Oh well, we've come this far. Here's my take on this offseason so far.
- Let's start with the biggie, Jason Bay, the Canadian sensation. Rather play in Beirut than Queens, eh? Well apparently Beirut wasn't interested. Bay is stuck with us for the next 4 (more likely 5) years of despair. Typical Mets move right here, overpaying the only available commodity on the market when not a single other team was interested in his services. Will his bat strengthen this lineup? Without a doubt it will. Is that bat worth $17 mil per season? Definitely not. With Bay, Francouer, and a wobbly-kneed Beltran ranging the expanses of Citi Field, fly ball pitchers might be less than happy with their stat lines. Expect to give up a lot of extra base hits.
- Speaking of Francouer, he's back for another year. Not a bad move, I suppose. He's reasonably paid relative to his expected production, and with very few other options, the Mets were basically forced to take him back. I like Angel Pagan as a 4th OF, but he's very unlikely to repeat his 2009 performance over a full year.
- The bullpen? Still pretty weak. Hooray for Kelvim Escobar, who according to Omar can be a "dominant setup man." Now what would give you a crazy idea like that? The fact that he's pitched all of one game since 2007, or that he hasn't pitched regularly from the pen since 2002? I'm all for hoping, but give me a break, Kelvim Escobar is not a difference maker. Forget setup men. K-Rod (hereafter referred to as "BB-Rod") will blow plenty of games on his own.
- The starting rotation remains equally unattractive. Johan will be Johan, but who the hell knows after that? Maine, Perez, Pelfrey, Niese, Nieve... it's like playing Russian Roulette with 4 bullets in the chamber. Pelfrey should improve with the return of Jose Reyes and hopefully the David Wright from every year but 2009, but Maine and Perez are still massive question marks.
- Joel Pineiro seems to be the most attractive free agent option right now, but I'm not sold. He was a complete mess from 2004-06, came back in '07, sucked again in '08, and then posted a nice line in '09. Call it Mets intuition (mainly pessimism with a dash of precognition), but he reeks of major bust. I'll live with him on a 2 year deal, but anything more is too much. Mike Pelfrey should give him a call and tell him what it's like to be a ground ball pitcher on this team.
- Ben Sheets would be great too, if we had endless streams of money and time machine to go back to before we signed him when he tears a rotator cuff in May. For the kind of money he's asking (something around $12 mil base with up to $5 mil incentives), I'd rather go to Atlantic City and put it all on black. From what I've read, Omar is seeking a more reliable option.
- Jon Garland is a very reliable pitcher, albeit reliably mediocre. He's made 32+ starts every year since 2002, never posting an ERA above 5. I think he'd be a great addition to the staff, considering the consistency he will bring to a team in desperate need of some. He's never going to be an ace, but you know what you'll get from him, which I greatly prefer over boom or bust guys like Perez or Sheets.