New York Mets 2009 Offseason Analysis: Bullpen

Anthony CarloContributor IDecember 3, 2008

Well, as we all know, the Mets have some serious work to do this offseason.

Two years ago, the Mets were looked at as one of the best teams in baseball. After the disappointing loss in the 2006 NLCS, 2007 looked to be the Mets year.

Well, was far from that. After that disappointing collapse that left all of baseball in awe, every Mets player was absolutely speechless.

Omar Minaya was on a mission to redeem the one-time powerhouse of the NL East.

Jan. 30th, 2008, looked to be a blessing from above as Minaya pulled the trigger on acquiring the most dynamic pitcher in baseball over the past five years. Johan Santana looked to be the cure for the pain that characterized the end of the 2007 season.

Although fans were a little worried about the lack of offseason additions to the bullpen, those worries turned to optimism with the company of Santana.

Although Santana was not the cure for the 2008 season, he was not a liability. Santana had a marvelous season in his first year in New York. If it was not for the crippled bullpen, Santana may have won six or more games, which would have made him a lock for the Cy Young Award winner of the National League.

The bullpen was absolutely ridiculous. Mets fans spent more time taking Tums than watching the games.

The top priorities for the Mets are to acquire a reputable closer, an eighth-inning man, and even a seventh-inning man.

My personal opinion is that the Mets shouldn't pay for Francisco Rodriguez. Don't get me wrong, K-Rod may be the best closer in baseball, but his price is way too high for the Mets.

The Mets cannot spend the $15 million per year that K-Rod wants. They need to acquire someone who is still dynamic, but not as pricey.

One option the Mets could take advantage of is a deal with the Rockies to acquire Huston Street for Heilman and a few low-class prospects. Street has experience closing and looks to be available because the Rockies will use Manuel Corpas as their closer for 2009.

New York could use Street as a setup man or even a closer. Street had 94 saves in 121 opportunities with a 2.88 ERA in his four-year career as an Athletic.

If the Mets acquire Street, they could also possibly look to sign someone like a Derrick Turnbow.  Though last season was an off year for Turnbow, he has had 65 saves in 80 chances. The Mets could use Turnbow as a viable seventh-inning man to Street.

Although injury-prone, Kerry Wood seems to be a very good option for the Mets to look at. Like Turnbow, Wood was not offered arbitration, so he would not cost the team a compensation draft pick in the 2009 entry draft. Wood had a pretty good year in 2008, going 34-of-40 in save opportunities for the Cubs.

Some other notable options the Mets should inquire about are Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, and Will Ohman.

Some options the Mets should avoid are trades for Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz. It would likely cost the Mets one of their top prospects in Fernando Martinez.

Also, I do not believe the Mets should go after Brian Fuentes because he would not be able to handle the big crowd of Citi Field. He would be unable to rebound after getting booed constantly—just like Aaron Heilman.

Next entry, I will talk about the Mets starting rotation issues. Please feel free to comment and add your opinions on the Mets bullpen situation.