Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Pitching market not great ….

The real trend-setter for starting pitcher’s contracts isn’t John Lackey but Randy Wolf, he of the 101-85 career record in 11 years (basically 10-9 a season), who signed a three-year contract with Milwaukee for $29.75 million.

Ben Sheets, despite his injury history, wants $12 million per season and Joel Pineiro wants a four-year deal with a higher annual average than Wolf. Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, has a $15.5 million offer on the table from the Red Sox.

Also, lurking are Pedro Martinez, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Brett Myers. There are three Hall of Famers there, but that’s in the future and past tenses. Present tense, well, they aren’t much better than whom the Mets have now.

For the Mets to add pitching, their choices are to overpay for mediocrity, or in the case of Sheets, take a health gamble. The Mets are gambling their current rotation will progress, and if it doesn’t, then at least they have the economics on their side (save Oliver Perez).

Not encouraging, is it?

Nov 07

This isn’t how the Mets should make a statement ….

While not in Jeff Wilpon’s mind, it isn’t hard to imagine an even greater sense of urgency to the Mets to make a winter splash in the wake of the Yankees’ World Series title.

CHAPMAN: A risky proposition.

CHAPMAN: A risky proposition.


That shouldn’t include throwing $60-million stone in the Aroldis Chapman pond. That’s the reported starting point for the hard-throwing, lefty Cuban defector. Chapmanā€™s agent, Edwin Mejia, said he’s spoken with both teams, and Mets’ GM Omar Minaya is still listening.

Many scouting reports are high on Chapman, but there have been a lot of rave reviews about players who’ve never made it. And, these are players scouts have seen regularly in college and the minor leagues.
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Oct 23

Mets talking Chapman ….

When you’re young, left-handed, and can throw a ball 100 mph., you’re going to get the attention of major league scouts. And, because he escaped the attention of those assigned to guard him, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, is starting to make the rounds.

He’s talking with the Mets today.

CHAPMAN: Fishing for a ML deal.

CHAPMAN: Fishing for a ML deal.


Edwin Mejia, Chapman’s agent, says his client has a two and four-seam fastball, curve, slider, change and forkball. That’s a hefty scouting report, but until we get the same report from major league scouts take it with a grain of salt.

It has also been reported Chapman will get a contract up to $50 million, which is a lot for somebody who hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues. Let’s also not forget he has left behind a wife and daughter, parents and sisters. Who is to say he won’t be distracted by being away from them. Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras had separation pangs.

It’s reported he’s 21, but there’s no real assurances yet, of that. Latin players are notorious for lying about their age. Hey, Hernandez still is.

While there’s no disputing there’s a wealth of talent in Cuba, remember it is not major league talent. We do not know what Chapman is capable of against major league hitters. We also don’t know how he’ll deal with the pressures and anxieties of living away from home.

If he’s the real deal, the Mets should be interested. But there are a lot of variables, so buyer beware.