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  1. #1
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    The Metsí Low-Risk Bullpen Rebuild

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...llpen-rebuild/
    Last offseason, Mets GM Sandy Alderson spent just $17.8 million on Major League free agents. Most of that when to Frank Francisco ($12 million) and Jon Rauch ($3.5 million), and the club also absorbed Ramon RamirezĎs salary ($2.75 million) in the ill-fated Angel Pagan trade. Those three were supposed to join incumbents Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak to give the Amazinís a solid relief unit, but instead the new additions combined to post an underwhelming 4.34 ERA (3.89 FIP) and 0.3 WAR in 163.2 innings.

    Francisco, 33, signed a two-year contract last winter and will remain with the Mets this year. He had offseason elbow surgery and the team is openly concerned about whether he will be ready in time for Opening Day. Both Rauch and Ramirez have been allowed to walk as free agents though, plus Byrdak is expect to miss most (if not all) of 2013 following shoulder surgery. For most of the winter it appeared Parnell and rookie left-hander Josh Edgin were the only locks for the teamís Opening Day bullpen, but Alderson has gone to work in the last two weeks by signing low-risk and relatively high-reward relief options.

    The first addition was an old friend, former Met Pedro Feliciano. He threw zero innings for the Yankees over the last two years due to shoulder surgery, but his rehab is complete and the 36-year-old was pitching in winter ball back home in Puerto Rico. Itís worth noting that the Yankees likely would have activated Feliciano for September had he not rolled his ankle covering first base in a minor league rehab game. As a low-arm slot soft-tosser, any velocity loss stemming from the shoulder injury shouldnít be the kiss of death. Since itís a minor league deal, it wouldnít be the end of the world if it was.

    The second addition could easily turn out to be one of the biggest bargains of the offseason. Alderson signed former Red Sox right-hander Scott Atchison to a minor league contract after he managed a 1.58 ERA and 2.72 FIP in 51.1 innings for Boston last summer. Heís more of a high-ground ball (55.3%) and low-walk (1.58 BB/9 and 4.5 BB%) guy than a pure bat-misser (6.31 K/9 and 18.0 K%), but itís been working for him since returning from Japan three seasons ago. Teams were obviously concerned about the 36-year-oldís elbow after he successfully rehabbed a ligament sprain and avoided Tommy John surgery in the second half last year, but he did return to make five effective appearances in September. Atchison is absolutely worth a roll of the dice on a non-guaranteed pact.

    The third minor league contract was given to 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins, who is coming off a 3.64 ERA (4.48 FIP) performance in 42 innings with the Angels a year ago. Heís another high-ground ball (56.8%), low-walk (2.79 BB/9 and 7.3 BB%), low-strikeout (4.93 K/9 and 12.9 K%) reliever like Atchison, just without as much 2012 success. He was an 0.8 WAR reliever as recently as 2011, though I highly doubt heíll see another 0.19 HR/9 (2.8% HR/FB) against anytime soon. That happened in Miller Park as well, so wow. ZiPS projects about 40 replacement-level innings out of Hawkins in 2013, but again, itís a minor league contract and the Mets are obligated to pay him nothing until they deem him worthy of a 25-man roster spot.

    Reports over the weekend indicate the Mets are also nearing a deal with Brandon Lyon, who is likely to receive a guaranteed big league contract. The 32-year-old rebounded from 2011 shoulder injury to post a career-best strikeout rate (9.30 K/9 and 24.4 K%) in 61 innings split between the Astros and Blue Jays last summer. Lyon reinvented himself as a fastball machine in 2012 despite sitting in the upper-80s, employing more two-seamers (10.8%) and cutters (36.7%) while almost completely eliminating his slider (1.2%). The result was a lot of Citi Field-friendly fly balls (just 37.5% grounders) and a negligible platoon split. The terms of the potential contract are unknown at this point, but Iím comfortable saying the price will not be exorbitant given the clubís other recent moves. ZiPS likes Lyon for half-a-win in about 50 innings.

    I donít want to go overboard and make it sound like Alderson built the king of all bullpens in two weeks, but after dropping nearly $12 million (in 2012 salary) on three relievers who combined for a borderline replacement level performance, his new approach is much more fitting for the teamís current situation. Lyon alone is projected to outperform both Rauch (0.1 WAR) and Ramirez (0.3 WAR) this season, and (I assume) heís the only new guy guaranteed anything. Atchison, Hawkins, and Feliciano are all no-risk minor league signings who, if they perform well, could turn into trade chips at the deadline. The recently-released Mets ZiPS projections had the club with a replacement level bullpen, but they were posted just before this low-risk shopping spree. Alderson has added about one winís worth of relievers despite minimal commitment in the last two weeks.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the article, spending millions on suspect guys is just not the way to go as far as the pen goes, if they spend big on the pen, then do it for guys who are almost given to produce.

    Fill the pen with guys like these, much like Tampa has done year after year and also fill the other holes with some of the young power arms that are not going to start.

  2. #2
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    Yep there are plenty of very good bullpens are put together with young quality arms and mixed in with effective veterans.

    No reason to guarantee them big money when so many relievers are bipolar (aside from the except few)

  3. #3
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    Too even further this bullpen low risk mentality....why not grab Brian Wilson on a minor league deal.

    Also I kinda wish Parnell was made closer. He'll be just as inconsistent as Francisco/Lyon/etc...but Parnell can be electric at times with his top stuff unlike the other guys. He's young too, and part of our future plans. I'd love to see him declared closer out of camp. See what happens.

  4. #4
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    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/met...medium=twitter

    Mets Again Balk At Naming Francisco Closer

    Sandy Alderson again resisted on Monday declaring that Frank Francisco would open the season as the Mets' closer, despite Francisco being owed $6.5 million this season.

    Alderson said Francisco would need to demonstrate his health as well as a performance worthy of closing during spring training in order to merit the role.

    Francisco underwent surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Alderson said he believed Francisco is recovering normally from that relatively minor procedure, so clearly there is a performance-based concern with Francisco.

    “I think a lot will depend on what we see over the course of February and into March,” Alderson said. “I think that’s something that will be determined in the course of spring training. Health is an issue. Performance is an issue.”

  5. #5
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    No way he should be the closer.

  6. #6
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    AdamRubinESPN Jon Heyman reports Ramon Ramirez is joining Andres Torres and Angel Pagan with the #sfgiants.

    How does that trade look now?


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  7. #7
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    The Mets’ Low-Risk Bullpen Rebuild

    As ****** a trade as there can possibly be.

  8. #8
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    Another Met of last year..

    Rauch signs with the Marlins..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Of It All View Post
    As ****** a trade as there can possibly be.
    I wonder what SA might be saying about that trade now.....hmmm.

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  10. #10
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    Can't win them all. At least he won the big trades.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claymation View Post
    AdamRubinESPN Jon Heyman reports Ramon Ramirez is joining Andres Torres and Angel Pagan with the #sfgiants.

    How does that trade look now?
    Trade looks bad.
    Alderson looks bad.
    Pretty much everyone on this forum looks bad.
    John Maeda@johnmaeda

    Knowing the overall *shape* of an idea, argument, situation requires as many facts, models, opinions as you can take/make to see a whole.

  12. #12
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    In retrospect many of us really under valued Pagan and Sandy did as well.

    I will say this that many GM's look good when they trade their vets for young guys, because we have come to an era where many fans value the prospects more than the vets who have performed in the majors.

    It will be interesting to see how he fares when he has to deal young guys for vets himself as a Met gm.

  13. #13
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    1. I agree with the low risk, but I object too the high reward.
    2. I don't mind the cost because they are easy to dump as the youngins develop.
    a. Mazzone could be ready by opening day because he locates a 95-97 FB and an above average SL and Warthen is the best Mets pitching coach to deal with splitter.
    b. Familia -- the Mets changed his mechanics for the second straight year by trying to soften his landing, this is something that could take 3 or 4 months but it took the whole and still wasn't solved -- one of the reasons last yeards AAA coach was let go. The Mets should go back to his mechanics at the end of 2011.
    c. Robles could be ready by September.
    d. Gorski had problems locating his FB which he struggled all year long. Hopefully, St. Clair can solve problem.
    e. Leathersick has command issues and I'm not sure he'll be ready before the end of the season.
    f. Vazquez has good command and control. He could be ready after the all star break.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by metswon69 View Post
    Another Met of last year..

    Rauch signs with the Marlins..
    The sad thing is he could possibly be their best player behind Stanton...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Of It All View Post
    In retrospect many of us really under valued Pagan and Sandy did as well.

    I will say this that many GM's look good when they trade their vets for young guys, because we have come to an era where many fans value the prospects more than the vets who have performed in the majors.

    It will be interesting to see how he fares when he has to deal young guys for vets himself as a Met gm.
    I wanna see it.

    Thing about Pagan is that he had a bad year in 2011, much worse than what he did the prior two seasons. But I firmly believe that trade was less about Pagan's ability than his pending salary. If this team is ever going to turn the corner, they have to make decisions based on ability first and salary second. This corner cutting crap ain't working.
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