Who gets the ball?

Would you give Sabathia all that money?

Would you give Sabathia all that money?

The Mets are staring at two holes in their rotation with the possible losses of Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez. The free-agent market has options with CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. So, you’re Omar. Who gets the money? Would you give Sabathia $150 million?

Do you re-sign either Perez or Martinez and go elsewhere?
Do you re-sign both Perez and Martinez?
Do you go elsewhere to fill both holes?
Do you give the ball to Jon Niese for the season and take your lumps?

THE FREE AGENT MARKET FOR STARTING PITCHERS

Kris Benson (33)
A.J. Burnett (32) – can opt out after ’08 season
Paul Byrd (38)
Roger Clemens (46)
Matt Clement (33)

Bartolo Colon (36)
Ryan Dempster (32)
Shawn Estes (36)
Josh Fogg (32)
Freddy Garcia (33)

Jon Garland (29)
Tom Glavine (43)
Mike Hampton (36)
Mark Hendrickson (35)
Livan Hernandez (34)

Orlando Hernandez (43)
Jason Jennings (30)
Randy Johnson (45)
John Lackey (30) – $9MM club option for ’09 with a $0.5MM buyout
Jon Lieber (39)

Braden Looper (34)
Rodrigo Lopez (33) – club option for ’09
Derek Lowe (36)
Greg Maddux (43)
Pedro Martinez (37)

Sergio Mitre (28)
Jamie Moyer (46)
Mark Mulder (31) – $11MM club option for ’09 with a $1.5MM buyout
Mike Mussina (40)
Carl Pavano (33) – $13MM club option for ’09 with a $1.95MM buyout

Brad Penny (31) – $8.75MM club option for ’09 with a $2MM buyout
Odalis Perez (32)
Oliver Perez (27)
Andy Pettitte (37)
Sidney Ponson (32)

Mark Prior (27)
Kenny Rogers (44)
Glendon Rusch (34)
C.C. Sabathia (28)
Curt Schilling (42)

Ben Sheets (30)
John Smoltz (42)
Tim Wakefield (42) – perpetual $4MM club option
Kip Wells (32)
Randy Wolf (32)

25 thoughts on “Who gets the ball?

  1. That’s a really hard question. it all depends on how much money and how many years C.C. is going to cost.
    If the gap between Oliver Perez and C.C. is about $5 million I’m doing it without any hesitation, if the gap is 7 or 8 million I would have to think long and hard and look at other factors like injury history, age, weight, and the difference in contract years.
    Pedro is gone if I’m Omar. He is the greatest pitcher of our generation but can not be relied on. especially with the fact itd be a 2 or 3 year commitment.
    I would NOT let Nise start the year in the rotation. he should be used as depth because you know something is going to happen to one of the 5 starters. So for the 5th spot I’d go with a veteran.
    Like Paul Byrd, Jamie Moyer, Glenon Rusch, or Randy Wolf. They’re all interchangable to me to it doesn’t matter which one you get.

    I’d also look into Ryan Dempster, Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre, Matt Clement, Derek Lowe, and Mike Hampton (lol), and approach them depending on different things like their health, and their demands.

  2. You also have to give Ben Sheets a lot of thought if he’s truly available. I know he was injured this year, but, if he clears a physical (and yes we know how good the Mets doctors are with physicals ::: sarcasm :::) he could be a great sign depending on money.

    For Sabathia dollars you can do a lot in the FA market for other needs.

  3. Look for another front line guy CC, Lowe, AJ to slide in as number 2 starter. I would go for Lowe. For the other spot Garland, Jennings, Wolf with Neise at AAA.
    What about Sheets will he be ready for opening day?

  4. I don’t think the Mets are going to get CC. The team has so many holes..I’d rather see them spend $$$ to make this team whole.

    Definitely Burnett if you are looking for someone at the top 3 of the rotation.

    Jason Jennings stinks.

    Lowe is the better bet. Wolf is worth a look as well.

  5. I wouldn’t even consider guys like A.J. Burnett and Ben Sheets.
    Remember we’re “angry” Pedro was only healthy for a year and a half. Imagine how we’d be with a Burnett or Sheets who can’t even make it through the month. Pass, not even a consideration.

  6. Lackey’s option will almost assuredly be picked up, otherwise I’d open the bank up for him. The Cubs seem to be pretty dead set on bringing back Dempster next year (I actually thought he had a team option but I guess I’m wrong).

    I’m guessing we make a strong run at Lowe, who I really like… and I think he can be a nice pitcher in a bigger ballpark (though we really don’t know how CitiField will play).

    I’ll probably take a lot of heat for this suggestion, but I’d look at Sheets for a 3 year deal. We have $$$ and can afford to take on risks unlike a lot of other teams. I can’t imagine ANY team would commit more to Sheets than a 3 year deal (or even 2 with a vesting option based on IP).

  7. Because of his injuries this year Sheets isnt going to command Burnett or Lowe money.

    Burnett is going to the Yankees.. I’d bet on that. He’s been killing them for years and they want him.

    I think the reason the Angels are lukewarm on K-Rod is not because he’s slowed down a little, it’s because they have designs on Sabathia and I wouldn’t be surprised he ends up in Anaheim.

    When you look up and down that list, Sheets offers the most upside because of his age.

    Comparing Pedro to Sheets is valid in that they both have been injured recently, however Sheets is much younger so there’s the upside.

  8. SamG (9): If I’m Sabathia and considering the Angels, I’d sure want to know if K-Rod will be there, too. … I like Sheets, but like all pitchers with an injury history, there are concerns. … Not that Sabathia is without questions. Once he gets his money, will he stay in shape?-JD

  9. Pedro has only had one big injury.
    Ben Sheets gets injured all the team for any little thing. Throughout the season he may miss a couple of starts every month due to things like groin pulls and pectoral strains. Its his windup/pitching motion that causes all these things so those injuries aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
    Last time Sheets pitched 200 innings was 2004. When the Nationals were the Expos, Gerald “Ice” Williams had far too many at bats for the Mets, and Richard Hidalgo helped the Mets sweep the Yankees. Though to be fair he pitched 198 innings this season. But still, he’s not worth the instablity of the rotation with guys having to move up constantly from their turns.

  10. benny (1): The package for Sabathia could get to be $150 million over seven years. That’s too steep for me.-JD

  11. If Sabathia gets all that then it depends on what Oliver Perez is demanding as well as what’s being offered.
    If Oliver Perez is being offered a 4 year 60 million or 5 year 75 million, I’d still consider Sabathia but other things come into play like I mentioned above.
    That’s alot of moolah.

  12. As long as his demands aren’t unreasonable (I’ll leave the standard for that up to Omar), I’d re-sign Perez. IMO he’s just beginning to reach his potential, and losing him would be akin to the Expos trading Randy Johnson too early.

    As for Pedro, IF he’d accept a low-guarantee, high incentive deal, I’d bring him back and let him compete for a job now that he’s healthy and not worrying about his father.

  13. I would post this under a loose ends thread but none is posted yet and I don’t wanna forget this.
    The 2005-2006 offseason was full of lots of closers, it had Billy Wagner, Tom Gordon, B.J. Ryan, Armando Benitez, Danys Baez, Octavio Dotel, Todd Jones.
    Sure guys like Baez and Jones were on the low end but Wagner, Gordon, Ryan, and Benitez were highly sought after and I would put Wagner and Ryan under the “elite” closer catagory.
    Look where all those guys are now. Either ineffective or injured. Just sayin’ when it comes to K-Rod…

  14. I think the Mets should pass on CC, Sheets, and Burnett. If 3/$36 doesn’t do it for Ollie, I’d pass on that as well. They should look at Lowe, Dempster, and Garland (in this order). If they believe that they can slot Niese in at #5, then sign one of the above. Next onto bullpen and LF. IMHO, 2B should be the last place that they address. If they get a SP, Closer, and LF, I’d be happy with anyone other than Castillo at 2B.

  15. JD- I’m signing two FA starters. One quality and one middle of the road…. Leaving Niese in AAA to develop and moving on from Ollie and Pedro…

    Lowe would be my pick and then any decent fifth starter

  16. How about Garland and Lowe for the 4th and 5th spots with Maine, Pelfrey and Johan?

    Garland is a big time ground ball pitcher that would likely be successful with our team

  17. Forget Sabathia. They have a good top 3 now. Its about filling out the 4-5 spots now. How about Randy Wolf for the 4 spot? Hes a lefty to replace perez. He always kills the Mets and hes only 32. He was 6-2 3.57 after his trade to the Astros last year. His career era is 4.23. Bonus: his bro is an umpire :) I offer him 15 mil for 3 years.
    5th spot- I would sign Pedro for an incenive deal. After his first inning problems last year, he showed he could still get hitters out. Make it a one year deal.
    If pedro turns it down – I like to keep one spot open for a rookie/sleeper- Have a competition Put Heilman in it-he has no trade value now. Put him in with Niese, Parnell, Knight and what ever else Omar finds on the scrap heap.
    If Heilman cant beat these guys out, put him back in the pen. He wont be able to say he wasnt given a chance.

  18. Garland wasn’t aby good with an infield of Teixeira, Figgins, and a combination of Macier Izturis, Erick Aybar, and Howie Kendrick in the middle infield spots. I just don’t like him.

  19. Santana makes Sabathia a luxury for the Mets: Nice if you can get it, but it’s not a do-or-die situation for them.

    Pelfrey’s rapid development means Perez, if he were to re-sign, would end up being their #3 or #4 starter sooner than later. Something to think about when considering forking over $60-80 million.

    At the end of the day, they don’t need another $15-million-per-year pitcher. They need a solid, 200-inning #3 (someone like a Lowe or a Garland) and, possibly, a veteran placeholder in the #5 spot until Niese proves ready.

    I’d rather see Omar focus his efforts on a righty bat and some new arms for the pen.

  20. How many times do we have to get burnt with Fading glory pitchers?

    It’s time to go young and new.. Bring em up from the farm. Better to do that then watch an injury waiting to happen.

    The money is better spent elsewhere.
    Time to take out the trash and recycling.. ;-)

  21. Lowe for 3 years, let niese/parnell battle for the #5 spot. Not going near Oliver Perez for 4-5 years, sorry.

  22. Steve C.

    I’d love to see the kids get a chance just like they did with Pelfrey. Is NY ready to be patient with another Pelf?

    We’ve got 1,2,3 down with Santana, Maine and Pelf.

    You put Niese in at the 5 so he can work on his big league stuff.

    You still need a 4 or you’re not getting to the playoffs again.

    There’s no real good young FA’s besides Sabathia, so who gets the 4 from down on the farm?

  23. OP’s potential is as a $15mm /yr pitcher who wins as many as he loses.

    i say bring back mrs. clause – always a fan favorie!