Jon Heyman of CNNSI and SNY is reporting that the Mets are going to get their man - Francisco Rodriguez - the only free-agent closer worth signing to a substantial multiyear deal. This is great news!
Some argue that Kerry Wood is a better pitcher, but he's so injury-prone he'd be lucky to last one year. Brian Fuentes lost his closer job only a year ago. And Trevor Hoffman is nearing the end of his career and is best suited as a setup man, if that.
The Mets didn't want to pay K-Rod the five years and $75 million he was seeking, and, fortunately for them, Omar Minaya read the market correctly and is now looking at a deal for half that amount over three years.
I'm so happy about getting K-Rod that I'm willing to forget for a short while that the Mets still have some other major issues to deal with. At least the top one is out of the way, and early enough in the winter meetings that maybe there will be more good news by the end of the week.
If Brian Cashman were in the market for a closer, then judging by his strategy with CC Sabathia, he would have made a pre-emptive bid at K-Rod's original asking price as soon as the free-agent market opened. And Cashman, who has not had a long-term pitching contract work out since Mike Mussina, would have been on the hook for such a contract at double the price he could have paid a few weeks later.
Cashman has one strategy: We're the Yankees and we can pay more than anyone. But, unlike Minaya, Cashman seems unable to adapt to changing conditions. The pre-emptive bid for Sabathia should have had two purposes. The main one of course is to win his services. But the second one should have been to gauge Sabathia's interest in being a Yankee.
This is a player who supposedly would rather play somewhere besides New York. Now that the offer has been on the table for over three weeks with barely a mention of any other team, can there be any doubt that Sabathia would prefer an alternative to the Bronx?
The Mets are fortunate that K-Rod wants to be a Met, and at their price. But Cashman might not be so fortunate with Sabathia. He needs to have a Plan B.
When the Yankees lost out on Daisuke Matsuzaka, Cashman responded by paying $46 million (including posting fee) for Kei Igawa. Will Cashman have a better Plan B this time?