New York Mets Sign Two Players to Contracts

Eric SalomonContributor IJanuary 20, 2009

The New York Mets yesterday signed Duaner Sanchez and Jeremy Reed, both to one-year contracts. 

Sanchez will make just under $1.7 million in 2009, while Reed's deal is worth $925,000. 

Four more player remain eligible for arbitration including Ryan Church, Pedro Feliciano, and John Maine.

Sanchez is a crucial part of the Mets bullpen, and is slated to be a set-up man to Francisco Rodriguez in conjunction with J.J. Putz. 

The 29-year old Sanchez went 5-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 66 appearances last season.  He has not pitched a full season with the Mets because of nagging shoulder injuries. 

Last season, the bullpen was the Achilles' heel of the Mets, converting only 42 of 76 save opportunities.  The additions of J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez should help not only the bullpen but the starting rotation as well. 

Starting pitchers last year were forced to go an extra inning to keep the bullpen healthy.  The opposite will be true this year, as the coaching staff will feel more confident in taking out a starter who is struggling earlier in the game. 

Earlier this winter, the Mets rid themselves of two problem relievers: Scott Schoenweis and Aaron Heilman.  A couple years ago, Heilman seemed to have the potential to be a solid starter, but could never find the consistency in his mechanics needed to succeed in the rotation.  The decision to move him to the bullpen was made, but he never blossomed as a big-moment pitcher.

Outfielder Jeremy Reed, acquired in the same deal that brought Putz to the Metropolitans, is expected to fill the void left by the departure of Endy Chavez.   Chavez's, whose biggest contribution to the club was a brilliant, acrobatic catch in the 2006 NLCS that turned out to be a moot point, was also dealt to the Mariners in the off season. 

Reed is known more for his defensive ability that offensive might, similar to that of Chavez.  He comes with a small price tag and big potential.