A few days ago Sandy Alderson was a guest in the SNY broadcast booth during a game against the St Louis Cardinals. He came across as open and honest in regards to the questions that both Ron Darling and Gary Cohen had posed to him. One of those questions was about the state of the Mets bullpen, and who he projected to be their closer next season.
Sandy admitted that at this point he may have to look for a closer from outside of the organization because he isn’t sure if there is anyone on the roster that can do a consistent job of closing out games. Whether Sandy used this as a veiled challenge to both Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta remains to be seen, but at this point the bullpen is definitely in shambles ( as per usual).
Of all the possible in house options, Parnell is the most obvious choice. He boasts a fastball that can reach the triple digits, but other than that he fails to get any movement on it. Acosta has shown flashes of brilliance at times, but he is way too erratic to trust in high pressure situations. I know many people will ask what about Mejia. Well Mejia is still recuperating from Tommy John surgery, and he may be used ( if healthy) in the later part of next season. But even then we don’t know if he is the answer.
I wet to MLBTR.com to look up the closers that most likely be free agents next season. Here is the list of possibilities
Heath Bell (34)
Jonathan Broxton (28)
Matt Capps (28)
Francisco Cordero (37) – $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Frank Francisco (32)
Brad Lidge (35) – $12.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Joe Nathan (37) – $12.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Jonathan Papelbon (31)
Jon Rauch (33) – $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout
Francisco Rodriguez (30)
Rafael Soriano (32) – $11MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout
Jose Valverde (34) – $9MM club option, no buyout.
Of the players on this list only a few really intrigue me. Yes I would love Bell to come back and dominate for the club that he cut his teeth was, but I feel he may be to expensive for a team that is looking to shed payroll. The same goes with Broxton. I like Joe Nathan, but at the age of 37 I feel his best years may be behind him ( not to mention his surgically repaired shoulder). We have been there/ done that with K-ROD ( NO MAS POR FAVOR),and I don’t think we should go anywhere near Lidge.
The two most obvious names on that list would be Matt Capps and Jonathan Papelbon. Both are still relatively young, and both have proved to have the make up of being the shutdown type of closer this team needs.
to see the entire list of free agents for the 2001 season click here
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
One of the most beloved Mets from the early ’80′s, Hubie Brooks is 55 (1956). Hubie was always a potent bat in the Mets line up. In 1984 Hubie had one of the longest hitting streaks in Mets history (24 games), which has since been eclipsed by Moises Alou in 2007. Hubie was the main piece in the trade that imported perennial All-Star catcher, Gary Carter from the Expos during the ’95 pre season. Hubie would rejoin the Mets for the ’91 season, but by that time he was way past his prime years.
Mets left fielder from ’96-’98, Bernard Gilkey is 45 (1966). Gilkey had quite possibly one of the finest offensive seasons in Mets history. Back in 1996 Bernard hit .317 with 30 homers and 117 RBIs. Unfortunately he was never able to replicate those numbers, and was traded in the middle of the ’98 season to the Diamondbacks for reserve catcher, Jorge Fabregas and washed up relief pitcher, Willie Blair.
Mo Vaughn has started reading the book “365 One Dish Meals”. His goal is to cook and eat all 365 meals in 365 hours !