Feb. 17.10: Mets missed layup with Wang.

For a team that says it wants to build itself around pitching, and doesn’t even have a No. 5 starter, the Mets missed out when Chien-Ming Wang signed with Washington.

Two million bucks, even if the Mets have decided to pinch pennies, was a good risk. The reports have been good on his shoulder, and with the off days in April the Mets could have mixed and matched until he was ready.

Wang might be done, he might turn into a bust, but in today’s market, $2 million was a safe enough gamble.

23 thoughts on “Feb. 17.10: Mets missed layup with Wang.

  1. It would have been a good gamble without question. For what it’s worth, 29 other teams passed on him too and the Nationals also have interest in Kris Benson.

  2. 1. Your first sentence was accurate, but then you went into the koolaide closet again. I guess the big signee Bay was a totally bad sign because 29 other teams passed. When your fight for a starting job amounts to a 36 year old loser, and two other guys who were out significant time last year due to injuries and 3 of your other 4 starters all had much time on the DL, and the other starter couldn’t mentally recover from a couple of balks, you damn well be willing to take some chances.
    2. It would have given them the chance to make the Yankees look bad for once if he came back ok. And it would have given the Mets FO a chance to say, we didn’t want the other guys because they ain’t much better than our pile of mediocre pitchers, but we took a chance on a guy with some real upside. I guess the Jeffy run team doesn’t understand basevball, or marketing or anything else for that matter.

    Published: February 15, 2010
    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The popular thinking surrounding the Mets is that a good start is essential for a successful 2010 campaign. So what better way to start than to have Sandy Koufax surveying the early proceedings?

    With pitchers and catchers filtering in ahead of Thursday’s reporting date, Koufax, a Hall of Fame left-hander from the Dodgers, gave the early arrivals a treat Monday by watching them throw off the bullpen mound and offering morsels of advice and expertise to a select few.

    “I got a little nervous when I heard he would be watching my bullpen session,” the right-hander John Maine said, “and then I didn’t have a good one. But needless to say, it’s an extreme honor to have him around.”

    For more than a dozen years, Koufax has been a regular if infrequent visitor to Mets camp, making spot appearances during spring training to work with the pitchers. A close friend of the team’s principal owner, Fred Wilpon, Koufax lives in Vero Beach, about a 40-minute drive from Port St. Lucie. In the past, he has held informal clubhouse seminars with pitchers like Al Leiter and John Franco, established veterans who sat on stools and listened attentively as Koufax discussed the importance of pitching outside.

    Always one to play down his visits, Koufax said he came down to see his friends on the coaching staff, who then asked him to stay and observe.

    “I just came down to see Terry Collins,” he said, “and Guy Conti recruited me to watch.”

    He also spent time talking to General Manager Omar Minaya as they watched the pitchers throw on a warm, sunny morning. Minaya may be tempted to sign the 74-year-old Koufax, who still looks to be in game shape, to be the team’s fifth starter, but just asking his opinion is enough.

    “As a general manager, I’m very fortunate to be able to stand around and talk baseball with Sandy Koufax,” Minaya said. “Of course he has such a wealth of knowledge as one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. For me, it’s a privilege, and it’s great for our pitchers, too.”

    Among the many issues Minaya and the Mets must contend with this spring and into the season is their perceived lack of starting pitching. Johan Santana is the undisputed ace, one of the best pitchers in baseball if he has recovered from surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow last September.

    Santana is expected to be in top form, but there is more uncertainty following him in the rotation. Maine and Mike Pelfrey, who also threw in front of Koufax on Monday, are considered the meat of the rotation, with Oliver Perez behind them.

    Jon Niese, also present Monday, is a candidate for the fifth spot, as is the newly signed Hisanori Takahashi. Takahashi looked to be ahead of most of the other pitchers at this early date, throwing a full assortment of breaking balls.

    “They throw so much more than the American pitchers do,” Koufax said of the Japanese pitchers. “They’re brought up to do that.”

    Maine, who spoke for several minutes with Koufax, said that Koufax offered some sage advice and helped stress the importance of using both sides of the plate, though he was reluctant to give away any trade secrets.

    “He gave me a great analogy,” Maine said, “one of the best ones I’ve ever heard. I’m going to try to use it when I throw again on Wednesday.”

    After watching for about an hour, Koufax went on his way. He said he would be back later in camp to visit with Wilpon and watch the pitchers some more.

    “It’s always fun to see the start,” he said. “Once you’ve got a job, spring training is the most fun.”

    John – Let’s hope the Wilpons listen when he returns.

  4. (2) Harry: Last I checked, Wang wasn’t making $15 mil per year. So bad comparison my friend. Again, I think the Mets should have done it but what does it tell you that so many other teams passed?

  5. Why the emphasis on Wang and not, say, Eric Bedard? Or, did I miss the thread about the Mets missing a lay-up by not signing Bedard?

  6. (7) Probably because the rumor had Bedard limiting himself to the Orioles and Mariners. Also, Bedard isn’t exactly your New York kinda guy. Apparently he makes Eddie Murray look good to the media. lol

  7. yep, for $2 mil this was a deal we should have made. I dont have high hopes on him being very good for the Nats, but he would have been another arm to put in the 5th slot and we needed more depth there.

    I think Wang will be exposed though on the Nats.

  8. 5. You’re right O, the logic you provide says Bay is 8 times worse signing than Wang. My apologies. LOL… As for other teams passing, it means nothing. Each guy is his own situation and each team is their own situation. You can make that same claim about virtually every free agent.
    9. Exposed??? Hardly…. He gives their many not ready for the bigs pitchers time to develop as they should. DC will be under a lot of heat to get Strasborg to the bigs ASAP. (Steve O, I think that means as soon as possible, please verify for us old folks) Guys like Wang and Marquis help DC slow the tide a little.
    7. How’d you miss that thread??????

  9. 5: PS O MLB trade rumors say the Reds and Indians offered Wang big league deals. I guess the Bay signing was 24 times worse than the Wang signing since it is not even clear if the Red Sox offered him a deal or not. If they did your logic tells me the deal was 12 times worse. Either way I think your logic on interest from x # of teams is irrelevant.
    PS again. If the Mets sign Barrajas its hard to beleive, but it actually improves the team. 89 wins HaHa!

  10. (10) N o. I t m e a n s t h a t n o t a l o t o f t e a m s c o u l d a f f o r d t o t a k e o n a s a l a r y a s l a r g e a s B a y ‘ s. T h e r e a r e a l o t o f t e a m s t h a t c o u l d h a v e u s e d W a n g a t t h a t s a l a r y. B u t a l l p a s s e d.

  11. Could someone please explain to me why signing a pitcher who got hurt 2 years ago running the bases would be a good idea.
    Wang’s shoulder may be fine but I would be more concerned about letting him hit 3 times every game.

    Why his agent let him sign with a NL team is baffling to say the least.

  12. Scott,

    Because at 2 bills, a pitcher who won 19 games in the AL and who is still young has a lot of potential.

    Yes shoulder injuries are serious but for a flyer on a front line pitcher who might be able to be plugged into the rotation at #2 next year I think is an easy decision.

  13. 12. Calm down O. You have a bad logic and writing in a strange dialect won’t help your flawed theory at all. You are also 100% wrong about Wang not getting other offers. You may be eright some teams could not aford Bay, but you also ignore the fact that some could afford him and didn’t even sniff. Its not like he got AROD $$. So you need a new theory. See you later when you have one. PS: The he cost too much money theory is used up.
    13. Your logic is as bad as O’s. Yoiu get an A+ for your creativity but I guess you’d have to release Reyes hurting that leg while running, how can he be your base stealer, lead off man and short stop. And I guess yoyu will ban pitchers from covering first ever again because Niese ripped his hammy doing that. The defense of the Met FO being inept is becoming amzin’ amzin’ amazin’.

  14. 13/15

    scott is right.

    pitchers are not athletes.

    they are stumps with wind up arms to push a projectile to another stump standing a distance away from them.

    they are not supposed to move, cover bunts, cover home, or run.

    running is forbidden and against their employment contract.

    the same with hitting. one league has outlawed hitting for those players who are not contractually required to do so.

    same with instant replay. because humans are not capable of making quick decisions correctly it is best to let machines do that.

    come to think of it, baseball should be played in a sterile environment without people. this way we can control all the factors to provide a satisfying ‘competitive experience’ to the fans who will be forbidden from being physically present in the aforementioned environment.

  15. (15) I stand by my logic Harry. I just thought for old folk like yourself, my post would be easier to read. :-) And again if you notice, I said I thought the Mets should have signed Wang to that deal. I was just wondering why so many other teams passed on him.

  16. (17) The smile was for the old folk comment of mine. But damnit, i’m old too so maybe it was for my good too. lol

  17. (14)(15)
    Wang is 30
    Had no AB’s in his minor league career and 15 in his ML career.
    His BA is 000.
    Wang makes Al Leiter look like a clean up hitter.

    Wang should never be allowed to bat.

  18. 19. Remember Mr KOO!!!!!
    17. I’m proud of you Stick to your guns. You’ll make a good DA someday!! You aren’t old. If you were indeed old you would have made the font bigger, not spaced out more !!!!!! If you were old, answer this; was Carlton Willey ever your favorite Met pitcher?

  19. (21) No, I can’t speak for Carlton Willey. lol. But I can tell you how excited I was in summer camp seeing Willie Mays pinch hit for the Mets when I was 8!

  20. 23. Pretty good memory. I remember going to the Polo Grounds in ’62 when Mays came back to a hero’s welcome! Unfortunately, he wasn’t wearing METS shirts then when he was still great.