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Kelvim Escobar to the Mets: Risk/Reward of the Signing

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Pitcher Kelvim Escobar #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Cleveland Indians on September 6, 2007 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Josh LevittSenior Analyst IDecember 27, 2009

Met fans have been clamoring for Omar Minaya to make a splash and sign a big name free agent. I'm not sure that this signing counts, but according to a report by Joel Sherman of the New York Post , Kelvim Escobar is on his way to becoming a New York Met :

I can confirm other reports that the #Mets are on the brink of signing Kelvim Escobar to a one-year, major league contract.

By giving Escobar a major league contract, the Mets are certainly adding a level of risk to the deal, but the bigger picture suggests that there is plenty of reward here for the Mets to justify this deal.


  • Escobar has not pitched in nearly two seasons
  • Escobar has not been a full-time relief pitcher since 2002—how good will he be?
  • Injury history
  • Major league contract guarantees him a spot on the 40-man roster


  • If he is healthy, Escobar has fantastic stuff 
  • Potentially electric setup man
  • Minimal commitment in both years (one) and dollars
  • If Escobar is hurt in 2010, there are no future implications of this deal



Given how uneventful the Mets offseason has been so far, I think fans of the team will take any potentially beneficial signing at this point.

Even though Escobar has made just one start in two years, if he's healthy, he will have lots to bring to the Mets.

Not only will Escobar make their bullpen deeper, but he will give them yet another power arm in addition to Brian Stokes and Bobby Parnell.

There is a lot of upside in this deal for the Mets, given how much Escobar can bring to the table and how little the Mets are investing in this deal.

With that said, the Mets still have plenty of work to do this offseason, and hopefully, with the signings of Escobar and Ryota Igarashi, GM Omar Minaya will now shift away from the bullpen and address some of the team's other primary needs (e.g. starting pitching, power hitters, etc.)

As for Kelvim Escobar, the Mets will give him a great opportunity to get his career back on track in the bullpen.

I'm sure one of the primary reasons that Escobar signed with the Mets is because they gave him a major league contract. While there were plenty of teams out there interested in Escobar, I'm not sure how many of them were willing to hand Escobar anything more than a minor league deal.

Considering that he's only thrown five innings in the majors since 2007, the Mets' willingness to give him a major league deal demonstrates how strongly they wanted him, and how much they believe in Escobar's stuff.

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