Moving and Shaking
John Harper did a piece for the Daily News that says Pedro is worth the risk. The basic premise of the article is that Pedro is still one of the elite pitchers in the league, but for how long is the question. To that end, I say who cares? At this point, it is extremely rare when a pitcher will be signed for more than three years. As for a guy like Pedro, two or three years seems to be all he'll get. To look at a pitcher beyond two or three years is inane if their contract will not exceed that time frame. It seems to me that the Red Sox would be perfectly happy seeing Pedro take a walk over to the NL where he will not hurt them and break up their marriage peacefully. Can the Mets get Pedro with a two year contract with a third one that vests based on performance? Maybe. Pedro is a guy that is big on pride, if he feels slighted by the Red Sox, he may feel it necessary to abscond his current team and go to a team that wants him and needs him more. For the article, they posed a questions to five baseball people — one manager, two scouts and two GMs — who basically ranked the top fifteen pitchers in baseball.
As the article points out, not one Met is ranked above Pedro. He would be the ace of the staff instantly and give them legitimacy in the #1 spot and an ace better than more than half the teams in the league's ace while giving them a damn good rotation with the #5 guy being Steve Trachsel. To me, that is a very good staff. Now, is he my first choice? As I stated everyday for the last week, no. But if Omar is going to bring him in, he is absolutely worth the short term risk with the reward he can bring. That is based on the idea that the contract is no longer than three years and for around the $12.5 million Boston is offering. Pedro's fastball was consistently down over the year and he was working in the 89-91 mph range, but he could still dial it up to 96 mph when needed. The guy can still pitch and can still get people out. In the NL with the pitcher batting and generally a weaker 7th and 8th hole on just about every NL team, he could thrive for a few years in Shea. Those who say the Mets need to completely rebuild are wrong. They need to get younger but can stand to infuse free agents that can help the team now. They can afford to put a quality product on the field while bringing in people from the farm each year and signing big free agents. Not only that, signing Pedro sends a message to other free agents like Beltran, Sexson, Delgado, etc. that Omar and the Mets are serious about winning now even if he does not end up signing with the Mets. Would signing Pedro be an apocalypse for the Mets? Even Beltran could turn into a disaster, but the risks and rewards have to weighed.
With their payroll to be about $105 million in 2005, Omar has just about $35 to $38 million to play around with and he can do some damage and bring in some good pieces. The Mets can field a good team in 2005 with a few right moves. The pitching will be there even without Pedro. If the Mets add Pedro/Pavano/Clement/Perez to an already solid staff and they can add some offense via a bat or two, they can be a good team. The NYPost reports that the Mets have reportedly offered Richie Sexson a deal worth approximately $10 million per year and that would certainly be step to adding some offense giving them a monster cleanup hitter. Would they be Cardinals good? Nope, but who is? Houston is already down Berkman in 2005 and may not have Clemens or Kent either, the Cubs are losing Alou's 40 homers and may not bring back Nomar, San Fran is the same story every year unless they can get a big bat behind the Giants and address their rotation depth, the Dodgers rotation has holes and they may lose Finley and Beltre, the Padres have some offensive questions, the Marlins may lose their best pitcher from '04 and already got rid of Penny last year, the Braves may not be able to bring back Drew or Wright, and the Phillies have some rotation questions and locking Corey Lidle is better for everyone in the NL East than it is for the Phillies. Basically, outside the Cardinals, not one NL team is given to be solid contending team and without some serious issues to deal with. Why not the Mets if they make some smart moves for a change?