For the third consecutive year, the New York Mets have bagged one of the biggest names in the free agent market.
In 2008 they snatched up two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana, last year it was K-Rod and now, pending a physical, they are set to bring left-fielder Jason Bay to Queens.
But the real question here is, will the acquisition of Bay really matter this year in terms of being the Mets answer to postseason?
We all watched the Mets collapse and miss the playoffs in 2008, when fans thought Santana would bring them to the World Series.
We all see how that turned out.
Last year ended even worse for the Mets when they did not even finish the season over .500.
The huge free-agent signing, namely K-Rod, was once again made out to be the savior by the fans.
Again, we see how that worked out as planned.
My prediction for this year: the season will end the same way it did the past two years and fans will look to Bay to solve the problems the same way they did with Santana and K-Rod.
Do not get me wrong here, Santana is a great pitcher and is easily one of the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball.
Same with K-Rod, who is one of the best closers in the game, and Bay, who brings a powerful swing and a rocket arm to the team.
But the truth of the matter is that other than Santana and K-Rod, the Mets starting rotation and bullpen are pretty bad and without solid pitching, no team will go anywhere.
Sure they added Kelvim Escobar but other than that, the Mets lack legit starters.
With a lifetime ERA of 4.54, Oliver Perez has not always been the Ace of the pitching staff but the Mets signed him to an extension regardless before the start of last year’s season.
I think it is safe to say that was not exactly the best move Minaya’s made—not like he makes many meaningful deals anyway.
Perez came back from the off-season looking like he gained an Olsen twin to start a handful of games in the majors,—where he had a 6.82 ERA might I add—have a brief bullpen stint and finally get demoted to the minors.
Like Perez, Mike Pelfrey didn't do too well last year with an ERA just over five, and John Maine was nothing to write home about either.
The only ray of sunshine in the starting rotation other than Santana was Fernando Nieve, who pitched eight games and allowed 36 hits, 12 earned runs, 19 walks and struck out 23.
As for the Mets bullpen—can anybody, other than Met fans, actually name more than three of the pitchers, if any at all?
I rest my case.
Now getting back to Bay, assuming that he passes the physical with no problem, he will greatly contribute to the team both on the field and in the batter’s box.
Yet with the ability of the Met starters, and especially the bullpen, to let games totally slip away from the team, the numbers Bay puts up will not matter for much other than a trip to the All-Star Game.
Bottom line here is that the success of the New York Mets this year will depend on the pitching staff—which is less than impressive—not Bay.
That does not, by any means, suggest that there is no reason for Met fans to be excited about getting Bay because any baseball fan would want him on his or her team.
Just do not get caught up in the same hype that blinded you the past few seasons Met fans, because chances are it will happen again this year.
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