The Mets and GM Omar Minaya have had a very active offseason, most notably acquiring both Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. Reliever Sean Green and OF Jeremy Reed also came over in the Putz trade, and Minaya inked both SP Tim Redding and IF Alex Cora to low-risk, one-year deals. This week, he made three more signings: one solid, one average, and one that makes little sense given a previous move. Let’s start with the solid.
Freddy Garcia used to be a very good pitcher. From 2002-06, his minimum IP total was 201.1, and he averaged +3.6 wins/season. In 2007, Garcia logged 58 ineffective innings for the Phillies before spending the rest of the season on the disabled list. He did not return until the very end of the 2008 season, when the Tigers allowed him to toe the rubber for three starts. Little can be drawn from his 15 innings of work, but with so many suitors this winter, it seems like a safe assumption that Garcia has recovered from his injury.
Freddy eventually decided to choose between the Mets and Yankees, choosing to sign with the Mets since a greater opportunity to join the rotation existed. The deal is incentive-laden and could prove to be worth $9 mil in value. The exact terms are not yet known, but assuming the base salary is a maximum of $2 mil, Garcia would need to be nothing more than +0.5 wins to break even. In 2007, when he posted a 5.45 FIP in 58 innings, he still produced +0.2 wins, making it extremely likely that he will meet or surpass +0.5 wins this season.
The average signing involves Rob Mackowiak, who inked a minor league deal worth $600K. The versatile Mackowiak played just 38 games for the Washington Nationals last season, playing league average outfield defense with a .224 wOBA. His offensive struggles were not terribly exploited, however, as he only amassed 63 PA. With Alex Cora already on the roster as a backup infielder, should Mackowiak make the club he will likely be used as nothing more than a pinch-runner, outfield defensive replacement. Although Mackowiak may be roadblocked by the move detailed below.
The very questionable move saw Minaya sign former Rockies OF Cory Sullivan to a major league deal worth $600K. Based on reputation, Sullivan is nothing special as a hitter but solid in the outfield. The numbers beg to differ. In his four-year career, Sullivan has averaged -6 runs with the bat and -5 runs with the glove. Numbers defying his reputation does not make this move questionable. No, what makes it questionable is that they already have Jeremy Reed on the roster.
Reed and Sullivan are not the exact same player, but, at the very least, they have very similar skillsets. Since 2005, Reed has been ever so slightly worse with the bat, but equally better with the glove. And this is before even mentioning that Angel Pagan is also on the roster. Yes, Ryan Church may be fragile and Daniel Murphy may not be proven, but loading up on players like Reed and Sullivan, who are a tad overrated as fielders and subpar hitters does not make a whole heck of a lot of sense.
The Mets have definitely upgraded their bullpen this season, but color me unimpressed so far with regards to their offense and rotation uprades.