With Ben Sheets now officially off the board thanks to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Athletics, the team that is left out in the dust once again is the New York Mets. The Mets were pursuing Sheets, who they hoped would be their number two starter behind Johan Santana, but ultimately lost out to the Athletics.
The Mets rotation currently consists of a whole bunch of question marks:
1. Johan Santana: surgery last September to remove bone chips
2. Mike Pelfrey: Pitched terribly last season (5.03 ERA)
3. John Maine: Can he stay healthy?
4. Oliver Perez: Missed a large portion of the 2009 season. When he did pitch, he was very unproductive (6.82 ERA)
5. Jon Niese/Fernando Nieve/???
As you can see, the Mets rotation is painfully thin and filled with many unknowns. Is there anyone in that rotation right now that can give the Mets 200 IP? Outside of a healthy Santana, I have serious doubts about spots two through five. And if Santana isn't healthy, then 2010 could turn out to be just as bad as 2009.
So what should GM Omar Minaya do with Sheets off the board?
1. Scour Free Agent Market
Erik Bedard, Jon Garland, Jarrod Washburn, John Smoltz, and Chien Ming Wang are the most appealing names left. Bleh. Garland, Washburn, and Wang need to be supplemented by a great defense, which the Mets do not have. No one seems to know the status of Erik Bedard at this point.
2. Trade Market
Not too many great names left on the market. Maybe Aaron Harang.
3. Stand Pat
I don't know how Minaya can do this, but if he doesn't find any of the names on the market appealing, then maybe he takes a shot with this group and sees what he's got.
The guy who I think would fit nicely on the Mets is Washburn, who is a flyball pitcher and might thrive in the spacious Citi Field. Then again, defense is a problem considering that the Mets will be without Beltran for at least the first month, Jason Bay is in left, and Luis Castillo is terrible defensively.
If Bedard can show the Mets that he's healthy and willing to pitch in New York, then he'd be a great choice for the Mets considering his high upside. But no one knows if Bedard is healthy and additionally no one knows if he can actually pitch 150 IP+ in a season.
What do you think Minaya should do?