New York Mets and the Pitching Market

Andrew WhartonCorrespondent IJune 1, 2009

DENVER - MAY 07:  Starting pitcher Jason Marquis #21 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the San Francisco Giants during MLB action at Coors Field on May 7, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Matt Cerrone of Metsblog.com has listed some options for the Mets in the starting pitching market this season.

Among the names mentioned are Javier Vazquez, Jonathan Sanchez, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Jon Garland, Roy Oswalt, Jason Marquis, Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, and Pedro Martinez.

In the end, Cerrone believes the Mets will most likely pursue either Jarrod Washburn or Jason Marquis.

Here's my take on the issue.

First of all, Javier Vazquez isn't going anywhere. The Braves are likely to promote their top pitching prospect, Tommy Hanson, some time this season, but Vazquez isn't the guy he will be replacing.

If there is anyone who is in jeopardy of going down, it's either Kenshin Kawakami (3-6, 4.73) or rookie Kris Medlen (1-2, 6.28). If they're going to remove Vazquez in favor of 43 year-old Tom Glavine, god bless 'em.

Jonathan Sanchez is an interesting pitcher, considering he usually does very well against division rivals.

However, he seems to struggle more on the road than he does at home, which tells me he is just another Oliver Perez, because he cannot get it together mentally. He's still only 26 years old, and if he isn't going to cost too much (Martinez, Flores, Parnell, etc.), I'd say take a flier. Otherwise, no thanks.

Erik Bedard would simply cost too much in return. He's out of the picture.

Jarrod Washburn is having a good season so far with the Mariners. In nine games so far this year, he is 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA. In six of his nine starts, Washburn has allowed two or less runs in at least six innings, and has only allowed more than four runs in two starts.

For a potential back-end guy, that's not that bad. Take a flier, and if he comes for the right price, bring him to New York.

Jon Garland is having an average season so far with the D'Backs, although his numbers are a bit inflated due to three horrible starts. In seven of his 10 starts this season, Garland is 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA.

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I'll take that any day in the back end of our rotation. Plus, a pitcher taken from a bad situation and placed on a team that will be (hopefully) contending for a World Series could make good things can happen.

Roy Oswalt, like Erik Bedard, will simply cost too much. Besides, the Mets are confident in Santana, Pelfrey, and Maine as their top three pitchers. For the sake of removing him from the list as well, Jake Peavy also fits in this category.

Jason Marquis is having a great season so far with the Colorado Rockies, despite pitching in a hitter's park for a horrible team. In 10 games so far this season, Marquis is 7-3 with a 3.93 ERA, and has only allowed more than three runs on three separate occasions (SF, HOU, AZ, teams the Mets do not face much and will not contend for playoff spots). In his other seven outings, Marquis is 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA. In other words, he would be a solid pickup.

Brad Penny is having a decent season, but for the money he is making (over five million), he is definitely not worth the risk. This is a guy who has been riddled with injuries the last couple of seasons, and unless the Red Sox are willing to eat almost all of his contract, don't expect to see this guy on the move anywhere any time soon.

At last, that brings us to Pedro Martinez. Pedro was a consistent back-end guy for the Mets in 2008, but the fact that he has not pitched since the WBC has to be a concern for most clubs. With so many teams needing pitching right now, it's hard to believe Martinez still doesn't have a job.

This could be because he is simply asking for too much (most likely the case), or there is something we just don't know. Either way, the Mets will likely pass on the former Met, mainly because they seem to be set on moving away from the 2007 and 2008 teams.

Good call, because Pedro probably wouldn't be ready until July or August anyway.

So here is what I would do if I was Omar Minaya (thank god I'm not): If needed, make a legitimate offer for either Marquis, Washburn, or Garland, without compromising Bobby Parnell, F-Mart, and any combination of Holt/Mejia/Flores.

The best fit, in my opinion, would be Marquis, but the cheapest would probably by Garland since the D'Backs are supposed to be contending for the NL West but instead are in panic mode.

So far, so good this season, Omar. Other than the Perez contract, you've done an excellent job piecing together a contending team.

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