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.
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.
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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