Although the Mets agreed to sign Shaun Marcum to a one-year-/$4 million deal with the potential for approximately $4 million more in performance and roster bonuses, they could still be looking for more starting pitching depth. Who else could they be interested in? Earlier in the winter, we heard that New York was keeping tabs on pitchers like Javier Vazquez and Brandon Webb, but it’s neither of those. A source told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the Amazins have an interest in Roy Oswalt, who turned in a 4-3 record and 5.80 ERA in 17 appearances with the Rangers in 2012.
Despite this news report, Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, denies that he’s aware of any interest the Mets have in his client. I’d rather New York not go after the 35-year-old righty, as it looks like his effective days on the mound are over. I understand why Sandy Alderson would like to have some depth for the rotation due to the potential health questions that surround both Marcum and Johan Santana, but Oswalt isn’t the guy he should be going after. Michael Baron of MetsBlog summarized it nicely as to why the Mets should stay from Oswalt; he’s been battling back problems over the last couple of seasons and hasn’t made 30 starts since 2010, a season that he split with the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. As of this morning, reports surfaced that although the front office had internal discussions about Oswalt, it’s unlikely they’ll continue pursuing him now that they’ve acquired Marcum.
Add that with the fact that Oswalt was insulted last season when the Rangers wanted to move him out of the starting rotation because of his ineffectiveness, and that’s not the kind of attitude New York needs to deal with for a veteran pitcher being used as an insurance plan for the rotation. They’re better off pursuing someone like Vazquez or Webb instead, which would buy them some time since they would need to work their way up through the minor leagues before they’re game-ready again. Plus, There are plenty of young arms in Triple-A that could provide a safety net as well, including Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Jeremy Hefner.
The staff at Rising Apple was very sad to hear of Landon Powell‘s infant daughter passing away after losing her battle to hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis this weekend. Powell recently signed a minor league deal with an invite to Big Leauge Spring Trianing to join the Mets and to provide some catching depth within the organization. Danny Abriano talked briefly about the condition, and what we can do to spread awareness about it.
Reports originating from the New York Daily News say the SportsNet Network is intersted in bringing on Bobby Valentine to be a part of the new-look Mets pre-game shows for around 20 games a season, as well as filling in for Bobby Ojeda on his off days. I think this is a solid move; fans in New York still love Bobby V., and he has the right personality for television, as we saw how he performed with ESPN before he took the managerial position with the Boston Red Sox, which flamed out rather quickly.
With regard to the Michael Bourn situation, Sandy Alderson and the Mets have continued to stand firm in their belief that their 11th overall pick in the 2013 first-year player draft should be protected in their pursuit of the free agent. Major League Baseball has continued to say they won’t rule on this issue until there is significant movement for New York and Bourn toward a deal. Richard Justice of MLB.com said yesterday New York has “zero interest” in acquiring Bourn if their top pick isn’t protected. The MLBPA has joined the conversation by saying they’d support the Mets in their quest for protection, but it seems unlikely the league would rule in their favor.
It always seemed unlikely that Bourn would be wearing Orange and Blue in a couple weeks, but it was nice to dream for a little while. They shouldn’t be breaking the bank for him since he won’t be the answer to all of their problems, but I was salivating at the fact of watching him patrol center field in Flushing and giving the Mets a stolen base threat in the leadoff position. However, with him being a Scott Boras client, there won’t be much of a negotiation when it comes to compensation. So, it was a nice thought to have for a week, at least.