The Mets pitchers and catchers have to report to Port St. Lucie by tomorrow and have their physicals on Tuesday. There isn’t a lot of intrigue this year given the team’s dire financial situation. But the one pitcher that everyone will be keeping an eye on is Johan Santana. He missed all of last season recovering from surgery on his left shoulder and there are still major questions about when he can come back. And there are even bigger questions about how effective he’ll be when he does come back. The good news is that Santana only has two years left on his deal with the Mets plus a team option for 2014. I never thought that I’d be counting down the days until Santana’s contract ended.
There are some new faces in the bullpen this year. Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Frank Francisco will be the newly acquired back of the bullpen. Tim Byrdak will be back as the lefty specialist. D.J. Carrasco might find himself back in the minors again if he can’t keep it together. Carrasco might be pitching along side Pedro Beato at Buffalo this season. Beato started hot last season but ended dreadfully. He’s available to send back to the minors now that the Mets got past his Rule 5 season. Continue reading →
The Mets traded Angel Pagan to the Giants for outfielder Andres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez. Pagan is a tremendous athlete that frustrated Mets fans with bonehead plays in the field and on the bases. He appeared to be making great strides to realize his potential in 2010 but took a step back in 2011. Hopefully, he’ll realize that potential with the Giants because he seems like one of the good guys in the game.
Ramon Ramirez is the important piece of the trade for the Mets. He’s been working the middle innings in the majors since 2006 to some success. His career ERA is 3.16. That’s pretty good for a career middle reliever. Surprisingly, the Mets are Ramirez’ fifth team in seven seasons. That goes to show how little a priority that middle relievers are.
Andres Torres is a throw-in in this deal. He’s a light-hitting switch hitter with some speed that plays solid defense in the outfield. He’ll be 34 years old next season and hasn’t made it to free agency yet. He made $2.2 million last season so he’ll be in line for a little bit of a salary increase. I would guess the Mets see him as a fourth outfielder and plan to make another move to replace Pagan in center field.