Former Mets #1 draft pick, Scott Kazmir is off the free agent market. Pending a physical, the Oakland Athletics will sign the soon to be 30-year old left-hander to a reported two year, $22 million dollar contract. That’s only one million less than Tim Hudson received over two years from the San Francisco Giants.
Both deals still fall short of the $12.25 million average annual salary Ricky Nolasco will earn from the Minnesota Twins over four years. In fact, when you include Phil Hughes, the Twins have invested upwards of $20 MILLION in average annual cost, on pitching this off-season.
Did I mention it was the Twins spending all that money?
It just so happens, the Mets need a starting pitcher themselves, but have only been rumored to be interested in Bronson Arroyo. Other teams also loosely rumored to have shown varying interest in Arroyo are the Angels, Dodgers, Orioles and Phillies.
Otherwise, dare I say, the list of quality starting pitchers still available on the free agent market is dwindling. Quite frankly, none of them really inspire me to action. Still unsigned, are names like Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Ervin Santana, Hiroki Kuroda, Bartolo Colon, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Paul Maholm. There are no others worthy of discussion.
If the Mets are indeed interested in Bronson Arroyo, it would behoove them to get serious, and get something done quickly. At the moment, Arroyo appears to be the best of the rest. He is accustomed to the National League, and can potentially be relied upon for 200 quality innings. If the market holds true, Arroyo could conceivably come in under $13 million dollars. He is rumored to be seeking $14 million per, but Sandy Alderson should hold firm until the price falls somewhere between Tim Hudson’s $11.5 million average annual cost, and Ricky Nolasco’s yearly tab. If Arroyo’s ask is firm, then I would prefer the Mets spend their money elsewhere.
Circling back to Scott Kazmir, any healthy left-hander is worth a look. There’s the rub. After missing two full years, his comeback last season didn’t impress me to the point where I’d offer him $22 million dollars. Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane just made him his highest paid starter.