Sandy Alderson and the Mets have been on the search for some pitching help in both the starting rotation and the bullpen. Even though we’re now just under a month away from Spring Training, the front office is in no rush when it comes to signing free agents. Marc Carig of Newsday said in his article the team remains patient and focused toward their goal of finding a pitcher for the back of the rotation that can eat up significant innings, softening the blow of losing R.A. Dickey‘s 233 IP he tossed last year.
The free agents New York has been linked to include Carl Pavano, Chris Young, Joe Saunders, and Shaun Marcum. If a trade formulates over the next month, it would most likely be with the Dodgers, who would like to unload either Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang. Out of all these pitchers, I think either Young or Marcum have the best chance of landing in Flushing for 2013. Saunders is reportedly holding out for a three-year deal, so he’s out, and I just don’t want to see Pavano back in New York after what happened during his time with the Yankees. Call it superstition, but I want no part of him.
When it comes to Capuano or Harang, it will depend on the price of the player LA wants in return; if they would like a significant prospect or MLB-ready player, then this deal would make no sense. The market says both Young and Marcum would take low base salaries for one year with incentives to showcase what they have to offer with the guaranteed rotation spot before heading out into the market next winter. We’ll see how this shakes out, but one thing that we’re all sure of is Sandy isn’t in a hurry, and will let the right deal come to him (although it would have been nice to swipe up John Lannan before Philly did).
Although we heard reports that the Amazins re-started trade talks with the Diamondbacks for right fielder Justin Upton, it doesn’t look like a deal is on the horizon due to the asking price. In an article for CBS Sports, Jon Heyman wrote Arizona GM Kevin Towers is not planning on taking a smaller package for Upton, even after the potential deal with the Mariners fell through. To add to that, Towers said he’s in no rush to deal the young right-handed slugger, despite having too many outfielders for three positions this season.
A couple weeks ago, we discussed on The Rising Apple Report whether or not taking a flyer on Grady Sizemore for the Mets outfield made any sense. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweeted it’s not likely because he bats left-handed, but the former All-Star is also still recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee, as it’s unlikely he’ll be ready for Opening Day this season.
With regard to finding more arms to occupy the bullpen, the Mets have not ruled out the possibility of bringing Jon Rauch back. Michael Baron of MetsBlog said Rauch has a good relationship with Sandy Alderson, and has known him for quite some time, playing to the big righty’s advantage. Baron also notes that his veteran presence in the ‘pen could be very useful. I liked Rauch a lot and felt he acclimated to New York City pretty well, and although he struggled at times, he mostly had a solid season out of the ‘pen. I wondered why there was no talk earlier about bringing him back, but as the market continues to shape, opinions may have changed.
In more exciting Mets free agent news, Brian Wilson (former closer for the San Francisco Giants) held a private workout over the weekend for Alderson and the Mets, as the organization reportedly has “strong” interest in the rehabbing reliever. Wilson only appeared in two games during 2012 before he went down with an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery. With 171 saves over his seven-year MLB career, he’d be the perfect insurance policy if Frank Francisco doesn’t work out again. According to the latest rumors, Alderson is currently unsure about whether or not the Mets will try to sign Wilson, as he’d prefer a guaranteed deal instead of a minor league deal.
Wilson is optimistic about being ready for Opening Day, but after having surgery in April, he’s still not back to pre-surgery form. He also met with Alderson last week to chat about the possibility of a deal, and the bearded man is very interested in opportunity that lies in Flushing.