The New York Mets don’t have to look far if they want to plug one of the holes in the back end of their rotation.
The Yankees have no interest in bringing back either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and for those believing in the “change of scenery,’’ theory, they might be able additions to the Mets’ staff as they are 27 and 28, respectively.
Although both have been injured during their short careers, they are healthy now, but largely ineffective.
Hughes was a miserable 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA last season in 30 starts and lost his spot in the rotation. However, he won 16 games in 2012 and 18 games in 2010. He was 8-3 when the Yankees won the World Series in 2009.
“This year has been a struggle for him,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in a classic understatement after the season.
Considering Hughes has experienced major league success, and has made at least 30 starts in three of the last four seasons, and twice in that span worked at least 175 innings.
Hughes made $7.15 million last season, not unreasonable for a starter with a recent history of durability.
It shouldn’t be underestimated that a significant explanation in part for Hughes’ trouble is that he’s a fly ball pitcher working in a phone booth. That’s a major contributor to his career 4.54 ERA and an average of 24 homers given up per season.
Citi Field, the lack of a designated hitter, and being away from the Yankee Stadium boo-birds could be the change he needs.
His salary isn’t unreasonable, and his age is a plus. This isn’t like signing Bronson Arroyo, who’ll be 37 in February, and wouldn’t be able to give the Mets more than a year or two.
As for Chamberlain, he’s been treated similar to Jenrry Mejia in that he was bounced around from the rotation to the bullpen earlier in his career before being a strict reliever the last four years.
Once considered the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, Chamberlain sustained a shoulder injury in 2008 and eventually had Tommy John surgery in 2011. The following spring he mangled his ankle when he fell off a trampoline.
Chamberlain has lost something off his fastball, but still throws hard enough to get the job done.
Chamberlain earned just $1.8 million last season while going 2-1 with a 4.93 ERA in 45 appearances. He worked only 42 innings in 45 games. Overall, he’s worked only 444.2 innings during his career so there’s a lot of mileage left.
Considering their needs, the ages and salary history of Hughes and Chamberlain, both could become steals for the Mets.
LATER TODAY: I will take a look at Curtis Granderson as a possible fit into the Mets’ outfield.