I've been writing a little more at Mack's Mets in the last few weeks and had just posted my thoughts on how the Mets might approach the off-season when three transactions were announced in short order last night. The additions of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres gives my initial projected 25-man roster a different look from the one I posted there just 24 hours before.
No changes to the starting rotation. If the Mets decide at the last minute to non-tender Mike Pelfrey, they can hold an audition for a fifth starter in Spring Training.
RP- R. Ramirez
RP- Byrdak/lefty specialist
RP- Herrera/lefty specialist
Carrasco is under contract and supposedly Byrdak is as well, even though I can't seem to find anything confirming that. Regardless, the Mets won't break camp without two lefties in the bullpen so you can pencil in two southpaws among the seven relievers. I think Daniel Ray Herrera will be one of them mostly for PR purposes, since he's the visible return from the Francisco Rodriguez trade and won't cost more than $500K in salary.
I do not understand why a financially strapped team that will struggle to reach 80 wins spends over $10 million on relievers in one night. Francisco (2 years, $12 million) is a perfectly ordinary closer who may be the difference between 80 wins and 82 wins this season. I'm just not sure whether he's going to have a positive or a negative effect. Ramon Ramirez is actually a very solid reliever who should be successful in Queens in 2012. I'm a little concerned about what he'll make in arbitration, but it can't be worse than the $3.5 million Rauch will be making in 2012. He hasn't been the same since being overworked by Washington in 2006 and 2007 and has dealt with injury issues annually. Things will not end well for Jon Rauch in New York.
It appears there's only one spot left for either Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato now. Suffice it to say, I'm hoping it goes to Beato.
I had Pagan penciled in as the starting center fielder, but I don't think Torres automatically has a lock on the job. Andres Torres is an excellent defensive outfielder, but he's not much of a hitter. His on-base percentage is too low for the top of the order and he doesn't have the type of base-stealing ability to make a team forget about how little he actually gives himself a chance to steal. A 6-7-8 of Torres-Thole-Tejada has a certain rhythm to it, but it's also going to be a black hole of OBP. Long story short, the Mets have opened a hole in center field by making a deal that was more about acquiring Ramirez than it was about replacing Pagan with Torres.