After writing about Jon Niese and untouchable Mets yesterday, I thought I’d take a different approach and consider those Mets believed to be out the door.
Say hello to Mike Pelfrey and Andres Torres. Both long thought to be gone, but upon further review cases can be made for their return.
The 28-year-old Pelfrey made $5.68 million in an injury shortened 2012 and is expected to hit the market with a career 50-54 record. He is arbitration eligible with Scott Boras as his agent, all which should make the Mets deathly afraid.
Quite bluntly: Even at 20 percent off his 2012 salary, the Mets think that is too high, which is why they won’t tender him and say good-bye after a disappointedly short-lived career in Flushing. He had a couple of solid seasons, even All-Star worthy in 2010, but regressed in 2011 and was hurt last year.
He never reached the level expected of a first-round pick while others, such as Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain sprinted past him into elite status. Unquestionably, Pelfrey has the physical tools to excel, but dramatically underachieved. A combination of a lack of poise – who can forget the three-balk game? – poor pitch selection, mechanics, and although he’ll deny it – spotty confidence – lead to mediocrity.
Considering the pay raise he would get in today’s screwed up arbitration system, the Mets can understandably not want to pay $6-plus million for mediocrity.
However, the Mets are loaded with pitching questions that make Pelfrey intriguing to re-consider assuming he’s healthy.
First of all, Johan Santana’s health is a concern, but even if he’s sound, this will be his final season as a Met, so there will be void and they don’t know if Zach Wheeler will be ready. Or Jenrry Mejia. They don’t even know if Mejia will start or relieve.
R.A. Dickey’s status is uncertain and his possible departure would create another hole. And, what if Niese or Matt Harvey don’t progress as expected? I’d rather have a still-young Pelfrey than Chris Young or a 37-year-old retread.
Pelfrey’s age, his familiarity with the organization and New York, his past glimpses of production and a reasonable salary compared with others in the market make him viable.
Mark my words: If the Mets don’t bring him back somebody will sign him.
The Mets are woefully thin in the outfield and without immediate help in the minor leagues. Torres showed glimpses of what the Mets hoped for when they traded Angel Pagan for him last winter, but was mostly a disappointment. They could do better in the free-agent market, but we know there will be spending limitations. The Mets know what they have in Torres and