SportsProf

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Mets Make a Move

They signed former starter Kelvim Escobar, who's missed most of the past 2 seasons, to a 1-year deal to set up K-Rod.

This move isn't as crazy as it seems. There's a theory out there -- attributed to, among others, the Phillies' front office -- that signing relievers (other than closers) is somewhat of a crapshoot. The problem -- sign a guy with a three-year track record to a big deal (say 3 years, $10 million or so), and he could be so used up from 70 games a season (plus all the times he was warmed up) that he might blow out his arm and have nothing left. So, the theory goes, sign a guy who has a good arm who's coming off a year where he was underused or where he was injured, give him an incentive-laden, one-year deal with a club option, and, voila, you could have instant set-up man. That's what the Mets did here. And, so it seems, that's what other clubs are looking to do, too. What's puzzling is that some good relievers with track records are out there, probably demanding more money than Escobar did. It could well be that teams just don't want to spend the money on anyone in their bullpen other than their closer and perhaps one other guy.

The Mets remain in limbo, apparently, on Jason Bay and Bengie Molina and might be looking at other options. Bay apparently is getting cold feet about playing in a park that favors pitchers as much as Citi Field does. The linked article doesn't say what the hold up with Molina might be. So far, the Mets haven't given those two players deadlines, and the guess here is that the club's front office believes that with about 6 weeks to spring training, there is still plenty of time to make a few more moves. That the Mets will do more is a given, as the Phillies and Braves have already taken significant steps to fortify their rosters for the 2010 season.

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