easier to boot from the rotation if needed to be replaced) Because Marcum is clearly the better pitcher of the two.

  • Pete

    It’s a vicious cycle with the Mets taking a chance and hoping one their youngsters can slide into the 5th starter. Save the money we don’t have anyway and wait for 2014. If by then then the teams aspirations are wiped out then its time for drastic measures from the fan base. I don’t see how the Mets can even draw 2 million this coming season. I see them at about 1.6 million with no good reason to go watch them lose 100 games. Especially when you can suffer in the comfort of your home.

    • Name

      Pete, it takes a special ballclub to lose 100 games in this day and age. Baseball is a fickle sport and there aren’t many things i can promise, but one thing i’m fairly confident i can promise is that the Mets won’t lose 100 games.
      Every team is going to win 50 games and lose 50 games. In order for to be a 100 loss team, you would have to lose 80% of the other 62 games.

  • Pete

    I was trying to point out that potential is a two way street. The starting rotation is one big question mark with Gee and Santana at the top of the rotation and the kids filling in 3,4 and 5. The team has no number 5 hitter. No center fielder,no left fielder, no right fielder, no quality catching, no bullpen, no closer. Other than that we’re fine. Do you really trust Frank Francisco as your closer? Do you trust Bobby Parnell in a jam? Who is going to lead off? Ruben Tejada is better suited at the 2 hole. Michael Bourn would go a long way to not only improve the defense but solves your lead-off spot as well. Since his options are diminishing by the day offer him a 1 year contract. I would rather see A productive signing like Bourn than waste 5-7 million on a Derek Lowe type pitcher.

    • JerryGrote

      “offer michael bourn a one year contract.” While you are at it, see if you can get Scott Boras to donate his commission to owners.

      Can we please stop living in fantasy land and end the foolish conversations about Bourn and Upton. The Mets cannot afford those players.

  • Pete

    Scott Boras has st times had his clients sign 1 year deals when he feels the offers are not to his clients best interest. I believe he calls them pillow contracts. What I was merely pointing out is that there are better options for whatever money that remains in the Met payroll than to waste it on pitchers who have seen there better years. I don’t see too many choices remaining for Bourn. Mets payroll currently sits at about 58 million so a 1 year contract for 15 million is not fantasy(though I know not probable). Bourn’s choices for a lengthy contract are dwindling as teams like Philadelphia, San Francisco and Atlanta have filled their needs elsewhere.

    • JerryGrote

      Great. So you are going to surrender a #1 draft pick, for a one year deal on a guy that will walk, and in the process STILL hamstring the rest of the operation to do a single thing besides having Bourn play out a season here.

      I am not sure I’d sign Bourn *at any price* (beyond the absurd). The team has other needs, he doesn’t provide significant upside over the need to cover those needs, and you *improve your divisional opponent* in the process while hurting yourself unnecessarily.

      There is veritably NO scenario that works in signing Michael Bourn to play CF in NY. I understand that Scott Boras has overplayed his hand a bit when it comes to him.

      You have to keep in mind that once the price of Bourn falls significantly, other teams will sweep him up (teams that don’t have an apparent opening at CF) and trade some component of their team. Look at the Angels. They had no real need for Hamilton, his acquisition was redundent to the extreme; then they traded Morales. The D-backs will now make a trade, because Ross makes someone else redundent. Anyways, this is futile. The Mets are not getting Bourn.

      • Name

        I don’t know anything about the depth of draft classes, but if Bourn is willing to sign a 1 year deal, the draft pick wouldn’t matter much because we would get another team’s draft pick a year later. So if the 2013 draft class is weak, perhaps signing him and then dumping him at the deadline or offering him arbitration and getting a 2014 pick isn’t the worst thing.

  • Brian Joura

    We have to remember that Bourn will cost us our first-round pick and I doubt that the Mets sign Bourn to a one-year deal and forfeit the pick unless they get him at about half of the $15 million figure that has been floated out there.

    I disagree that the rotation is in shambles. There are big question marks in Santana and Gee for health reasons and for Harvey due to youth issues. Certainly, if all of those questions are answered with poor results — then the rotation is in shambles. But I think it’s more likely that Santana and Gee give 50+ starts and Harvey proves to be at least an MLB-quality starter. Then it is in no way in shambles.

    And we can always hope for the best-case scenario, the one where Santana and Gee make 60+ starts and pitch at the level they did for their first 11 starts and Harvey matches (or exceeds) what he did last year in his 10 starts. Combine that with Niese pitching like he did last year and the rotation looks like a strength, even with a complete unknown in the SP5 role.

  • Pete

    I don’t think the starting rotation is in shambles. If Johan and Dillon pitch well then there is only one area that needs to be addressed. I wonder how many more games the Mets would have won with a more consistent bullpen? I understand what JerryGrote is saying and I just wanted to state that the only reason the Mets are in this predicament is because ownership lacks the means to put a proper team on the field. So if not Bourn, then we are going with the kids for 2013 and wait until Johan’s 26 million comes off in 2014. What is going to happen then? Will the Mets go on a shopping spree? Doubt it.

    • Chris F

      “So if not Bourn, then we are going with the kids for 2013 and wait until Johan’s 26 million comes off in 2014. What is going to happen then? Will the Mets go on a shopping spree?”

      Yes, that is exactly what I envision. Remember Bay mostly comes off the books too. Im not exactly sure what the annual salary that lapses after this coming season, but something along the lines of 40M$. I cannot see a reason to start spending right now for the last solid CF free agent on the market. Id love to see Bourn in Flushing, but not projecting for 3 years from now.

  • Chris F

    Since I said the rotation was in shambles, let me own up to it. I think losing a 20 game winner with 200+ ip, 200+ K, 4+ K/BB, 1 WHIP and who is a wily veteran and who has seen everything and who is the ace of the staff instantly throws the rotation into a tailspin. Right now our “ace” is likely to be Niese, just off a solid, but hardly ace-level season. He is still a kid trying to get to 200 ip. Our opening day pitcher is a total question mark. I’d love to project him to have 25+ starts, but until May comes around and he looks ok, I wouldnt even entertain the thought of it. He left in a profound downward spiral while insisting he was 100%. Past that Gee is coming off a season ending injury whose long term prognosis will only be known once the rigors of repeated starts sets in. The actual most likely ace of the staff, Harvey, has 10 starts at the MLB level and still learning just how to be a pro. If we dont get pitchers to 200 innings, then we will be leaning heavily on our very shaky bull pen, which will have negative consequences as we have seen in the past recent years. By my counts, we have dropped the keel off the boat with the loss of RA. Is it possible that SP1-4 all have great seasons that far exceed what weve seen? Sure. But I’ll wait to see where things stand by August to feel better about it.

    • Metsense

      I agree 100 percent Chris

    • JerryGrote

      The Mets SP threw 975 IP last year. (Frame of reference: the Nats and Braves both went 950ish, Phillies 1033 and Marlins 982). So let’s say we still need 975 IP.

      I would suppose this for 2013:
      Gee: 130 IP
      Santana: 180 IP
      Harvey: 180 IP
      Niese: 200 IP
      McHugh/Hefner/Wheeler: 120 IP
      Capuano/Saunders/Harang: 200 IP

      Chris can be right here; you can work around the OF situation, but you absolutely can’t work around the need for 200IP of at least league average pitching. Santana is definitively the absolute hinge here, but you have to know that Alderson went into the post season with a crystal clear idea of how far he’d come back.

      As with so much of this team, there is considerable upside. Wheeler generally outpitched Harvey last year in the minors. There is reason to believe you will get 340 IP of 140+ ball from them. Saunders/Capuano + Niese can be another 400 IP of 110+ ERA. That is a terrifyingly good pitching staff – the equivilant of Washington.

      I guess we’ll see, but bottom line is there is no priority higher than simply replacing starting innings.

      • Name

        Don’t want to say “I told you so”, but a month ago, weren’t most of you guys pleading for Sandy to trade one of Dickey/Niese/Gee because we had “so much pitching depth”?

        • Brian Joura

          I was and I support the trade and the return Alderson did.

      • Brian Joura

        I think you’re being pessimistic on Gee’s IP. Perhaps a bit optimistic on Santana. And I don’t know how you can project 200 IP for guys who are not on the team.

        • JerryGrote


          Gee: even as a minor leaguer, never much beyond 160. Majors, once above 130. Never has he come off an injury.
          Santana: Well on pace to 180 last year, and he was coming off an injury, until we abused the ever living sh*t out of him. On top of that, he’s in a walk year. I’ll be heavier on the guy that’s done it, year in and year out, over the guy that hasn’t.
          The other guy: Well, Alderson has committed to bringing in someone that can “win 10 games”. Every guy that meets that criteria, has pitched close to 200 regularly.

          Makes sense to me.

          • Name

            I think you forgot to combine Gee’s major and minor league stats. In 2010, he pitched 194 IP, in 2011, 170 IP. And he did come back from a season ending injury in 2009. So, unless are you projecting him to not be ready for the start of the season, i also think that 130 is kinda low. If you’re healthy for the full season, there’s no reason to pitch less than 160 innings.

            For Santana, i think it was the gamer in him that wanted to keep pitching through his injury (i’m talking about the ankle injury and not his shoulder). I don’t think he was “abused” at all. Hopefully, with a regular offseason and rest, he will be able to pitch a full season.

          • Brian Joura

            In addition to the problems that Name pointed out, you are way overestimating the innings required to “win 10 games.” John Maine won 10 games for the Mets and had 140 IP.

            The type of guys who “win 10 games” and throw 200 IP are not crappy veteran starters available on a (relatively) cheap contract – They’re usually solid (or better) veterans or pre-FA guys on poor teams, kind of like Jon Niese.

            There were four guys who won 10-12 games last year that pitched 200 innings. Here they are with their salary or team situation:

            Jake Peavy – $17 million
            Justin Masterson – 27 years old on a 94-loss team
            Wandy Rodriguez – $13 million (and two crappy teams)
            Bronson Arroyo – $12 million

            You can lower the IP requirement to 190, pick up 7 more guys and get Capuano – but there’s the exception that proves the rule. And even Capuano is an outlier. If he was available as a FA right now, it’s likely he would command more money than the $6 million he’s getting, as he’s coming off back-to-back healthy years for the first time since ’05-’06.

            • JerryGrote

              My last post on this ridiculous series.

              First, I am looking at pitchers that have established an ability to be fulltime starters. That means showing established ability to win 10 games *recently*, to have averaged pretty close to 200 to do that. Using John Maine? He has one season where he pitched 190. You might as well have said Chris Young. I don’t have access to the database, but I’d bet a query that looks for 22W, and 450 IP over the last three years would show a lot of guys like Shawn Marcum, who earned $7MM last year.

              Are you going to suggest that he doesn’t fit the bill for our team? Harang doesn’t? Either he or Capuano cost less than $15MM for the next two years. John Lannon was close, and he was available for a song. Jason Vargas was available. Rick Porcello is available, close but not what I was thinking of. I wouldn’t be prone to Derek Lowe himself, 190 IP and 20+ wins over 2010-2011, but at the right price? Mike Pelfrey was in this group, and he was cheap; but of course there is a gamble there.

              Saunders of course is the one I’d target first. He got $6MM last year, he’s averaged nearly 197 IP for three years and over 10 wins. Give him a nice raise, pay him for three years, and move on. None of the names above are “crappy”. Well, probably Lowe.

              Dickering at details like whether or not you can get 130 IP from an injured Gee, or 180 from Santana, or whether or not you can get a pitcher from outside the organization to provide you with 184 or 191 or 200 IP is frankly a waste of time. The idea of my original post was to focus on getting to 975 starting innings. 310 IP from the combination of Gee/Santana is a fairly reasonable assertion. We are short, on some level, of around 160- 200 IP from someone. You can find those innings in the marketplace for not much more than your budget allows. Those points remain valid.


              • Brian Joura

                You’re changing the goal posts. 22 Wins over three years is 7 wins per season not 10. If you throw out numbers here, people are going to hold you accountable. With all due respect, if you throw out numbers that don’t make sense – the group is going to say something.

                Most of these guys that you mentioned – Capuano, Vargas and Porcello – are on other teams and would require us to trade for them AND pay them. They didn’t want to pay to bring Pelfrey back on an incentive-laden deal — what makes you think they’re going to pay guaranteed money and prospects to get someone?

                Lannan at $2.5 million would have been nice. But that’s what he took to sign with a team likely to be in a pennant race. It’s not unreasonable to think that he would have wanted more from the Mets. Plus, he’s a guy who’s failed to throw 150 IP in the majors in two of the past three years. And he’s got a lifetime 4.46 xFIP, which would have ranked tied for 80th out of 88 qualified pitchers last year.

                Would it be nice if the Mets went out and got someone to give roughly 175 IP? Yes, it certainly would be. But I don’t expect them to spend the money that people in this thread assume that they will. If they wouldn’t spend $4 million on Pelfrey – I don’t see them spending whatever Marcum would cost.

                Everyone is free to disagree with me and point out to me how I was wrong if they do go out and trade for a guy like Capuano, who’s owed $6 million or sign someone to a Liriano-type deal. I’m not afraid to be wrong or have people disagree with me.

            • Name

              Santana, Gee, Harvey, Niese. We need a 5th starter. Didn’t really need to do an IP analysis to see that.

          • Steve from Norfolk

            Santana pitched fine after the no-hitter for the entire month of June, until his ankle was injured on July 6. He should have been DL’ed then instead of saying he was fine and trying to pitch through it. He’s lucky he didn’t blow out his shoulder again. If the Mets hadn’t ended his season then, he would have.

  • Pete

    But if the Mets decided not to invest 20-25 million on R.A. what does that say? The money would have been there in 2014 so that means they were going to take the best offer and look elsewhere for another starter. What I do not understand is if you have Dickey at 5 million why look at reclamation projects like Lowe at 7 million? Why not wait until the upcoming trading deadline?

    • Brian Joura

      Why not wait until the deadline to trade Dickey? Because the return would have been lower, perhaps much lower if he did not come close to matching last year’s numbers.

      Alderson got two prime prospects and a high-upside lottery ticket for Dickey by trading him now. If he waited until the deadline he would have most likely received just one high-upside guy plus maybe a lottery ticket.

      There’s been no solid proof that the Mets are looking at a $7 million reclamation project. I think that’s (baseless) speculation.

  • Pete

    Winning 10 dames is not going to make a difference in the upcoming season. Especially if we’re going to pay 7 million dollars. what a waste of resources that the Mets don’t have. By trading Dickey we basically gave up on 2013 so why look for an aging over-the-hill starter to replace him? Makes no sense. If you tell your fan base that this team is being put together for 2014 we may grumble and moan but at least you can say there is a plan in place with expectations for the starters to at least be healthy and progress towards that end. The Mets payroll for 2014 starts at about 36 million so we might as well continue penny pinching until then.

    • JerryGrote

      The Mets have the money to spend. They will need a pitcher to replace some of Dickey’s innings in 2013, then to replace all of Santana’s innings in 2014.

      I’d as soon see them spend the money on a starting pitcher then spend it elsewhere. The strength of the team lies in its farm system’s heavy supply of pitching, but you need a bridge to get there. Later on, as time allows, trade from strength to acquire weakness (outfielders).

      I refuse to punt 2013. It’s ridiculous. You have a team with some offensive talent, and the potential to have an absolutely dominating pitching staff *next year*. People need to stop letting recent history blind them to what is available on this team.

      • Name

        I agree with all of this execpt the part where we a pitcher who is able to start in 2014 as well. I think most of the options on the market are better just for 1 year deals. We can worry about the 2014 rotation during the 2013 offseason.

        • Chris F

          I hope, will cheer, and certainly would love a productive ’13, but I’d be amazed if this team makes 75 wins. I’d love to be dead wrong.

      • NormE

        JerryGrote, I love your passion, but think you are wrong.
        The team doesn’t have the money to spend because the Wilpons are either
        unable or unwilling to do it. My take is that the deal with Bud Selig is to
        keep expenditures down so Bud can prove that excessive spending is not
        the way to run a franchise. Alderson is there, at Bud’s behest, to keep finances
        under control.
        The revenue from marketing and TV keeps growing and Bud is using that
        as a way of trying proving his point.

        As to the talent level, I think you are looking through rose-colored glasses.
        The outfield is a disaster, populated by players who are all #4 outfielders.
        The team has little speed. Who knows what this bullpen will produce.
        The starting pitching, as now constituted, has two guys coming off the
        DL plus one open spot. Niese is a proven commodity and Harvey, we
        hope, will continue to be a big positive. The infield is solid, but the loss
        of Cedeno as a back-up may come back to bite. At catcher, Buck should
        be a gain over Thole, at least for the short haul—-with D’Arnaud waiting.

        The Braves and Nats look to be better. The Phils are iffy, but have some strong
        starting pitching. Of course, injuries can change everything, but they are just
        as likely to happen to the Mets as they are to other teams.

        Sorry for going on so long, but I hope you are right and I am wrong.

        • JerryGrote

          Norm … the other teams I cheer for include the Jets and the Buffalo Bills. If I didn’t wear rose colored glasses, I’d kill myself.

          I understand that I see the world pretty positively. The Phillies look bad and are getting worse; their GM is possibly the worst in baseball. The Nats are primed to do worse. Only the Braves stand in our way, and much of their success is tied to young arms – especially relief arms.Nothing could have a higher standard deviation.

          On top of that, I don’t project based on what I’d like to see. I only project based on what I’ve *already seen*. Within some range, I know that Harvey is capable of being every bit of the pitcher that Dickey was (and then some). I know that Duda is not yet 27 and has shown in the major leagues a power stroke. We have probably 60 HRs coming from the corner infield.

          Kidding aside, if Sandy ends this offseason and left the gun in the holster – i.e.: he neither acquired a reasonable pitcher, nor traded for any OF help above Cowgill – then I guess you are right. But as of right now, Sandy has positioned himself to make the deal. He gets enough rope to kill himself.

          • Chris F


            “… the other teams I cheer for include the Jets and the Buffalo Bills. If I didn’t wear rose colored glasses, I’d kill myself.”

            That was simply priceless.

          • NormE


            We’re both masochists.

  • Pete

    The problem with Gee is what to expect for opening day? Johan will gut it out. That’s his nature. But will he be effective for the entire season or break down at some point. I understand the Mets looking to sell high when Dickeys’ value was high but giving him a 2 year extension for 25 million sounds reasonable for a 20 game winner on a ball club that produced very little offense compared to what these average pitchers will cost us. Forget the reject pile. Go with the kids. What the hell. Stop giving ridiculous contracts for mediocre starters that will not make a difference anyway. If these guys were so good why are they still available? Let the kids grow and learn how to pitch in the major leagues. What’s the worst that can happen? The Mets will have better flexibility in 2014 with their payroll will start at 33 million.

  • Pete

    Masochist? Jet fan here since 1968. Knick fan here since 1970. At least the Rangers won 1 in my lifetime.

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