Mets Add Redding

In a vacuum, the Mets signing of Tim Redding looks fine. A one-year deal will pay Redding 2.25 million. Reasonable for a back-end starter with Redding’s history, but taken in context, the Mets cannot withdraw interest from Derek Lowe over this signing. As Eric outlined recently, the Mets rotation currently stands at something like this:

Johan Santana
John Maine
Mike Pelfrey
Jonathon Niese

With Redding thrown in either as the four or the five, depending on how high the Mets are on Niese. Eric concluded the Mets were near the Phillies rotation level, but simply being equal shouldn’t be the goal. The Mets are high on the win and revenue curve, suggesting they have added incentive to sign Lowe.

I previously stated that Redding’s signing isn’t bad in a vacuum, and it’s not. CHONE has him at a 4.98 FIP and Marcels at 4.77. If he falls in between that over ~ 160 innings, Redding is worth around 1 win. If he lives up to that, the Mets are getting a bargain deal. The problem is adding another sub-average starter to a rotation stricken with average all ready.

Lowe’s expectations are closer to 3.5 wins, adding him and Redding (in place of Niese) has the Mets looking at a 3-4 win improvement. Instead, they’re actually downgrading from Oliver Perez, albeit at a more suitable price and rolling with two 1-1.5 win starters in the back of their rotation.

Redding: solid addition, but not the one the Mets should be focused on.

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2 Responses to “Mets Add Redding”

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  1. Rich says:

    The Redding signing may be an indication that the Wilpons’ losses in the Madoff debacle are having an effect.

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  2. acerimusdux says:

    A solid addition at under $3M. The trouble with paying much more than that for a guy like Redding is that it tends to inhibit roster moves. If you really were limited to 25 guys, and locked into them once signed, it might make sense to use a strict replacement level valuation. But, if not committing too much for that last spot means you can have three or four guys in the mix for it, that actually increases your odds.

    You might find three guys who all project to worse than Redding, but any one of whom has a 25-30% chance to be better. If Jon Niese ends up really looking good in ST, for example, he’s not blocked by Redding at $2.5M, but maybe would be by a guy making $7-8M.

    The Mets are better off spending the real money though on a #2 type SP. Even the 80% percentile projection for a guy like Niese isn’t likely to match the median you’d expect from Lowe or Sheets. Those guys are worth every penny as measured over replacement level.

    What makes the Redding signing work here is that he’s at a low enough price that they don’t need to commit to him. They can go to ST with Niese, Redding, and maybe a Freddy Garcia type, all competing for that last spot. And, if the other guys don’t work out, having a Redding there instead of a Brandon Knight type might well still be enough for this team to make the playoffs, as long as all of the other pieces are in place.

    If the Mets had more minor league depth, they might not need to commit to Redding for even 1 year, $2.25M. But right now, Niese seems to be the only guy on the farm with much chance to even match what you’d expect from Redding. Given how common pitching injuries are, they really needed to do something to improve their depth there.

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