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.
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?
* Denotes club has option
Nick Blackburn *
Chris Capuano *
Jorge De La Rosa
Roy Halladay *
Aaron Harang *
Ubaldo Jimenez *
Jon Lester *
Brett Myers *
Wandy Rodriguez *
Johan Santana *
Joe Saunders *
James Shields *
Ryan Vogelsong *
Tsuyoshi Wada *
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