BY MICHAEL GANCI
Although this is not the biggest of news, it is still news, and I am starving to report it. The Mets are close to re-signing reliever Elmer Dessens to a contract that would bring him back for the 2010 season, and I think that is something that he definitely earned.
Now, this is not I guy I would envision as a permanent fixture in the bullpen next season, but he could be a nice signing in terms of depth—something I have been stressing since the season ended.
Last year, the Mets found themselves without a fallback plan, and a lot of that was impossible to prepare for, but the club needs to prepare both the Major League and Triple A levels with guys who are capable of filling in if a situation arises.
Last year was a nice story for Dessens. He hadn’t pitched more than 30 innings for a team since the 2006 season, in which he pitched 54 for Kansas City. He is also one of those guys that falls into the mop-up category. He can make a start in an emergency situation, and he can eat up innings in a blowout out of the bullpen. Guys like that are usually under appreciated. Look what that roll ended up doing for Darren Oliver’s career.
I expect things to remain pretty quiet until next week when we find out who is and isn’t being awarded arbitration by their teams. Two names to watch will be Orlando Hudson and Benji Molina. Now, I don’t think the Mets would be scared off if the Dodgers and Giants offer them arbitration, but it makes sense to wait because then the Mets would not have to forfeit a draft pick. My gut says the Dodgers won’t offer because they think Hudson might accept. Molina could be a different story.
Good low-risk signing in Dessens. People need to remember what happened last year, and the Mets need to make sure to be prepared if anything like that happens in 2010.