I’ve been warning you for weeks now, ever since I attended the Sandy Alderson introductory press conference that the Mets would be bit players in the Hot Stove this offseason. With the signings of free agent catcher Ronny Paulino and relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco (both pending physicals), those premonitions have now been confirmed. I am going to venture a guess that the injection of these two guys into the fold are not going to send the Mets faithful scurrying to the ticket gates.
Here’s a little background on the new backstop and bullpen addition. First to Paulino. The 29-year old spent the last three season with the Florida Marlins, garnering 673 at-bats in that time. He has a respectable .273 career batting average and has clubbed 31 homers, but this once a highly touted young backstop with the Pittsburgh Pirates, clearly has never lived up to his potential.
The Mets will pay him $1.3 million next season, but will have to wait 8 games to acquire his services on the field because he was suspended for 50 games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance under Major League Baseball’s drug policy. He copped the old “I didn’t realize there wwas a banned substance in my vitamin supplement” excuse. Sure Ronny, sure you didn’t. I expect Paulino to push incumbent Josh Thole for at bats once he returns to action. Nothing scintillating, but I guess it could be worse.
As for Carrasco, he was signed away from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the tune of a two-year/$2.5 million deal. Why the second year was needed to entice a 33-year old journeyman righthander, I couldn’t tell you, but his numbers were pretty respectable last season. Carrasco appeared in 63 games with the D’Backs, throwing 78 1/3 innings, while striking out 65 and walking 34. He pitched to a 3.67 ERA. From the limited times I’ve seen Carrasco pitch against the Mets over the years, I remember him having a live arm, able to reach the mid-90’s with his heater and a pretty good cutter. He should be a nice addition to a bullpen that needs some more serious rebuilding efforts.
So there you have it folks, the extent so far of the Mets offseason roster shuffle. I am sure there are more minor moves to co me as the days of winter progress(Chis Young, Jeff Francis) but you can be rest assured nothing groundbreaking is happening in Mets Land anytime soon. Don’t buy into the Carlos Beltran to the Red Sox chatter that has been permeating through the Winter Meetings. Unless someone wants to pay the Mets $13 million smackers to take on an aging outfielder with bad knees, Carlos will be manning rightfield for the Amazins’ when the season opens in 2011