On the Table: Room for just one more.

I was thinking about this at breakfast: If the Mets were to sign just one free agent, who would it be? Immediately, I discarded CC Sabathia, K-Rod and Manny Ramirez, because I don’t see them paying that much.

They need bullpen help, and you could look at it a couple of ways. One, is to get reliable starters to shave the BP innings, and if Maine comes back healthy, they’ll have three. Should they sign Lowe, theoretically that’s four reliable starters, which cuts the BP innings, but still leaves you vulnerable on a fifth day and in the ninth inning throughout.

So, if I’m forced to pick one, I’m going with the closer. I know it’s tempting to think K-Rod, but my confidence level in him is he’ll break down. The next best closer on the market is Brian Fuentes. No Mariano Rivera, but who is?

My choice, if to sign just one free agent, is to go with Fuentes to plug the leak in the ninth inning. Seven games got away. If all else remains equal and Fuentes cuts that in half, that should put them ahead of the Phillies.

Remember, this exercise is about adding just one player. If you have somebody different, let’s hear it.

22 thoughts on “On the Table: Room for just one more.

  1. I agree with you John.

    Fuentes is the logical choice because the risk is not as high as K-Rod, and the commitment in years wont be as long either.

    With Fuentes in the folde, we can then begin the work of trading for or signing another two arms for the bullpen, a left fileder, and an upgrade at catcher if possible.

  2. If they could only sign one FA it would be a closer. They lost too many games late. Fuentes, K-Rod or even Wood will fill that void.

  3. I still don’t think you should discard K-Rod. Nobody will pay him what he wants. Remember the mets had no shot at getting Santana because they didn’t have the prospects? Things will shake themselves out, but it makes no sense to figure that the mets won’t even think about K-Rod.

  4. I say let go of Pedro and Perez. Sign Lowe and K-Rod….It definetely has to be k-rod over Fuentes just because of the Mets recent failures. Also, looking at it from another angle, because not only does k-rod have more (playoff)experience but if the Mets lose with Fuentes it would be a DISASTER.And If they lose with k-rod,atleast Omar and the Mets hierarchy showed the fans that they tried to put the best pitcher out there to close games..SPEND THE MONEY! In recent years,I keep hearing about the Record ticket sales. And this is the year to go all out! They can’t Cheap it out. -LOWE,K-ROD,DUNN- Yeah I said it ADAM DUNN! Yes he strikes out a ton. Though at 28, coming off a 122 walk season,Dunn is sporting a Career.381 OBP. Power + High On base would give this 2009 Mets team a whole new look that they need..Either get rid of Castillo to be replaced by Murphy (wouldn’t sign Hudson;has been hurt and reportedly is set to make 10mm yr),or trade Delgado and put Murphy at 1st. They NEED him in the lineup! He’s showing (in the Fall League also)way TOO much plate discipline at just 23yrs old.

  5. Why are people so terrified of K-Rod ‘breaking down?’ He hasn’t had ONE SINGLE major injury in his career. Is it because of his revised delivery? (one, he made more smooth to take pressure of his elbow)

    If he does have a premature breakdown it won’t be in his 20′s (which means 5 more years and most likely, the DURATION of his contract). It’ll most likely occur towards his middle 30s.

    Fuentes demand is HIGHER (CLE, TEX, DET, NYM, LAA) and will most likely command a 4 year-deal. He is cheaper, sure but giving him a 4-year deal is the equivalent of repeating Wagner (36, 37 years old breaking down at the most crucial juncture of the season).

    K-Rod has been the DEFINITION of consistent while Fuentes has lost his job TWICED in the past 3 years.

    Fuentes = Looper II.

  6. I would also sign a closer, either Fuentes or K-Rod if his years come down.

    I do expect the Mets to sign 1 good starter such as Lowe, Burnett, Perez, Dempster, etc.

  7. If I have one guy to sign, I sign the best. The best FA in the area of greatest need is K-Rod. You want second best guy (like Fuentes), you remain the second best.

  8. If you can get K-Rod at a reasonable price , you have to take him. Fuentes will be the logical and economic solution at 4 years, 44 Million.

    Mets will probably sign 2 free agent middle relievers like Beimel and Cruz to fill out the pen..

    Mark my words, I think the Mets are going to trade Heilman + to the Rays to get Edwin Jackson..and try to sign Derek Lowe..

    Javier Vazquez might be a alternative trade solution for Castillo

  9. JD- you sign the closer because that is the bigger need and the organization doesnt have a reasonable alternative….

    The rotation has options in a worse case scenerio they could plug Neise and Vargas in….

    But who would close Parnell

  10. I’d rather go for a starter like Lowe. There are more quality closer options on the trade market than there are starters.

    I also don’t see the love for Brian Fuentes. Yes, he’s had success — and he’s done it in a ballpark that is not pitcher-friendly. But he really hasn’t had much experience in big games or with potentially hostile home crowds.

  11. Fuentes pitched in the 2007 Rockies run to the World Series. That is big game for me.

    Does anyone think K-Rod’s over the top act on the mound concerns the Mets.
    K-Rod makes Reyes look boring in comparison. If the Mets signed K-Rod they better develop a thick skin from all the other teams that will hate them even more.

  12. why is K Rod off the table?

    Paying K Rod 15 mil for 4 years is a heck of a lot better use of fund than paying Fuentes 12 mil over 4 years.

    K ROd isnt getting 5 years. Fuentes is Getting 4 years. so the years isnt an issue. An extra couple of million isnt a deal breaker. Especially if Omar can structure it to lower the year one value.

    With the Braves lined up for Peavy and the Phils talking Holliday we HAVE TO improve to compete. And Fuentes doesnt cut it.

  13. Actually I can see them in on K-Rod.
    Who needs a closer? Mets, Tigers, Indians, DBAcks, Rays, Nationals, and Cardinals.

    Rays, Nationals, and Tigers will 100% not be able to afford him.
    Indians, DBacks, Cardinals, might show interest, might have a shot, but everything I”ve read about the DBacks is they don’t have too much room in their budget, take them out.
    The Cardinals ehh, who knows but they have some nice lively arms in their pen.
    That leaves Indians and Mets, with the Indians not wanting to spend that type of money on a closer when they have enough talent to acquire one via trade.

    I think the Mets are really all alone in theirpursuit of K-Rod, unless you want to count the Angels. I can see a scenario where it is not 5 years $75 million but 3 years with 2 easily attainable option years at $14 per year.

    I don’t even think Fuentes gets 4 years, I see him as getting 2 years.

  14. I am of the mind that the Mets drafted and have been readying Eddie Kunz for the closer’s job, and if they go out and sign Fuentes or K-Rod, they are effectively giving up on Kunz – am i right in that? Or would he be transitioned into the set-up man role?

    The reason i ask is that i feel that the teams that have really exceptional closers in many cases are the teams that draft and develop a closer organically – Rivera, K-Rod, even Fuentes – or trade for someone at a very early time in their career (like when the Padres got Hoffman) – you rarely see a free-agent closer have a sustained, successful stop with a team (Wagner and Lidge are exceptions to the rule).

    So – my question – would it be worth it to try and start the year with Kunz as the closer and see if he has what the Mets tend to think he has, or has that ship already sailed?

  15. Kunz isn’t very good. He’s just not.
    He didn’t dominate in college.
    He hasn’t dominated in the minors. In fact his performance has been very “meh”. Nothing is special, nothing stands out.
    He’s not very good. All he’s good at is NOT giving up homeruns, which I think is impressive but, he gets hit!

    To be fair, the Mets didn’t pass up on anybody special during that draft to get Kunz, but hindsight now says they passed on Jordan Zimmerman, Daniel Duffy a lefty in the Royals organization, and Michael Stanton the OF from Florida who was the deal breaker for them to get Manny.

  16. Wagner is an exception to the rule that FA’s don’t have long good stints? Well, if you think that ripping off a team, destroying the atmosphere in the clubhouse, ratting teammates and choking every clutch outing down the stretch run well then I guess Wagner is your man. To me, it would have been best for the Mets had he blown out his arm and his poisonous mouth in his first Spring outing.

  17. Mets have 3 extra million dollars to spend this off season, Willie Randolph was hired by the Brewers to be Ken Macha’s bench coach.

  18. If the exercise is to get one player, I get the best one out there, CC. I know his current team killed him at the end of the season, but he is the best one out there. He may not last 5 years because of his weight, but for the next 2,3 years, can you imagine Johan, CC, Pelf and possibly Maine as your 4 guys in the rotation with whoever makes it out of the minors coming up in the middle of the year?

    JD, you keep saying krod has arm problems and is losing the turbo on his fastball. that is a major flag. fuentes sounds ok, but if you say one guy I go with the Ace.

    We will still have pen problems, but perhaps you can do something at the trading deadline relatively cheap.

    I go with the four horses. this way the pen gets marginalized.

  19. One more thing. Say you go for Krod. you have say 3 starters assuming Maine comes back healthy. That means in a given week, you are confident for half the week and burn your pen the other half. Does this win you 90 games? Your stud closer never matters. You still have issues with the bridge and middle relief.

    I go with 4 stud starters ( big if on Maine ) and roll the dice on game 5.

  20. Did the Mets really save $3 million by having Randolph sign as a bench coach with the Brewers? I was under the impression that Randolph’s salary as a coach would be deducted from what the Mets owe. If Randolph gets $500,000 as a coach, the Mets would still have to pay $2.5 million.

    Go with K Rod. I think people are trying to find a problem with him, instead of reporting one.

  21. Just a bit of info. Nick Evans Went 0 for 4 with 3 K’s yesterday, playing for the Mayaguez Indians in the Puertorican league.