UPDATE: It’s done. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Mets have signed Carrasco to a two-year contract.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that he’ll make $2.5 million in the deal, so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape about this one. Good value signing.
5:17 PM: Free agent reliever D.J. Carrasco and the Mets “are working on a two-year deal,” according to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
General manager Sandy Alderson has said that the Mets are likely to be mostly bystanders this winter, shopping for low-cost role players instead of trying to make a big splash, and Carrasco fits the bill as an underrated pickup.
Arizona had MLB’s worst bullpen ERA by a full run this season and Carrasco was only due for a raise to around $1.5 million, so it’s tough to explain why they non-tendered him. After spending 2006 and 2007 in the minors and transitioning to the bullpen full time he’s had ERAs of 3.96, 3.76, and 3.68 with 157 strikeouts in 210 innings and a .255/.327/.356 opponents’ line in the past three years.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.
The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.
Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.
Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”