There were a handful of interesting Mets tidbits posted on Twitter so far today, but none was as telling as this tweet from Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
#Mets r only team yet to sign MAJOR LEAGUE fr agt this offseason
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 20, 2012
Yep. Even the Marlins have signed a major league free agent, inking up Placido Polanco earlier today.
There are, however, some rumblings that the Mets will soon add some major league-ready talent to the roster.
Kevin Burkhardt of SNY TV says that the Mets could kick the tires on former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore. Sizemore missed the entire 2012 season with a back injury. He recently had microfracture surgery on his right knee and will likely be held out until the middle of the 2013 season at the earliest. Sizemore had microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2010. He hasn’t played more than 100 games in a season since 2009.
From 2005-08 Sizemore was terrific in Cleveland. He earned at least some MVP votes in each of those seasons, made the all-star team three times, won two gold gloves and was a sliver slugger winner in 2008. At his peak, he had about 25-home run power, could steal about 30 bases and hit at a .275 clip.
Sizemore would certainly fill a role both in the outfield and at the top of the Mets’ lineup, but his injury history is a major blemish. Can he ever return to the player he was from 2005-08? Sizemore cooled off in 2009 and was dreadful in limited action in 2010 and 2011, so there’s really no way to imagine what kind of player he could be in 2013.
Still, if the Mets could get Sizemore cheaply and don’t mind waiting until the all-star break or so, he might make a case for 2014 should he show something next season.
On the pitching front, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post says that the Mets have reached out to the agents of Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano as possible replacements for R.A. Dickey.
We’ll start with Liriano.
Once upon a time, Liriano and Johan Santana were a pair of hard-throwing lefties in the Minnesota Twins’ rotation. (Liriano was part of the trade that brought Circleville native Joe Nathan to the Twins from San Francisco). Santana and Liriano may be reunited in Flushing at the later stage of their careers.
Liriano has had his share of injury problems, as he’s never pitched more than 191 2/3 innings in a single season. He’s also been shuffled back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, having had two seasons in which all he did was start. Only three times in his seven-year career has he had ERAs under 5.00. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.38, but he hasn’t had a K-to-BB rate higher than 2.00 since 2010.
He’d be a warm body for the rotation, sure, but Liriano’s track record is pretty clear at this point. He’ll provide some pizzazz every now and again – he threw a six-walk no-hitter in May 2011 – but he’ll put tons of guys on base and wind up on the disabled list at some point.
If I was Sandy Alderson, I’d pass on Liriano for the rotation, but I might try him out full-time in the bullpen. It might be the change of pace he needs and the Mets could certainly use the left-handed help in the ‘pen.
As far as Pavano, forever known as American Idle in New York, he had a terrible stint here previously with the Yankees. Pavano started 26 games over four injury-marred years in New York, going 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA.
Pavano did bounce back with strong seasons in Minnesota in 2010 and 2011, starting 65 games. In 2012, Pavano had a strained shoulder and made just 11 starts. The injury did not require surgery.
Pavano is a Connecticut native, so the move might make sense for him if it makes dollars and cents for the Mets. On the other hand, he is a 36-year-old pitcher coming off shoulder trouble that has had plenty of injury problems in the past.
With both Liriano and Pavano the Mets would be getting injury risks that might provide some benefit in 2013. If the price isn’t right, however, neither one is probably worth the trouble.
Any other veteran retreads you think might be stopgap options for the Mets in 2013? Let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.