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Thoughts on the Perez Contract

Mike SteffanosTuesday, February 3, 2009
By Mike Steffanos

I know there are Mets fans out there who desperately wanted to see them sign Ben Sheets instead of Perez, but I like the deal. If the reported figures of 3 years and $36 million are true, that seems like a reasonable risk for the enigmatic leftie. I think they could have done a little better on the money if they really held the line, but I love the fact that it's a 3-year deal.

If we see the Ollie Perez of the second half of last season for most of the next three years, he'll earn every dollar of that contract. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into a real number two starter and the contract is a bargain. Conversely, if he completely turns into a pumpkin, at least the Mets are only tied to him for 3 years.

Perez has tremendous incentive to become more consistent over these next three years and earn a big contract when he is still on the right side of 30. Whatever else we see from him, I doubt very much there will be any complacency.

Randy Wolf would probably have been a safer bet to provide consistency, but there were health concerns and little chance of upside over mediocrity.

Ben Sheets was unlikely to provide close to 200 innings, but probably could have given the Mets 150 above-average innings for a year or two. Still, I can't blame the Mets if taking a chance on talented but fragile pitchers has worn thin over the last couple of seasons.

In an ideal world, the Mets wouldn't be paying so much for the last two innings of games this season and might be in a position to sign Perez and take a gamble on Sheets, too. Think about it-- between Wagner ($10.5 million, no insurance relief), K-Rod ($8.5 million + $2.5 million signing bonus) and Putz ($5 million), the Mets will be paying out $26 million this season on these guys alone.

I'd still like to see them figure out something to get Pedro into the mix for a little rotation insurance, and I'd love to see some more bullpen options and a right-handed bat. Still, I'm glad we're not going deeper into February with uncertainty over the guts of the rotation.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (5)

As usual, Mike is right on. I would put a little more emphasis on the fact that the Mets really need at least two lefties in the rotation. For the first time in years, the Mets are behind the eight-ball in southpaws in the bullpen. A rotation consisting of four righties would need to be backed up by at least another quality southpaw along with Feliciano. My guess is they are hoping to cull a lefty from the marginal group of invitees and hope that Wags can return for 60-90 days at the close of the campaign. What the heck, they are paying him $10+ million. Having two veteran options (Redding and Garcia) for the 5th spot, along with two prospects (Niese and Parnell), puts the Mets in good stead. It would be fun to see if Pedro can rebound, but is it really worth the investment at this point? I just hope that he doesn't land in the NL East since he might haunt the Mets with a lot of smoke and mirrors. The right-handed hitter issue is a real cause for concern, unless you're Fernando Tatis. What an opportunity for this guy? He is the kind of player it is easy to cheer on. Frankly, if Ryan Church stays healthy and drives in 90 runs, the Mets are going to win and perhaps dominate (even if Delgado is not as good as 2008). And don't think for a minute that Alex Cora cannot play the second sack if Castillo falters. There is some depth in this bunch.

It's basically the same rotation as last year minus Pedro & El Duque add Garcia & Redding. I would still like them to add Sheets, even for what he is asking, it's still low risk/high reward. Need that right-handed bat, and the lefty reliever. Otherwise I am ready for the new season. Lets go Mets!

Anyone know what is up with El Duque, anyway? He has been and may today be many things, but I'll bet you one of them is NOT "retired."

I love the Ollie signing... If only they can sign or trade for a strong Bat, preferably RH that can play the OF (No... It does not mean Manny... but you can only hope) then their roster is more complete

I would not mind seeing Pedro as a player coach with pitching a start here and there and teaching the young guys the art of pitching. He could be in a six man rotation, giving everybody plenty of rest and staying strong till the end.

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