Two More Bite the Dust in Queens

Yesterday, I talked about Johan Santana who is now undergoing season-ending surgery on his elbow and how his contract looks going forward. Since that piece went out, two more New York Mets’ pitchers have been shut down for the season to undergo surgery.

J.J. Putz, acquired from the Mariners this past winter as part of the dramatic bullpen makeover that was supposed to be the cure to the 2007 and 2008 collapses certainly was not up the task that he was brought in for. A combination of injuries and ineffectiveness doomed his year. Putz was already well into his decline, seeing his strikeout rate fall from 34% in 2006 to 30% in 2007 to 26% in 2008, all before he was traded off. It was nearly halved this year to just 14%.

In addition to the lack of strikeouts, Putz, who battled injuries all through 2008 as well, now has two consecutive years of injury-shaken control to overcome along with the heavy task of just getting healthy. Putz’s option is almost certain not to be exercised and thus he will depart from the Mets having been paid roughly $6 million and contributed a negligible amount above replacement level.

In addition to Putz, Oliver Perez is undergoing surgery on his knee and is done for the season. 58 walks in 66 innings pitched this season and according to both FIP and tRA, Perez was worth -0.7 wins above replacement in 2009, the first year of his horrible 3-year, $36-million contract. Unsurprisingly, Perez’s velocity was down, his average fastball down to the slowest level yet, at just 90mph. I was critical of the deal when it was signed for many reasons, Perez’s injury risk one of those factors. Forget about breaking even on this deal, I think the Mets would be lucky to get back $10 million total once all is said and done.

All told, between the two, the Mets dished out $17 million dollars for about -$3 million in value.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.