What to watch: The Mets are going for their ninth straight win today in Philly. But they’re up against, possibly, the best pitcher in baseball. As great as Halladay is, he took a loss in his last start in San Francisco after giving up 5 ER in 7.0 IP. Pelfrey, on the other hand, has been incredible and hasn’t given up a run in his last three starts. I’ll be surprised in Jeff Francoeur plays today after getting hit by a pitch on his left elbow.
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A couple of writers that I’ve never heard of at the NY Times are touting the idea of the Mets trading for Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells. I hope that Elena Gustines and Jay Schreiber are only temporarily filling in for Ben Shipgel on the Bats blog there. We need the voice of reason back.
The writers touch on the idea of multiple needs on the Mets (and forgot to mention the Mets need a first baseman that can hit). They also only touch on the fact that trading for Halladay and Wells adds $36 million to the Mets payroll next year, which is the total amount that the Mets are likely to add based on the salaries that are coming off the books.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind the idea of bringing in Halladay and Wells. The problem that Gustines and Schreiber don’t address is how complicated it’s going to be to reconfigure the roster to address the existing shortcomings at catcher and first base within the $140 million payroll.
As far as I’m concerned, Halladay shouldn’t even be on the Mets radar until they resolve some of the problems with their position players. As Heyman says, it’s unlikely that the Mets want two starting pitchers making #1 starter money. It’s not the right allocation of resources unless Halladay falls into their lap.
There’s only one certainty when it comes to the Mets starting pitchers for 2010: Johan Santana. As long as he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s had some minor injury problems but I don’t expect to see any decline in his performance. After Santana, the situation gets very murky, very quickly. This is about to get ugly, so Mets fans hold onto your hats.
Mike Pelfrey– In 31 starts Pelfrey finished the season at 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA. 2009 was a serious regression for him from his 2008 line of 32 starts 13-11 and 3.72 ERA. Pelfrey had some disgusting performances like June 4th in Pittsburgh giving up 8 runs in 3.2 innings and giving up 9 runs in 4.1 innings in Atlanta on July 17th. There were other ugly games but you get the idea. Often Pelfrey looked uncomfortable and frustrated, but who wouldn’t be while pitching poorly? He had a bad year but the Mets have too much invested in him for him not to be back in the rotation. He’ll be there. You can bank on it. But I doubt that he’ll be considered the #2 starter. He should be demoted in the rotation. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a bounce-back year in 2010.
As much as I’d like to see Halladay in a Met uniform, it doesn’t make sense to unload four big prospects for him right now for the Mets. The 2009 season is all but over for the Mets so they shouldn’t be in a position to be buyers right now.
They can get their hands on Halladay after the 2010 season as a free agent anyway. So to give up young players wouldn’t be a prudent move for the Mets as a team. It’s too bad though. I’d love to see Johan Santana and Halladay together for a couple of years.