With just 3 weeks till Spring Training this was a very busy week for the Mets who continue to put together a solid pitching staff while getting their financial house in order. With all their starters on 1 year deals (not including Johan Santana who is on the DL) the Mets have made it clear this staff is temporary and all options on are the table for 2012.
Here are some of the highlights of the week:
R.A. Dickey and the Mets enter arbitration. Dickey asks for $4.7 million. Mets counter with $3.35 million. Dickey still expressing interest in a 2 year deal but it’s looking more like he’ll get 1 just like everyone else. Great competitor and work ethic just like…
Chris Young who “finally” signs with the Mets. Young was out of baseball for all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery but an ESPN quote from Adrian Gonzalez (who played with Young on the Padres in ’06 – ’09) states how the RHer is one of the most competitive people he knows. With a base salary of $1.1 million and incentives, Young could max out at $4.5 million. I like the fact Young is a competitor with a great work ethic. Two things the Mets have lacked the last few years.
Mike Pelfrey settled with the Mets this week on a 1 year deal to avoid arbitration. The deal will pay Pelfrey $3.925 million during the upcoming season. He can earn $50,000 extra in performance bonuses. Terry Collins has also named Pelfrey the opening day starter.
With Pelfrey, Dickey, Jon Niese (who is also on a 1yr contract) & Young as your 1 – 4 starters, this is turning into a solid starting staff. I’m looking forward to the competition for the fifth spot.
Left Handed Tim Byrdak is signed this week to compete with Taylor Tankersley. Byrdak, 37, posted a 3.49 ERA for the Astros last season, striking out 29 batters and walking 20 in 38 2/3 innings. Though he holds a 4.35 career ERA, Byrdak has produced a 3.46 mark over the past four seasons with the Tigers and Astros. Last year, he held left-handed hitters to a .213 average. Byrdak will be competing for the left-handed setup role vacated by the loss of Pedro Feliciano.
Oliver Perez is also competing for the left-handed setup role but with the addition of Byrdak the odds are even greater that Perez will be cut. The Mets bringing in additional competition for the left-handed setup role means the odds of Perez making the team drops from 50% to 33%. Perez had a horrible showing in the Mexican winter league the last few weeks and not making the team out of spring training is a strong possibility, especially with 3 players competing for one spot, but Sandy Alderson has been consistent all winter in stating that Perez will be getting a shot at earning a roster spot just like everyone else.
Spring Training is going to be very interesting with so much competition for spots in the bullpen. With only the closer and setup spots secure, everything else is up for grabs.