Mets Signed Daisuke Matsuzaka To Compete For Fifth Starter

After several months of speculation, the New York Mets finally did the obvious and re-sign free-agent pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to compete for the fifth spot.

He’ll go against Jenrry Mejia, recently signed left-hander John Lannan and prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom.

MATSUZAKA: Competing for 5th starter role.

MATSUZAKA: Competing for 5th starter role.

Matsuzaka was signed to a minor league contract, which is what GM Sandy Alderson wanted from the outset with a veteran presence.

Once Matsuzaka, 33, straightened out his mechanics by speeding up his delivery, he closed on an upswing and finished at 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA in seven starts with the Mets.

Matsuzaka had a 10.95 ERA over 12.1 innings over his first three starts with the Mets, but after working with pitching coach Dan Warthen, he had a 1.37 ERA over his final four starts.

Speculation has Matsuzaka and Lannan moving to the lead because of their experience, and to give Mejia more time in his recovery from elbow surgery and Montero and deGrom in their development.

An advantage of going with Matsuzaka out of the gate is if gets off to a strong start – and the same applies to Lannan – it enhances their ability to make a trade at the July 31 deadline.

Did the Mets improve their rotation with a substantial name such as David Price, or solid starters such as Matt Garza or Bronson Arroyo?

No, but they improved more than their cynics thought they might. They signed three starters to fill the back end of their rotation in Bartolo Colon as their fourth starter, and Lannan and Matsuzaka to compete for the fifth starter role.

Do they have a playoff rotation? Not likely, but they have a rotation that could be solid enough to make .500 possible.

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2 thoughts on “Mets Signed Daisuke Matsuzaka To Compete For Fifth Starter

  1. I agree. I am happy with the pitchers. The juicer had a great year last year and Dice K is a good low cost signing.

    However unless we have 5 all stars in the rotation we will not sniff 500. Our pitchers need to prove they can go 7 strong game in game out or else the pen explodes by august.

    Our hitters suck. We have 2 guys that can reliably hit 270 or better. The rest of the team reliably hits 250 or worse. That is a recipe for disaster and we did not improve in the offseason like we had to do.

    Our number one priority, more than getting starting pitchers was to get at a minimum of one reliable good hitter who can play defense. Preferably in the OF.

    Instead we signed 2 over the hill vets who hit about 220 each last year. The narrative is they both had bad years and will hit better than 250 and hit at least 20 hr.

    I can see us exit may with the fans booing these two new scrubs for lack of hitting.

    • Dave: Dice-K could be a good signing. His contract dictates he has to pitch on the major league level by June 1. That shouldn’t be a problem. If he pitches as he did in his last three starts that would be a bonus.-JD