There were Cliff Lee fantasies and then some Roy Oswalt pipe dreams, but if the Mets are going to get a starting pitcher, their options are probably going to need to be more realistic in terms of what they can get for the prospects they have to offer and what they can afford in terms of salary to the incoming body.
Buster Olney suggests Brett Myers, who is having a pretty darn nice season down in Houston. The price is right: whatever is left of his $3 million salary for 2010 plus either an $8 million option for 2011 or a $2 million buyout. Whereas Lee would have cost an arm and a leg in terms of prospects, you figure Houston would accept much less in terms of bodies.
The only thing that gets me on the Myers reports I’ve seen are references to him “knowing how to win in the NL East.” As if it were some foreign country or something where only he knows the language. He’s like any other pitcher I imagine: he does better in the significantly weaker NL Central and if he came back to the East and faced the Phillies and Braves more his ERA would rise.
Might be a good catch for the Mets, but let’s not pretend he’s more than he is.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.