By Mike Steffanos
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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