he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Mets Offseason: Full Of Moves? Part 2h

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mets Offseason: Full Of Moves? Part 2

Yesterday I discussed what I felt that Omar Minaya should do with the Mets bullpen this off-season. Today it's the starting rotation's turn to be dissected.
In my analysis of the bullpen yesterday I suggested moving Orlando Hernandez to the bullpen in a set-up role, permanently. Making such a move would open a hole in the rotation. Assuming Tom Glavine is going to the Braves this off-season (I always felt Glavine was under-valued by Mets fans) the Mets will have three spots filled in the rotation next year: Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, and John Maine. That is three quality starters in the rotation, with two holes to fill. Minaya could choose to go two directions with the rotation. Begin a youth movement and keep the young prospects in the minors to fully develop, or to acquire more experienced veteran pitchers.
If Omar decides to go with a youth movement (less likely, considering Mets fans may crucify him before the season) then Mike Pelfrey will definitely be added to the rotation. Then if Minaya didn't have the utilities to acquire a starter he could choose from Phil Humber, Jason Vargas, and Kevin Mulvey for the fifth starter spot.

Likely Minaya will go with a mixture of a youth movement, as well as look to improve the team through outside sources. Big names such as Dontrelle Willis and even Johan Santana have been linked to the Mets, although my gut tells me a blockbuster involving one of those two starters won't happen this off-season with the Mets. Seeing Willis pitch against the Mets the last day of the season showed me that Willis is a completely different pitcher than he was in 2005, when he won 22 games. His mechanics were out of whack, and his control was all over the place. Keep him away from the Mets. As for Santana. He would cost Jose Reyes and then some. Right now is definitely not the time to deal Reyes, especially considering the Mets may sign Johan Santana next off-season and still have Reyes.

So who is out there? Bartolo Colon is a big name that is likely to hit free agency this off-season. Colon has battled injuries and in-effective pitching the last two seasons, but he has been an elite pitcher in the past. In his last full season (2005) he won the Cy Young, with 21 victories. Colon only pitched half a season in the NL, with Minaya's Expos. He went 10-4 with a 3.31 era in his 17 games started in 2002. Other starting pitchers available include David Wells, Jason Jennings, Livan Hernandez, and Freddy Garcia.

If I was Minaya I would Mike Pelfrey in the fifth slot of the rotation. Pelfrey pitched much better the last month of the season. Save his last start (5.2 ip 7 runs 6 er) he had a 3.67 era in his last 4 starts. Pelfrey could break out next season. As for the other slot in the rotation I would pursue Colon hard with an incentive laden deal. I also think Jason Jennings could have a solid bounce back year next year, despite an injury riddled season this year. One thing is certain. Minaya should focus on creating a rotation that has a lot of depth. With Pedro Martinez's health over a full season being a concern one other freak injury could cripple the rotation. As a result, Minaya should focus heavily on not only acquiring major league starting pitching, he should also look to acquire starters for the AAA team in case of an emergency.

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