In news that hasn’t exactly been surprising, we found out the Mets plan on non-tendering starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, effectively making him a free agent. Pelfrey, who made $5.68 million in 2012, would be eligible to receive an offer from New York in the range of $5 million if offered arbitration, way too steep of a price for someone coming off Tommy John surgery, especially in Flushing.
In his three starts before being shelved for the rest of the season, Pelfrey was 0-0 with a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched. After a tough spring training, where some people were making the case to cut the tall right-hander, he continued to improve with each start, with his last appearance against the Giants (8 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K’s) being the best of all. He went under the knife on May 1st, with a projected recovery time of 12 months.
Toward the end of the season, both Terry Collins and Dan Warthen said they would love to have Pelfrey re-sign with the organization, and the front office also expressed similar interest. However, his agent is Scott Boras, so it remains to be seen what he will be demanding for his client. With starting pitching a strength for New York, they may be using some in trades to help improve their offense, so they may need an insurance plan such as Pelfrey, much like what Chris Young did in 2012. It makes a lot of sense to bring Pelfrey back; not only could he provide a lot of bang for the buck, but he could also be used in a trade later in the year once he proves himself healthy. Plus, it allows Mike the opportunity to finish his rehab in a familiar environment, which is more important than anyone may think.
On to another non-tender candidate in Andres Torres. MetsBlog reported yesterday morning the organization is still unsure as to whether or not they will offer their current center fielder arbitration. In a year in which he made $2.7 million, Torres hit an unimpressive .230/.327/.337 with 3 homers and 35 RBI in 374 at-bats. Originally slated as the starting center fielder on Opening Day, Torres ended the season as a platoon player, getting time in the lineup against left-handed pitchers.
I’ll tell you what they should do….get rid of him! He was part of the problem in the outfield in 2012, so it makes no sense to hold onto him, especially when he’s due to make around $3 million through arbitration. He is a decent defender, but there are younger and more encouraging options for the Mets to try instead of retaining him. Matthew Cerrone mentions Kirk Nieuwenhuis as an alternative, and I would gladly pencil him into center field instead of Torres. He’s younger, can field just as well (if not better), and before players like Torres and Jason Bay took at-bats away from him, Captain Kirk showed his ability to adjust to opposing pitchers and hit in the clutch. There is at least hope in the future that is Nieuwenhuis (and maybe Matt Den Dekker if he cuts down on his strikeouts), whereas it doesn’t seem like Torres will be able to recapture the magic he had in 2010 with the Giants.
The Marlins wanted a new manager going into 2012 that would help bring some spice and excitement to their organization as they began an identity change. Along with acquiring Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox, they were set to unveil new uniforms, a new stadium, and some expensive free agents (Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell). Well, Guillen’s first season was a terrible one, as Miami underperformed in every sense of the word, finishing last in the NL East with a 69-93 record. MLB Trade Rumors the now unemployed skipper still had three years and $7.5 million left on his current contract, yet the decision to let him go was finally made after weeks of mulling it over by upper management.
The Marlins continue to puzzle me; they spend all this money last winter, but at the first sign of hardship, they trade away a crucial player in Hanley Ramirez, and recently just got rid of Heath Bell. They brought in Guillen because they felt he would be able to connect with the community and bring a winning attitude to the organization (won the 2005 WS with the White Sox), but he did the exact opposite. Although I can understand why Miami fired him, I don’t agree with only giving him one year to impact the team. It’s hard to take a terrible team from 2011, add three players, and expect them to make the playoffs the next season. However, it seems like that’s the way the Marlins’ front office and upper management work. So, we’ll see who they’ll bring in to right the ship in 2013. I hear Bobby Valentine is looking for a job…