It’s been a while since I posted and with all the action that went down during the winter meeting in Las Vegas last week I figured it’s time to post an update.
The biggest news of the week occurred in the bullpen where the Mets made a splash with a couple of bold moves on Wednesday. The first was the signing of this years marquee free agent Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez, better known as K-Rod (even though there’s no K in his name), set a major league record with 62 saves in 2008 and has saved 40 or more games in each of the last 4 seasons. I don’t usually agree with signing a player coming off of a record year (since there’s nowhere to go but down) but the Mets got him for three-years at $37 million which is a pretty low price for someone of his caliber.
After signing K-Rod the Mets went on to make an old fashioned mega trade landing Seattle Mariners closer J.J. Putz in a three team deal that included the Cleveland Indians. The Mets gave up Jason Vargas, Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman and Joe Smith in this deal but also got outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. Putz will serve as the 8th inning setup man for K-Rod and also serves as closer insurance in case K-Rod gets hurt. Last season the Mets were without a closer down the stretch after Billy Wagner got hurt and that was a major factor in this years collapse.
I had mixed feelings when I heard about this trade because I really liked Chavez and Smith and also thought that Heilman was never taken care of properly by the Omar Minaya regime. But the pros far outweigh the cons as the Mets shortened their games to 7 innings as they now own the 8th and 9th innings of games in which they have a lead (at least on paper).
Lastly, on Friday the Mets made an addition by subtraction move by trading Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is one of the biggest stories of the week to me as Minaya was actually able to find a team to trade him to. Schoeneweis, as I’ve said in the past, is only in this league at this point in his career because he’s a lefty. He’s got no other redeeming factors. I don’t like to talk negatively about a player so I wish him the best of luck and hope he proves me wrong this year.
Team Minaya still has their work cut out for them as they need to settle issues at second base and left field as well as complete the starting rotation and middle relief corps. But they made a big splash and got a big start in improving the most troubled part of their roster last week.