That’s a lot of money for a supposedly cheap team out of contention to shell out the final week of the season. Other teams in similar situations have pulled the player so they wouldn’t have to pay the bonus.
Young, a free-agent this winter, logged 115 innings, his most since 2007, and there will be some contender in need of another arm that will be interested. There’s no shortage of teams that could use a reliable arm such as Young’s.
“All in all, there were some really good things,” Young said of his season last night after giving up two run in six innings in a very quality start. “It was a great year, to bounce back. … When I decided to have the surgery and rehab, I knew it would be a long process. I knew there would be some bumps in the road.
The Mets are in Atlanta tonight to start a three-game series against the Braves and long-time nemesis Chipper Jones.
Jones has taken his farewell tour among National League parks and has been given numerous gifts ranging from a pop-art painting of Shea Stadium from the Mets, a surfboard from the Padres, and maybe the best of all, an autographed Stan Musial jersey from the Cardinals.
The Braves will honor him prior to tonight’s game and he’ll have three more shots at tormenting the Mets.
Jones will go down as one of the top four switch hitters in history, along with Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray (both over 500 homers) and Pete Rose (the career hits leader).
He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Niese starts for Mets: Jonathan Niese will make his final start of the season. The pre-season goal was 15 victories, but Niese stands at 12-9 with a very respectable 3.49 ERA, and an improved 1.18 WHIP (from his career of 1.36).
He has a very good 152-46 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, but needs to cut down on homers allowed (21).
Perhaps most importantly, Niese will end the season injury free with 30 starts.
Gee goes home: Dillon Gee is at his off-season Fort Worth, Texas, home today, having been sent home by the club after the Citi Field 2012 finale.
Gee threw a bullpen session Monday, his first time on the mound since July 13, when he had surgery to repair an artery in his pitching shoulder that caused numbness in his arm.
Gee said he had never thrown off a mound this soon after an extended down period and came away pleased.
“All I wanted to do was see how much I could build up before the end of the season,” Gee said. “And, to be honest with you, normally I’m not on the mound this early. So to be up on the mound this early and feel pretty good is encouraging. That was a goal.’’
It was important for the Mets to see Gee throw before winter, even if it was only 25 pitches so they could get a feel of his physical status.
Gee said he’ll start working out immediately after the season and begin throwing in December, as he does every year. That there are no restrictions on him is very encouraging.
Citi Field, 2012, numbers: The Mets finished 36-45 at home, a number that must at least be reversed if they are to become regarded as a contender. They scored 287 runs, their fewest at home since 1994, when they scored 235 runs. They did homer 67 times, their most at home since opening the park, but were outhomered by five.
Listening to Sandy Alderson last night on SNY gave me little hope the contract extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey will reached any time soon, but he did say there’s more a sense of urgency with the latter.
“R.A.’s situation is a little bit different in the sense that there is more immediacy there,’’ Alderson said. “Here’s a guy that’s 37 years old and is pitching and presumably doesn’t have the same horizon that a David Wright might.
“So at the end of the season we’ll talk with R.A. and see what he’s thinking and try to have him back. He’s been a great story this year. He’s been a great asset over the last three years, really.’’
Dickey has been solid since getting here, but this season has been a breakout one for him as he’s on the cusp of winning 20 games. While Wright has already had one payday, this will be Dickey’s only chance.
Dickey said he’d like to stay, but also realizes what’s at stake. Just last week he said it would take more than one piece to make the Mets a legitimate contender. He and Wright are two of those pieces, but the team needs more, including the bullpen, the outfield and catcher.
Based on published reports, the Mets aren’t going to splurge in the free-agent market, with their resources earmarked for these two. Subsequently, you can’t expect 2013 to be much different than this year. The hope for improvement is from within and injured starters Johan Santana and Dillon Gee coming back.
Both players said they’d wait until the offseason, which is now a little more than a week away. Both have stated a preference of staying with the Mets, but also acknowledged the economics of the sport.
“Our intent is to work hard to try to keep them both,’’ Alderson said. “They’ve both been great for us this year. David has been here and is the face of the franchise — has been. We’d very much like him to stay. I think he wants to stay. I’m sure he wants to know where we’re headed and the things that we intend to do to make it a winner. We’ll have that conversation at some point.’’
That last comment is in response to Wright saying last week there are no moral victories in finishing strong and it is all about making the playoffs.
If a deal can’t get done, Alderson said trading becomes an issue.
“If we felt that there absolutely wasn’t any way that we were going to get something done, then we would probably approach something,’’ Alderson said. “But I think we tend to be optimistic and see where it takes us.’’