Looking At Mets’ Free Agent Starting Pitching Options

GM Sandy Alderson said the New York Mets have the resources to shop this winter. However, it is more likely they will opt for several mid-tier free agents rather than cash it in on one number, such as it might take for Bartolo Colon or Tim Lincecum.

Given that, here’s his shopping list for this winter, beginning with the starting pitching. I will address the bullpen, catchers and position players over the next few days.

ARROYO: Interested in Mets.

ARROYO: Interested in Mets.

Everybody talks of the need for power, and I agree, but a bat is not as important as rounding out the rotation. History is dominated with slugging teams that didn’t win the World Series, or reach the playoffs.

When you consider the Mets’ postseason success, it has always been built on pitching over power.

With Matt Harvey a question, the free-agent market has several options of potential innings-eaters who could be had without breaking the bank, and I’m not talking about bringing back Johan Santana or Shaun Marcum, either.

While Alderson left the door open for Santana’s return, he likely said that as a courtesy. Santana is still rehabbing from a second surgery to repair a partially torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. The first surgery came in September 2010, but after a 19-month recovery, he blew out his shoulder in a hissy fit by making an unauthorized throwing session.

Santana underwent a second surgery April 2.

Safer options are bringing back Aaron Harang, whom the Mets hold an option for 2014, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Alderson didn’t dismiss either as a possibility earlier this week.

Bronson Arroyo has already expressed an interest in the Mets, so I suspect Alderson will contact him. Arroyo was 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA while pitching 202 innings over 32 starts for the Reds.

He’ll be 37 in spring training and made $8.25 million last season. However, as a contender, Cincinnati could be justified that expenditure. That might not be the case with the Mets, but Arroyo is an innings horse, having pitched at least 199 in every year since 2005.

Personally, although he had a miserable season, I believe Phil Hughes could benefit from a change of scenery and the larger confines of Citi Field. He’s only 27 and two years ago won 16 games. In 2010, he won 18.

The Mets said they want to stay away from injury reclamation projects, but Toronto’s Josh Johnson is one of the most intriguing name on the list.

He recently had bone spurs removed from his elbow. A short-term contract loaded with incentives is the likely way to go. If you’re going to roll the dice on an injury, go with the soon-to-be 30 Johnson over Santana.

Johnson was 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA for Toronto after consecutive down seasons with Miami. However, he led the NL with a 2.30 ERA while striking out 186 batters in 2010.

Sure, he’s a risk, but would you rather have the Mets call back Mike Pelfrey?

COMPLETE LIST

* Denotes club has option

Bronson Arroyo
Scott Baker
Erik Bedard
Nick Blackburn *
A.J. Burnett
Chris Capuano *
Chris Carpenter
Bruce Chen
Bartolo Colon
Aaron Cook
Jorge De La Rosa
Scott Feldman
Gavin Floyd
Jeff Francis
Armando Galarraga
Jon Garland
Matt Garza
Roy Halladay *
Jason Hammel
Aaron Harang *
Rich Harden
Dan Haren
Roberto Hernandez
Tim Hudson
Phil Hughes
Ubaldo Jimenez *
Josh Johnson
Jeff Karstens
Hiroki Kuroda
John Lannan
Jon Lester *
Colby Lewis
Ted Lilly
Tim Lincecum
Derek Lowe
Paul Maholm
Shaun Marcum
Jason Marquis
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Brett Myers *
Ricky Nolasco
Mike Pelfrey
Andy Pettitte
Wandy Rodriguez *
Jonathan Sanchez
Ervin Santana
Johan Santana *
Joe Saunders *
James Shields *
Tim Stauffer
Jason Vargas
Ryan Vogelsong *
Edinson Volquez
Tsuyoshi Wada *
Chien-Ming Wang
Chris Young
Barry Zito

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

6 thoughts on “Looking At Mets’ Free Agent Starting Pitching Options

  1. I strongly disagree with you on this point

    We are not winning anything in 2014

    We have no OF. Some of the young guys are a nice surprise but if you look at the team everyone is hitting below 250

    We need power on the team. Even defensive teams have at least some power. What we need is at least major league avg OF’s who play defense. We have defense without hitting.

    Rathern than spend $8m on a crap pitcher, why don’t we spend that on a player we can use like an OF? We have enough pitchers. When next year is over we will have the following as starters

    Harvey
    Niese
    Gee
    Mejia
    Hefner
    Montero
    Thor

    How many more pitchers do we need?

    We have no OF ( although there are one or two players I like , they are still projects). We need to solve first base and shortstop.

  2. Here are xFIP numbers

    Bruce Chen 4.93, Paul Maholm 3.89, Erik Bedard 4.61, John Lannan 4.71, Barry Zito 4.81, Jeff Francis 3.82, Bartolo Colon 3.95, Ervin Santana 3.69, Scott Baker 5.51, Bronson Arroyo 3.97, A.J. Burnett 2.92, Ricky Nolasco 3.58, Scott Feldman 3.96, Tim Hudson 3.56, Matt Garza 3.73, Jason Marquis 4.81, Tim Lincecum 3.56, Dan Haren 3.67, Jason Hammel 4.56, Mike Pelfrey 4.54, Gavin Floyd 3.60, Shaun Marcum 4.22, Jon Garland 4.54, Edinson Volquez 4.07, Josh Johnson 3.58, Chien-Ming Wang 4.07.

  3. I agree with Dave. This team has too many guys hitting under .250 who are also lousy on defense. Second and short is a farce. First base is a disgrace. Outfield has no power at all. These pitchers could all win 4 to 7 more games if they were given some run support. Also Dave didn’t mention Wheeler, Syndergard. Montero, deGrom in list of pitchers for next year, or shortly after. Got to give up some of it for hitters.