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No Suppan Under the Tree is Fine with Me

Mike SteffanosMonday, December 25, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Merry Christmas

The Mets lost a fallback option on the night before Christmas when Jeff Suppan signed with the Brewers. Although this hurts a little from a leverage standpoint in the Barry Zito negotiations, I can't help but feel a sense of relief that Jeff Suppan won't be a New York Met for the next 4-5 years.

At $42 million for four years, this contract doesn't stand out compared to some of this off-season's signings, but think about it for a minute. An average of $13 million per year for a pitcher with a lifetime record of 106-101 (actually $10.5 million, as pointed out in the comments, guess Christmas has addled my brain) and an ERA of 4.6 is just another indication of how crazy the pitching market is right now. While I believe Jeff Suppan will give the Brewers a serviceable four years, I really wonder about this one.

The pressure increases to sign Zito. As reported yesterday, the trade for Brandon McCarthy and Rangers GM Jon Daniels' remarks admitting to being not "terribly encouraged" about signing Zito would seem to indicate that the Rangers could be falling out of the chase. I wonder about that, however.

Think about it. Barry Zito claims that one of his criteria for signing with a team is that they have a commitment to winning. With McCarthy slotting in to a rotation with Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla and the somewhat promising Robinson Tejeda, the Rangers would seem to finally have a chance to have a rotation that complements their offense. Add Zito and you have one of the better rotations in the AL. The Rangers could still be heard from here.

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Comments (10)

4 years at 42 mil does not average to 13 mil a year but rather 10.5 mil per.

I don't know what all the blasting is about Suppan. The Mets lost a great opportunity to get a fine major league pitcher who gets better with age and has pitched very well the past three seasons and superbly in the playoffs. Era's of 4.16, 3.57, and 4.12 the past three seasons, and 3.00 era career in the postseason including 2 stellar game 7 performances. What's not to like about the guy - he's a solid number 3 who will give you 200 innings or so, and is proven winner in the playoffs across seven postseason series. His contract is affordable and reasonable in today's market and he'll give you similar reliability to Glavine. Plus the guy is a professional and goes about his business like one. We all know what this guy can do on the mound, but there's a singular track with most Mets fans and that's on Zito as if he's Cy Young.

Thanks for the correction on the money. As for "blasting" Suppan, if you read what I wrote as blasting him, you need as much help with your English as I do with my Math.

It was a "present" surprize to find you on line this Christmas day. Just relaxing after a busy day in prison ministry yesterday. Its always tough for them this time of year. Not to tough for Suppan. Man instead of playing center field all my days in sand lot and busy Brooklyn streets, I should have learned how to pitch. But I still would have missad the boat by 30 years. Fathers of the world, teach your kids how to pitch, just get it over the plate you can be rich. I am concerned when they talk about a trade for pitching. I would hate to see our young arms go away and become stars some place else and the guy we traded for is falling apart from old age. We all know Zito would kind of stop that but so does $$Zito$$. Enjoy your day. Looking forward to the new year for alot of differnt reasons, and some will be on this site. Thanks Mike for being there.

Merry Christmas, Al.

Mike, no prob about the math. About Suppan, I wasn't blasting you in particular, just the broad pounding that I believe Suppan has been getting undeservedly so. He's a good pitcher and his career era no longer is relevant in my estimation given he's a far better pitcher now than what he was earlier in his career and is learning how to pitch. He's a really solid pitcher and the Mets would have done well to obtain him. In the rah, rah to obtain Zito, a very good option has been brushed aside by many Mets fans. Mark my word, Suppan will some day be in the runnning for the Cy Young.

I haven't seen that one liner "No Sup For You."(from the Seinfield tv program)I did see a line about the Yankees maybe trading Randy Johnson and then getting into the Zito thing? Oh boy!

In all honesty I'd rather take a chance on Victor Zambrano.I think the odds would be same fo VZ and Suppan for a CY Young. I really think the Mets need to close the deal with Zito. There would be too much pressure on the young guns and damaging them physically or psychologically will cost a lot more in the long run.He fits our team.Pay the man and lets move on before he's in pinstripes and Randy Johnson's at Shea.
P.S. I can't tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog. You are a breath of fresh air. I appreciate all your work and look forward to a big year for you and the Mets.

Not only did the Mets lose a couple of options in Suppan and a trading partner with the White Sox, but now they have something more serious to consider. If the Yankees unload Radny Johnson as it's being widely reported, you can bet the Yanks will jump right into the Zito sweepstakes and inflate his contract numbers even higher than they already are.

Arizona should be banned from the league if they really take Johnson off the Yankees hands and not even get them to pay any of the $16 millione he's owed. Making matters worse they are willing to give up 3 prospects. Are they nuts? I'm still reeling from the fact the Orioles helped them unload Jaret Wright, but at least they made the Yankees pay 60% of his salary.

Merry Christmas

joe - any team that takes randy johnson is crazy - he couldnt get the yankees over the hump - hes 43 years old and coming off of back surgery - hes not exactly a "clubhouse guy" to put it mildly - and hes owed a small fortune that the yanks reportedly won't pick up - why ANY team would even consider making this deal is beyond me...he does have a no trade clause so i assume he'd only consider a west coast team - but what these teams are talking about giving up is unbelievable ...go figure...

E - While I didn't trash Suppan, and wouldn't have complained if the Mets signed him, I'm not nearly as optimistic about his future as you are. I'd rather see the young guys get the chance when it comes to signing him for 4 years.
Rev - I think the Yankees interest in Zito is overblown. It seems to reflect more the speculation of writers like Jon Heyman than what the Yankees are really thinking. Having said that, I could see Zito easily signing with the Giants or someone else, and as a Mets fan the best approach is not to fall in love with the idea of Zito pitching here next year. And again, I hope he does, but I really do think the Mets could survive without him. That helps to keep me sane.
Anonymous - See above on the Yankees and Zito. I imagine if the Mets can't sign Zito we probably will see a trade for pitching. I doubt Omar would go into the season with just Glavine, El Duque and the kids.

Thanks for the good wishes and kind words.
Joe - Merry Christmas to you, too. I never loved the White Sox pitchers or Suppan, so it doesn't bother me as much. I'm with you on Arizona, though. I think it's more likely the Diamondbacks would be willing to give up prospects if the Yankees pay a lot of the salary, or take on most of the salary and not really give the Yankees much in return.
Joyce - I don't believe any of these teams will trade for Johnson, take on all or most of his salary and give up anything of value in return.

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