K-Rod to the Mets

We knew it was going to happen, but details are now emerging:

Considered by many the top reliever on the free-agent market, Rodriguez saved 62 games for Anaheim last season. The Angels offered just more than $30 million over three years to retain the 26-year-old right-hander . . .

. . . The three-time All-Star will receive $12.3 million in each of the next three seasons, a high-ranking baseball official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been finalized . . . the deal would be worth $37 million over three seasons . . . a suspect bullpen was one of the biggest deficiencies last season for the Mets, who faded in September.

GOTCHA! That text was lifted from this November 2005 article announcing the signing of Billy Wagner, with the specific facts changed to fit K-Rod. Wagner had more money over more years. The term “suspect bullpen” has been inserted to replace “struggling closer Braden Looper.” Not much else has changed.

The lesson: you can sign that bigtime closer, but it ain’t necessarily gonna solve your problems.

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  1. Anais said...

    You’re not wrong, but that’s not a particularly good example. The Mets put together a really excellent bullpen in 2006, in no small part because of the Wagner signing; the bullpen carried them to the NLCS in spite of an old, injury-ravaged starting rotation.

    The real reason the Mets are in such a bind now is Minaya’s handling of the 2006-07 offseason, when he traded away several young relief arms (Henry Owens, Heath Bell, Royce Ring, and Matt Lindstrom) for talent that never panned out, decimating the team’s bullpen depth in 07 and 08.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I guess it depends on whether signing the big name closer leads to the decisions to get rid of bullpen depth.  If not, no worries.  But if having K-Rod (or Wagner before him) causes Omar to think “well, the bullpen is sorted, I’ll now forget about that and move on to other things,” then it is a problem.

  3. Chris H. said...

    Craig, those of us Cub fans who remember Mel Rojas certainly agree with your sentiment.  Especially as K-Rod may not even be the best closer available (klaw sez that Kerry Wood has better stuff, and it’s not all that close).

  4. john said...

    Im not sure Omar really believes this will completely solve the pen.  There’s been talks about trading Heilman for more bullpen help.  More arms are coming on the way

  5. Max said...

    What jumps out to me aren’t the similarities but rather the things you had to change from Wagner’s deal.  3 years instead of 4. Less money overall.  You also had to change 33-year old to 26-year old.

  6. Mac said...

    I posted this on Braves Journal, but…  You can always predict how the Mets’ thought processes will work.  They will weigh all options, then do whatever is most expensive.

  7. Mariano said...

    i’m surprised by this deal.  it’s obviously expensive, but to get him for three years instead of the allegedly wanted 4 or 5.  the Mets played that one well by waiting it out and getting their man and a relatively do-able cost.

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