While Sandy Alderson is all but done with rebuilding the bullpen (pending a deal being finalized with Brandon Lyon), we saw two former Mets ‘pen mates find work elsehwere, as Jon Rauch agreed to a one-year deal with the Marlins, and Ramon Ramirez is headed back to the Bay to re-join the Giants on a minor league deal.
Rauch had a somewhat productive season during his one year in Flushing, as he appeared in 73 games (57.2 IP), compiling a 3-7 record with a 3.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 42 strikeouts. He got off to a quick start in April, then struggled for a while (like most of the bullpen did throughout the year), but throughout most of the second half, he was by far one of the most productive relievers for Terry Collins and the coaching staff. The deal is worth $1 million, with the opportunity to earn $750K more in roster bonuses. I will miss having Rauch in the bullpen, as I felt he was a good guy and had a solid veteran presence for some of the young guys, like Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin, but I don’t blame Alderson for virtually bringing in an entire new cast of characters for the ‘pen, allowing them to start completely fresh.
On the other hand, I’m not sad to see Ramon Ramirez go, as Alderson traded Angel Pagan away for both him and Andres Torres last winter, with neither panning out the way they hoped. Ramirez came to New York with a good reputation of being a solid 6th or 7th inning guy that could come in and get outs, but we saw quickly that wasn’t the case in 2012, struggling to a 3-4 record, 4.24 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched (58 appearances). His ERA and WHIP were both their highest since 2007, while his number of appearances and innings pitched were both their lowest since that same season, and his walk rate (4.9/9IP) was a career-high. So, he re-joins the Giants and Torres, who signed with San Francisco earlier this winter. This trade clearly didn’t work out for the Mets, but I also think it’s kind of funny that a year after this deal went down, the Giants not only re-sign Pagan for four years, but also get back the two players they sent away to acquire him in the first place. Baseball is a funny game, isn’t it?
There was a lot of good stuff on Rising Apple yesterday as we (im)patiently wait for pitchers and catchers to report. I stated why I felt Ruben Tejada is worthy of being the Mets’ lead-off man this season (barring a Michael Bourn signing), while Danny Abriano gave us the transcript from Ike Davis‘ interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN. My biggest takeaway from what I read? Probably that he’s aiming to walk 100 times this year. It doesn’t seem like an unreachable goal, as he racked up 67 bases on balls in 584 plate appearances last season, and drew 72 in 601 PAs in 2010. All I have to say is that if Ike is walking 100 times this season, then we may be in store for some fun at Citi this summer.
Although there wasn’t a whole lot on the Michael Bourn front yesterday (other than the interest from the Indians), we found out that David Wright did his best salesman impression by reaching out to the free agent via phone and text, saying how he’d fit in with the team well, and he respects the way he plays the game. It can’t hurt to hear from the team leader, right?
We also had our first exclusive on Rising Apple, as Danny Abriano was able to sit down for a short period of time with Mets pitching prospect, Michael Fulmer, and he sounds like a pretty cool dude.
Now, we’re only five days away….