Available free agent relievers ….

The following relievers will be available this winter in the free-agent market. Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz are intriguing, but are they worth throwing piles of money at? I’m not so sure.

Unquestionably, the Mets’ bullpen was horrible last season, but GM Omar Minaya’s analysis is wide ranging. Were the individuals simply bad and past their prime, or just had a bad season? To what degree were injuries a factor (Aaron Heilman)? How much did throwing out of their roles determine the results?

The Mets will add a body or two from this list, but I don’t see a major overhaul. If they don’t deal Heilman, and I’m starting to lean in the direction of them keeping him, the set-up relievers might not change that much.

I can see Heilman, Schoeneweis, Ayala, Feliciano and Smith coming back. I can also see Parnell or Kunz getting a shot. Then there’s the closer they’ll add, and the more I think of it, the more I can visualize it being Trevor Hoffman.

Here’s the list of available free-agent relievers:

Jeremy Affeldt CIN
Luis Ayala NYM
Joe Beimel LAD
Joe Borowski CLE
Juan Cruz ARZ

Brendan Donnelly BOS
Alan Embree * OAK
Scott Eyre CHC
Kyle Farnsworth DET
Casey Fossum DET

Brian Fuentes COL
Aaron Fultz CLE
Tom Gordon * PHI
LaTroy Hawkins HOU
Mark Hendrickson LAD

Trevor Hoffman SD
Bobby Howry CHC
Jason Isringhausen STL
Steve Kline SF
Brandon Lyon ARZ

Damaso Marte * NYY
Tom Martin COL
Julio Mateo PHI
Guillermo Mota MIL
Will Ohman CHC

Darren Oliver LAA
John Parrish SEA
Chris Reitsma SEA
Dennys Reyes MIN
Juan Rincon CLE

Francisco Rodriguez LAA
Brian Shouse MIL
Rafael Soriano ATL
Jorge Sosa NYM
Mike Stanton * CIN

Salomon Torres * MIL
Derrick Turnbow MIL
Oscar Villarreal ATL
David Weathers CIN
Dave Williams NYM

Matt Wise NYM
Kerry Wood CHC

39 thoughts on “Available free agent relievers ….

  1. I don’t know how healthy they are, but I would take a chance on Soriano and give Turnbow a minor league deal if he would accept it. As far as the holdovers go, I don’t want to see Heilman or Schoenweis here. I think Feliciano has some value in a trade more than any of those guys so if you can sign a guy like Brian Shouse to be the lefty specialist, I think that would make for a solid pen.

  2. John, if Heilman, Schoeneweis, Ayala, Feliciano and Smith return and only Parnell and/or Kunz along with Hoffman as the closer are added, the results will be no better if not worse then 2008.

    With the market apparently dropping for KROD, people like Biemel and Cruz available and the possibility of including Heilman and Schoenweis is posssible trades, Omar must completely reshape the pen.

    You didn;t mention Stokes — I’d like to see him back before Heilman and Schoenweis.

    Ayala, ehhh. I could take him or leave him. What about Sanchez? Will he be closer to the 2006 version?

    If it’s Hoffman, Parnell/Kunz plus a free agent added to the leftover trash from 2008, then Omar will deserve the the beating he will get from the fans when 2009 goes up in smoke.

  3. Smith, Stokes should return….

    I could live with any of Sanchez, Ayala and Feliciano returning

    Heilman and Schoeneweis ( I know Show wasn’t bad but I have my agruement against him returning) have to go

    Juan Cruz is the best of the group and he is worth the money… Otherwise I’m trusting the scouts to make a list of Lefties and righties finding one of each to come in on 1-2 yr contracts….

    new lefty
    new righty
    Sanchez or Ayala with Parnell waiting in AAA
    Feliciano or Vargas

  4. Ed, the biggest problem with Schoenweis to be fair is the Mets crazy idea that he is a crossover lefty. Randolph and Manuel both used him in that capacity and he failed. Just like his lifetime stats have proven over and over, he CANNOT GET OUT RIGHTIES..and yet, the Mets insist he handle the role. The only value he has is a lefty specialist. Hopefully the Mets can get another sucker to believe the way they do about him and get rid of the rest of his contract. I don’t want to see him on the team this year.

  5. Um…JD, can you explain to me why the Mets would go for Trevor Hoffman over Fuentes or K-Rod?

    And don’t say money, because for a NY team, that should never be an issue.

  6. No way Hoffman comes here, I doubt he wants to pitch in NY after pitching in a non-stress environment in San Diego, he’s too old and besides his saves, his stats were not closer material.

    I’m leaning to signing K-Rod, who won’t get 75/5, but I’d sign him for 4.

  7. Oh and Schoeneweis has to go. I want Heilman gone too, but at least he has a track record and a possible injury to fall back on.

    Schoeneweis is horrible.

  8. Azy (7) “besides his saves, his stats were not closer material”

    What else matters for a closer besides his saves? (and blown saves)

  9. Here’s some news:

    The Yankees re-signed reliever Damaso Marte to a 3-year contract, keeping him in pinstripes through at least 2011. The deal includes a club option for the 2012 season. The team did not disclose financial details, though the Spanish-language publication Impacto Deportivo reports that the contract is worth $12M over the first 3 years.


    Just trying to plot how much the relievers on John’s original list are signing for.

  10. If you bring back Heilman & Shoeneweis you’ve done nothing this off season and the results will be the same as 2007 & 2008. Both these pitcher have been given every opportunity to clean up their act with no positive results.Omar better get rid of them and fast.

  11. Steve (6).

    Show was a cross over pitcher for years, an effective starter, long reliever in fact being a LOOGY will be new to him… by the time the Mets realized he could no longer get out righties they were desperate and had to keep trying….

    But it’s not his pitching I have a problem with, when wagner went down he took over the leadership role in the pen and the pen absolutely failed. You need to move him to change the dynamics I dont want the younger guys looking up to a guy who failed and at the same time he was calling pen meeting he was telling the press were not closers….

  12. Ed, I agree with the dynamics part…but look back as far as 2003…Show was never effective against righties, only against lefties.

  13. I think you try and get rid of Show. He has been effective at times and so I think you can get something for him. A pick or a young AA/A pitcher is fine with me.

    heilman should go to, but unless you just want to cut him I would keep him. Perhaps the injury was the reason he was so bad this year. He is not a closer, but has been effective as a 7/8 type of guy or perhaps even #5 starter as has been suggested.

    I would also get rid of feliciano. He was good 2 years ago and have not been impressed with him since.

    I would also give the kids a shot at the pen in the spring. We need to get younger and the only way to do that is from within. Everyone wants pitching so you can’t just go and get a young arm anymore.

    I don’t really know the players on the list. Most of these guys are old I think.

    Omar can always do what he likes to do and take a shot on an old Met, Izzy. Perhaps he has something left. That would not be my first choice, but he was a closer the year before and he may come cheap. I am not suggesting him as a closer here, but for depth only.

    I would also be willing to keep Sanchez. I has done nothing since 06, but perhaps this is the year his arm has healed and is actually ready to go. He is all about velocity. If he can’t throw 95 he is a waste.

    A lot of if’s but since JD keeps saying KRod is damaged goods there is not much here.

    A few years ago Minaya went out and got the best free agent closer on the market and although he did well, he was not the shut the lights off and lock the door type of pitcher we would have liked.

    This market leaves me very underwhelmed.

    Do we have a shot at Street?

  14. Steve (5): Schoeneweis did not get out righties as the Mets would have hoped, but then again, neither did Sanchez and Heilman. With the overuse of the bullpen, Schoeneweis got more exposure than the Mets would have liked, and that includes vs. RH hitting. Schoeneweis was effective at times last season, but the more he pitches the less effective he becomes.-JD

  15. Mike (6): The advantanges of Trevor Hoffman are:

    1. He converted 30/34 save opps last season, which translates to one blown save every six weeks. Not bad.
    2. He should come for around $4 million to $5 million for the year. He’ll probably want two years, and that’s still better than the five K-Rod wants.
    3. Hoffman’s presence would buy time until the Mets could develop their own closer (Kunz or Parnell).
    4. K-Rod has some risk attached to him and is pricey in years and money.-JD

  16. dave (14): No way will the Mets simply cut Heilman. The knee injury casts a cloud over everything. If he’s completely healthy, he’s better than last year and worth keeping.-JD

  17. Mike F. (11): I’m trying to think along with the Mets based on what they’ve done in the past. Do you really see them making a complete overhaul in the pen? I’m seeing them bringing back Heilman and Schoeneweis. Feliciano? He’s a lefty, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see that, either.-JD

  18. Delcos (16). No way Hoffman for two years. You say KRod is a risk but 800 year old Hoffman for multiple years isn’t? I’ve lost the faith in this experiment. Keep Minaya as GM. And why do you care about the $$$. Its not yours or mine, and they ain’t lowering ticket prices if they get the cheap closer.

  19. Harry (20): Hoffman will want two years, so you give him one and an option. And, I don’t care about the money. It’s not mine, but when covering the Mets you have to think bottom line it all the time because that’s what they do. … If money were no object, I’d say, sure, go get Sabathia, K-Rod, Teixeira and Lowe. And, what the hell, Manny, too. But, how realistic is that?-JD

  20. I think they bring back ONE of shoe or feliciano.. Not both. I’m a k rod supporter for a 4 year deal
    I would prefer to package heilman with someone else to fill a hole.

    Add Parnell interally. Keep stokes and dirty too and chad corderos as a minor signing and ayala. So


  21. Hoffman wants 2 tell him to retire. Minaya did that too long a deal thing with every older guy and its been horrible. I know the money thing but it just irks me that this team is bilking eveyone in the new park, charges a fortune for 8th rate food, has its own TV station like the Yankees and acts like its in a small market.
    I don’t give Hoffman 2 or a 1 plus 1.
    Sabathia: Mets gave up half the farm for Santana. Yanks going to buy CC and have their farm for other needs. And with Santana we finished exactly as we did without him because Minaya wouldn’t improve the pen. It will be interesting to see which NY GM gets his team back to the WS. I bet on Cashman.

  22. I don’t think Hoffman is that good.
    I’d rather use Hoffman as a way to lower KRod’s and Fuentes’ demands.

    Other good names that tickle my fancy are:
    Juan Cruz, Jeremy Affedlt, Derrek Turnbow, RIck Bauer, Kiko Calero, Jose Capellan, and Al Reyes.
    Yup alot of those guys in the end are retreads but certainly worth looking into. They’ve either had success in the majors or minors before or throw heat. Again at least worth looking into.

    Heilman and Schoenweiss have gots to go.

  23. Actually it only took me a couple of seconds to realise how foolish my “I don’t think Hoffman is that good” comment.
    I take it back. The man only walked 9 baters all year and that’s awesome but I’d rather not go after him.

  24. With the Phillies winning the World Series do you think that is going to change the way the Mets are going to approach free agents in the off season?

  25. Hoffman in NY makes no sense.
    He is a west coast guy.
    Better chance he lands in StLouis or Arizona.
    Lets see how the next month goes before ripping the Mets for not spending money.
    Just because the Mets have a lot of money does not mean you should overpay or be used to push the price up on free agents who do not even want to play for the Mets.

  26. Based on the Yankee signing today, you better be prepared for big $$ for any reliever. Marte for 4 mil per. Krod and company are all smiling and jumping around tonight.

  27. Steiny (26) If Minaya changes his “plans” because of what the Phillies did, it will reinforce my opinion that he is one lousy GM who does not know how to develop and implement a plan.

  28. (25) Benny. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll likely return to your original assessment. Was Hoffman very good last year? Yes, under no pressure as his team finished in last place, 21 games out.

    Check out his post season and his All Star game stats, and you’ll be less enthusiastic.

    He has had some post season success, but it’s a mixed bag overall, with 12 appearances but only 4 saves to go with 2 losses.

    He lost the ’06 All Star game which, as the advertising says, “counted,” costing the NL home field advantage in the WS. His career All Star game ERA is 10.13.

    Also he blew the save in the last regular season game of ’07 which created a tie for first with the streaking Rockies, then in the “play in” game with the Rockies he blew that save and lost the game by giving up 3 runs in 1/3 IP.

    The Mets have already proven they can fold under pressure, they don’t need Hoffman’s help with that.

  29. Ehh… its small sample size. And I personally don’t want the Mets going after him but I was just saying that calling him “no good” might be a bit harsh.
    I’d rather the Mets use him as a pawn to lower KRod’s demands. Regardless of where Hoffman lands,whether its Cleveland, St. Louis, or Anaheim that’s one less suiter for the Fuentes/KRod camp.

  30. (31) Benny, I agree it’s a small sample size, no argument there, but it’s also a crucial sample in my opinon. Ultimately I agree with you that he should be used to improve the Mets position with other (better) options.

    As far as the list provided by Mr. Delcos, in alphabetical order I think the Mets should ignore completely all but 9 of them: Cruz, Fuentes, Ohman, Oliver, Reyes, Rodriguez, Shouse, Soriano and Wood. From that group I hope they can acquire one or more to improve the pen for ’09.

  31. I would like a trade rather than a sign I think.

    and FYI, that lifeoflisa.com banner is horrible. once you click it you can’t get away!

  32. Om Feliciano vs Show

    Why keep both? I see them as essentially the same.

    Situational lefties.

    I would keep Feliciano, but don’t care either way. We only need one.

    On prices.

    With the economy in the toilet, wall street history, the impending loss of the automobile industry, etc. Will anyone have any money to pay for the subscription to shea and then the per game prices being asked?

    My point being that across the board the Mets will probably take in less money than last year and if they have any financial sense will tighten their belts. The Steinbrenners being who they are may pay for all the high end free agents and still come up short and spend 400 million to do so.

  33. Dave (35): I think your underestimating the power of the demand. With all the suites they’re going to have, they’re going to sell! And that alone is going to make them all that revenue.
    Go on the yankees.com website and look for pictures of their suites and just think “how much is this going to cost?” because by looking at it you could tell its alot.

  34. dave makes a good point about revenue. The Yankees haven’t sold all their suites and haven’t sold one since Summer. Companies like ML may not be allowed to buy season seats by the new owners, and smaller companies in the hole may be cutting back because they are hurting. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and how it varies by region.
    Football games, college and pro tho still looked full, but they sold before things got real bad.

    But based on the Marte signing, it doesn’t look like a recesion is impacting FAs, at least not yet.

  35. The recession will probably hurt the lower level guys more. The Sabathia’s, Texeira’s, K-Rod’s will get their share of money. Guys like Wille Bloomqvist won’t.