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Tag:Jason Isringhausen
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:41 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 7:51 pm
 

Angels sign Jason Isringhausen

By Matt Snyder

Relief pitcher Jason Isringhausen has signed a minor-league deal with the Angels, the club announced Wednesday evening.

Isringhausen, 39, didn't pitch in the majors in 2010, but had a 4.05 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 46 2/3 innings last season for the Mets. He even gathered seven saves, which put him at exactly 300 in his career -- good for 22nd on the all-time list.

The Angels appear to be moving forward with youngster Jordan Walden as the team's closer, but they did land the veteran depth they seeked this offseason in LaTroy Hawkins and now Isringhausen. The latter two and Scott Downs will be the bridge to Walden, but any of the three could take over if the 24-year-old -- who had 10 blown saves last season -- falters.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:41 pm
 

Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt top free agents left



By C. Trent Rosecrans


With Prince Fielder finally off the market, we're officially in free-agent left-over time, with most of the big-name, big-money guys enjoying new contracts.

So, who is left? That's a good question. The best players available are starting pitchers -- with Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt leading the charge -- but in our free-agent tracker, only one position player (Derrek Lee) among the top 25 free-agent position players is available, while three top 25 pitchers remain (Jackson, Oswalt, Javier Vazquez).

Here's the best player -- and the rest -- among the remaining free agents at each position as we get closer and closer to spring training:

Ivan RodriguezCatcher: Ivan Rodriguez. OK, he's a big name, a future Hall of Famer, but he's also 40 -- and a catcher. Rodriguez, 156 hits from 3,000, adjusted to being a backup catcher last season and it's the role he'll play if he can find a team for 2012.
Others available: Jason Varitek, Ronny Paulino, Ramon Castro, Jason Kendall.

Derrek LeeFirst base: Derrek Lee. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 season in Pittsburgh and had a nice finish to the season, hitting .337/.398/.584 with seven homers in his return to the National League Central after struggling in Baltimore for most of the first half of the season. However, he did miss nearly a month after breaking a bone in his left wrist shortly after joining the Pirates. Lee could retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported.
Others available: Casey Kotchman, Conor Jackson, Ross Gload, Russell Branyan.

Jeff KeppingerSecond base: Jeff Keppinger. The Giants non-tendered the 31-year-old infielder who struggled in his 56 games in San Francisco. Keppinger hit just .255/.285/.333 as the team's everyday second baseman, well off his career .281/.332/.388 line. Keppinger brings versatility with the ability to play any of the infield positions, and he's also played in the outfield. He could be a fit with the Mariners, Yankees or Rays.
Others available: Aaron Miles, Carlos Guillen.

Mark TeahenThird base: Mark Teahen. Our top third baseman was recently released to make room for a 41-year-old relief pitcher, what does that tell you? The Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Teahen in three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and others to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Teahen hit .200/.273/.300 with the White Sox and Blue Jays, playing both corner infield and outfield spots, in addition to handling some DH duties. Another positive is that he often tweets pictures of his two adorable boxers.
Others available: Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Alex Cora.

Ryan TheriotShortstop: Ryan Theriot. Theriot is versatile, with the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the field -- but he's best suited, defensively, to second base. He started the 2011 season as the Cardinals' starter at shortstop, but there's a reason the team went out to get Rafael Furcal. He hit .271/.321/.342 for the Cardinals last season, but at this point he's likely best suited as a utility player.
Others available: Edgar Renteria, Miguel Tejada, Felipe Lopez.

Yoenis CespedesOutfield: Yoenis Cespedes. While we have J.D. Drew ranked higher, he's expected to retire soon, leaving the extremely talented Cespedes as the top available outfielder. Cespedes has just recently acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic, so now the official courting of the Cuban center fielder can begin. The Marlins, of course, are said to be very interested, even if Cespedes is less interested in Miami. Both Chicago teams are said to have interest in him as well.
Others available: Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Magglio Ordonez, Corey Patterson, Rick Ankiel, Marcus Thames, Jeremy Hermida, Jay Gibbons, Milton Bradley.

Johnny DamonDesignated hitter: Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old Damon is hardly the prototypical slugging designated hitter, but he still has some value. Last season he hit .261/.326/.418 for the Rays with 16 home runs. He could be a fit in Detroit, where he hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs in 2010.
Others available: Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero.

Edwin JacksonStarting pitcher: Edwin Jackson. At 28, Jackson has already pitched for six different teams and could be looking at his seventh. With the White Sox and Cardinals, the hard-throwing right-hander went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts and 199 2/3 innings. He struck out 148 batters while putting up a 1.437 WHIP. There are recent reports that he's willing to sign a one-year deal, and is drawing interest from the Tigers. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit in 2009.
Others available: Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brad Penny, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Scott Kazmir, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Davies, Ross Ohlendorf, Doug Davis.

Arthur RhodesRelief pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes turned 42 during the World Series and still appeared in 51 games during the regular season and eight more in the postseason. The left-hander had a disappointing run with the Rangers after signing a two-year deal with Texas. But he returned as part of Tony La Russa's bullpen in St. Louis, earning his first World Series ring in his 19 years in the big leagues.
Others available: Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge, Dan WheelerDamaso Marte, Michael Wuertz, Zach Duke, Javier Lopez, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Gonzalez, Todd Coffey, Shawn Camp, Scott Linebrink, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jamey Wright, Chad Durbin, Brian Tallet, Hideki Luis Ayala, Micah Owings, Dan Cortes, Sergio Mitre, Tony Pena, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek, Danys Baez, Ramon Ortiz.

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Homegrown Team: New York Mets



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

Another day, another entry in our series. For this one, we'll stop over in Queens and meet the Mets. We know about Wright and Reyes, but what else is there? For one, a guy who just tied the postseason home run record. Knowing that the Mets traded him for Jorge Velandia has to be a bit painful for Mets fans (don't feel too bad, though, because the A's and Brewers gave up on Cruz, too). Anyway, let's dive in.

Lineup

1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Nelson Cruz, RF
5. Ike Davis, 1B
6. Mike Carp, LF
7. Angel Pagan, CF
8. Josh Thole, C

Starting Rotation

1. Dillon Gee
2. Jonathon Niese
3. Philip Humber
4. Mike Pelfrey
5. A.J. Burnett

Bullpen

Closer - Heath Bell
Set up - Octavio Dotel, Jason Isringhausen, Matt Lindstrom, Bobby Parnell, Joe Smith, Guillermo Mota
Long - Aaron Heilman

Notable Bench Players

Drew Butera, Josh Satin, Ruben Tejada, Ty Wigginton, Lucas Duda, Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez and the imcomparable Wily Mo Pena. Also, Scott Kazmir is on this team. If he never left, would it have been possible that he was an upper-tier starter for years? We'll never know.

What's Good?

I like the bullpen. The bench is good, too. As a whole, one thing that stuck out to me is there aren't any really glaring holes. And assuming everyone is healthy, that's a pretty stout top four to five in the batting order. Reyes setting up for Wright and Cruz would be scary for opposing pitchers.

What's Not?

The starting rotation is a bunch of threes and fours. There's potential to better sure -- like if Burnett gets locked in for stretches -- but if we're looking at just the present, the lack of an ace would hurt as the season progressed, especially in terms of stopping modest losing streaks. The catcher and center field spots could be better as well, but, as I mentioned above, it's not like those are glaring holes. On the whole, while there aren't any real glaring holes, there's nothing that stands out as spectacular other than a healthy Reyes while Wright, Cruz and Bell are very good.

Comparison to real 2011

The real-life Mets were 77-85, and I think this bunch is a bit better than that. It's a team that would put up a winning record and maybe contend for a wild card. It's definitely not great, as the lack of an ace shows, but the weaknesses here are all pretty minor. I'm thinking mid-80s in wins with a ceiling of 90 and floor of high-70s? That sounds about right.

Next: Cincinnati Reds

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:18 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 11:44 pm
 

Looking at NL Comeback candidates

Ryan VogelsongBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Earlier today my colleague Matt Snyder wrote about the Comeback Player of the Year awards and also took a look at the top candidates in the American Leaugue. Now it's time to look at the National League.

As Matt noted, the Comeback Player of the Year Award has been sanctioned by the MLB since 2005. It is voted upon by the 30 MLB.com beat writers (one per team). The criteria for the award is incredibly subjective and open to interpretation. Voters are asked to name a player in each League "who has re-emerged on the baseball field during the season."

That's vague -- but that seems to be a recurring theme with baseball awards. There's usually a couple of different type of comebacks -- the comeback from injury, the comeback from poor performance, the old guy and putting together one last hurrah and then the wild cards.

We've got a bit of each of those in the National League, but I'll get to that later. Like Matt, I'll give you the three frontrunners and several others. And once again, it should be noted I don't vote for this and I'm not exactly sure who I would vote for at this point. But here's who is in the running.

The Frontrunners

Carlos Beltran, Mets/Giants
2010 numbers: .255/.341/.427, 7 HR, 27 RBI in 64 games
2011 numbers: .298/.386/.524, 20 HR, 80 RBI in 129 games
Beltran may not win it because of his team's performance, not his. Beltran was supposed to ignite a dormant Giants offense, but even a .325/.367/.558 performance with five homers and 14 RBI in his 31 games before Thursday's game were just as advertised, it's just that it hasn't led the Giants to the postseason. The 34-year-old Beltran was the hottest name at the trade deadline because he'd looked like he had finally recovered from the knee surgery that limited him in 2010. Beltran missed 13 games after coming over to the Giants because of a wrist injury, but he's still shown that he has something left in his tank -- and just in time for free agency.

Lance Berkman, Cardinals
2010 numbers: .248/.368/.413, 14 HR, 58 RBI in 122 games
2011 numbers: .290/.404/.551, 30 HR, 86 RBI in 132 games
Berkman looked like he was finished last season, first with the Astros and then with the Yankees. In the offseason he signed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Cardinals to play the outfield and there were plenty of skeptics -- myself included. Still, Berkman got into shape and thrived with Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. He was an early candidate for MVP, and he may still not be in that discussion, but he's certainly at the forefront for this award. If your definition of a "comeback player" is returning to form, Berkman's the easy pick. If you have a different definition, well, your choice may be...

Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
2010 numbers: 3-8, 4.81 ERA, 1.773 WHIP in 33 games and 14 starts in Triple-A
2011 numbers: 10-7, 2.66 ERA, 1.251 WHIP in 27 games and 25 starts
Vogelsong hadn't thrown a pitch in the major leagues since 2006 and hadn't won a game since 2005 before the start of the 2011 season. When you talk about comebacks, Vogelsong's may not have ever been a great pitcher (he had 10 career victories in 33 career starts before 2011), but he fits the comeback in terms of just coming back to the big leagues. Since 2006 he pitched for two teams in Japan over three years before trying a comeback in the United States in 2010. Vogelsong replaced Barry Zito in the rotation in April  and then went 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA before the All-Star break and earned a nod to the All-Star team. He's not been quite as good since then, but he still has a 3.30 ERA in the second half, only to go 4-6 thanks to a sputtering Giants offense.

Sean BurroughsThe Others

Sean Burroughs, Diamondbacks. You can put Burroughs in the Josh Hamilton comeback category, except unlike Hamilton, Burroughs had reached the big leagues before he returned from addiction to play. Burroughs, the ninth-overall pick in the 1998 draft, made it to the big leagues at 21 and even hit .298/.348/.365 for the Padres in 2004. However, he was out of baseball by 2006 and battled with substance abuse. As recently as last year, Burroughs was homeless and eating out of garbage cans. His .265/.276/.333 line isn't going to earn him too many accolades, but the fact that he's in the big leagues is as much of a comeback as can be imagined.

Aaron Harang, Padres. Returning to his hometown of San Diego after eight years in Cincinnati, Harang has been the Padres' best starter. After winning just six games in each of the last three seasons with the Reds, Harang is 13-6 with a 3.85 ERA this season. There's no doubt Harang has benefitted from the change of scenery -- and home ballparks, going from homer-happy Great American Ball Park in Cincy to the pitcher's dream of Petco Park in San Diego. Harang is 7-4 with a 3.30 ERA at Petco and 6-2 with a 4.70 ERA away from home.

Todd Helton, Rockies. The 37-year-old Helton was healthy this season after battling a back injury last season, when he hit just .256/.362.367 in 118 games. This season he's hitting .302/.385/.466 with 14 homers and 69 RBI. 

Jason Isringhausen, Mets. Isringhausen, 39, had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and signed a minor-league deal with the Reds in 2010, pitching for their Triple-A team in Louisville. He signed a minor-league contract with the Mets -- the team that drafted him in 1991 -- and after a short stint in extended spring training made the team and served as the team's closer for much of the season. Overall, he notched seven saves to get his career total to 300, pitching in 53 games for the Mets and putting up a 4.05 ERA, striking out 44 batters in 46 2/3 innings.

Kyle Lohse, Cardinals. Lohse has always been bit of an enigma -- blessed with immense talent, Lohse can one day look dominating and the next day out of his league. When he did pitch in 2010, he didn't pitch well and then his season was ended in May when he underwent surgery on his right forearm. He's been a staple in the Cardinals' rotation this season, going 13-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 28 starts. 

Pablo Sandoval, Giants. San Francisco won the World Series in 2010 with very little help from Pablo Sandoval, who played in just one of the team's World Series games and six postseason games. Well, Sandoval came into camp in shape and has responded, despite missing 40 games with a hand injury. Going into Thursday night's game, Sandoval was hitting .301/.345/.511 -- and then hit for the cycle on Thursday, notching his 20th homer and 25th double. 

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals. The Nationals hope Zimmermann's return from Tommy John foreshadows the recovery of Stephen Strasburg. Much like Strasburg, Zimmerman had to have Tommy John surgery after a promising start to his rookie year, but was then able to return the next season and pitch. While his 8-11 record isn't too impressive, the 3.18 ERA in 26 starts is. With Zimmermann and Strasburg, the Nationals have high hopes for the future.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:02 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome owned the night



By Matt Snyder


Jim Thome, Twins. What a day for one of the most respected players in baseball. Thome went 3-4 with five RBI in a Twins' 9-6 victory. Among those three hits were two home runs, meaning he now has 600 in his illustrious career. He's much more than just a home run hitter, too, so let's give him all the respect and adulation he deserves.

Mike Carp, Mariners. Don't look now, but the Mariners have a cleanup hitter. Long gone is Jack Cust and they don't have to use Adam Kennedy there anymore, either. Carp has locked down that lineup slot as he's presently on fire. The 25 year old went 2-4 with a pair of home runs Monday night, including an eighth-inning shot that tied the game at five. He's now 36-for-97 (.371) with six home runs and 26 RBI since rejoining the lineup July 19. Between Carp, Casper Wells and Dustin Ackley, the Mariners seem to have a good, young core of offensive players for the future.

Ryan Doumit, Pirates. The catcher tied a career high with four hits, as he went 4-4 with a three-run homer in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. He's now 10-for-23 (.435) since coming off the disabled list. Considering the Pirates have fallen out of the race and at least one contending team -- the Giants -- wouldn't mind an offensive upgrade at catcher for this year, he's an intriguing name in terms of a possible trade candidate through the waivers process this month.

Bonus Up: Jason Isringhausen of the Mets recorded his 300th career save Monday night in San Diego. He's the 23rd man in baseball history to achieve the feat and only Mariano Rivera and Francisco Cordero among active players have more.



Brian Wilson, Giants. The Giants were all set to move within 1 1/2 games of the Diamondbacks in the NL West when Wilson coughed this one up. He was spotted a 4-2 lead, but ended up walking off the field with a 5-4 loss. Three singles and two walks amounted to three earned runs, the blown save and the loss for The Beard.

Marlins' 9th inning. It was a rough inning for Jack McKeon's club. The Marlins went into the ninth with a 4-3 lead over the Rockies and closer Leo Nunez coming into the game. Dexter Fowler hit what reads in the box score as a double, but it was actually a flare that no one could get to. When Marlins third baseman Greg Dobbs ended up with the ball at second base, Fowler was slipping between first and second and was a sitting duck. Dobbs then fired an errant throw in an attempt to cut down Fowler, which instead allowed Fowler to reach second base. “Hindsight being 20-20, I should have held the ball and ran at him,” Dobbs said after the game (Fish Tank). A Carlos Gonzalez double plated Fowler to tie the game. McKeon then elected to intentionally walk Troy Tulowitzki and bring in left-handed specialist Randy Choate to face left-handed hitting Jason Giambi. It was certainly the right move on paper, but Giambi hit a three-run, walk-off homer. Basically, Lady Luck was not on the side of the Marlins in the ninth.

The Angels. They lost a young starting pitcher to a groin injury in the first inning, gave up eight runs on 14 hits and committed three errors against the Rangers Monday night. Oh, and the Angels also fell five games behind the Rangers in the AL West. There are three games left in the series, but that could mean bad news if the Angels don't wake up. Otherwise they're liable to see themselves eight games back by the weekend, especially if they play the way they did Monday.

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:34 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Betancourt smacks two homers

Betancourt

By Evan Brunell

BetancourtYuniesky Betancourt, Brewers: Yes, really. Betancourt tops our list of 3 Up thanks to his two-homer explosion in Arizona, adding on a single for a 3-for-5 night. In a 11-3 victory, Betancourt stuffed the box score with three runs scored and four RBI. No stolen base, but who needs one? That pushes Betancourt's slash stats to .245/.262/.367, which is still super-bad and won't stop Milwaukee from trying to trade for someone better, but at least Betancourt got a bit of limelight.

Jason Isringhausen, Mets
: So, apparently Jason Isringhausen is the new closer in town as he grabbed the save opportunity tonight and ran with it, racking up his first save since August 2008. In the 4-2 defeat of the Cards, Izzy punched out a batter and allowed no baserunners, which takes him to a career 294 games saved and just six away from 600. It's quite a comeback story for Isringhausen, who likely will lose the Comeback Player of the Year Award to Ryan Vogelsong, but Isringhausen deserves to be considered as well.

Brandon Allen, Diamondbacks: I had the pleasure of attending the All-Star Game at Chase Field this past week, so seeing Brandon Allen's monstrous home run in the fifth inning left me stunned -- and Justin Upton, too. Upton helpfully pointed out to another stupefied teammate that Allen's solo homer landed "right on top" of a scoreboard way in deep right. That's 455 feet away, the team reports. It's easy to read that and go "oh, cool" and move on. But it's something else when you have that park visualized so clearly in your mind and appreciate the sheer, awesome power behind that homer. Oh, and the Diamondbacks TV announcers were incredulous as to the 455-foot claim, saying the blast traveled 480 feet or more.



BrazobanYhency Brazoban, Diamondbacks: Brazoban came in to try and stave off disaster for Arizona, which was down 6-3 at the time to the Brewers. He came in with the bases loaded thanks to Zach Duke giving up a walk and two infield singles. Unfortunately, Brazoban, who has electric stuff and often no idea where it's going, allowed all three runners to score by doing it in only a way the right-hander can. In his sixth game of the season after last appearing in the majors in 2008, Brazoban got 0-2 on Corey Hart then walked him by issuing three straight balls to end the at-bat. The next pitch out of his hand hit Nyjer Morgan, then he issued yet another walk to Carlos Gomez of all people. That ended Brazoban's night -- but Micah Owings did what Brazoban couldn't by getting out of the bases-loaded jam immediately by inducing a double-play grounder by Prince Fielder and then a meek grounder off the bat off Rickie Weeks. So Brazoban doesn't get charged a single run and his ERA doesn't rise.

Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
: Lohse's regression to the mean in in full force, his ERA rising to 3.45 after ending May 23 with a 2.06 ERA and June 28 with a 2.78 mark. In the three starts since, he's coughed up 15 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings. This debacle came against the Mets, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out just one.

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals: It was an off day for Zimmermann, who was bombed for six runs over five innings, despite whiffing five and walking none. The seven hits did Zimmermann in, three of which went for extra bases. That brings his ERA all the way up to 3.00, so he's still having quite a season. The five innings pitched give him 120 for the year. The Nationals plan on shutting him down at 160 innings pitched regardless of when that happens. That gives Zimmerman 40 innings left, so he may not even last to September.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Isringhausen angrily denies no-trade request

By Evan Brunell

IsringhausenJason Isringhausen loves New York so much that he'd rather stay in town. But contrary to a previous report from the New York Daily News, he did not request a trade.

"I never [bleeping] said one thing about, 'Please don't trade me,' " Isringhausen told the New York Post on Monday. "Yeah, I talked to Sandy, but I never once said, 'Please don't trade me.' I said I'd like to stay here. I'd never plead with anyone about staying anywhere."

The 38-year-old reliever has engineered a surprising comeback after being left for dead.  Isringhausen, the former Cardinals closer, had a Ryan Franklin-esque meltdown in 2008, replete with injuries. He posted a 5.70 ERA and lost his closer's job a season after a typical one in which he had 32 saves and a 2.70 ERA.

He attempted to make a comeback in 2009 with the Rays but could only muster eight innings pitched before missing all of 2010.

Back with the Mets, who drafted  Isringhausen in the 44th round of the 1992 draft, he is enjoying a career renaissance with a 3.14 ERA in 28 2/3 innings and has become the setup man. But the Mets are trying to rebuild while staying reasonably competitive at the same time.

With strong relief pitching always in demand and teams shying away from Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez because of a $17.5 million option that can easily vest should K-Rod remain a closer for the rest of the year, Isringhausen has come up as a potential trade candidate along with Rodriguez and Tim Byrdak.

Izzy, however, doesn't want to go anywhere.

"I have two places in my heart," he told the Daily News. "St. Louis, because I'm from there, and New York, because this is where I started. Those are my two favorite spots, and I don't think I'm going back to St. Louis anytime soon. And I love it here."

Isringhausen says he would like to stay in New York because of the chance to close and the outside chance of making the playoffs (and by outside, we mean outside). On a team that wasn't supposed to do anything, that's "fun," he said.

"If there is a chance that we can do that," he said, "I want to be a part of it."

The Mets are 11 games out of first and somehow would have to get past Philadelphia and Atlanta, two teams that increasingly look like the team to beat in the postseason for the NL. But there's no denying it would be a fantastic story if Isringhausen were part of a Mets team that shocked baseball, especially since he could hang up his cleats at any time.

"It's hard on us, being gone, and having a 2-year-old and and 8-year-old, one in school," he said. "I don't get to see them much. But like my wife says, 'You're only going to play baseball for so long. You have the rest of your life to come home to our so-called boring life' -- that's what she calls it."

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Mets aiming to deal K-Rod, two other relievers

Rodriguez

By Evan Brunell


The Mets may finally be ready to sell. A source told the New York Daily News that GM Sandy Alderson is hoping to move three bullpen arms: Francisco Rodriguez (pictured), Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak.

"Those guys have pitched well, and they could help somebody," the source said.

It's no surprise that K-Rod is on the trade block; he has been available all season as he speeds toward a $17.5 million vesting option provided he finishes 55 games this season. Because of some curious moves by manager Terry Collins, Rodriguez already has 32 games finished, which complicates any deal. While teams will be interested in Rodriguez as a setup man, the concern is Rodriguez needing to step into the closer's role because of injury and then seeing his option vest.

Other teams may find that vesting option attractive, enabling them to keep Rodriguez on a one-year deal while other clubs fight over Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon and others in free agency. Still, it will be a tough road to dealing Rodriguez, even though he could bring the biggest return.

Isringhausen and Byrdak, meanwhile, would bring nothing more than salary relief or a middling prospect. That's all Alderson needs to justify these deals, telling fans that the Mets remain serious about contending this year, even if the chances of snagging a postseason spot are slim.

In Izzy's first extended major-league stint since 2008, the 38-year-old has a 3.25 ERA in 27 2/3 innings, whiffing 6.8 batters per nine innings and walking 4.8. He's pitching worse than his ERA indicates, but plenty of other teams need relief help, so the right-hander could draw interest. If the Cardinals whiff on acquiring Heath Bell, they could go after Isringhausen, who was St. Louis' closer from 2002-08.

Byrdak is, frankly, nothing special, but left-handed specialists are always wanted. Byrdak's last four years saw ERA's all under 4.00 while it's at 4.15 this year. But his peripherals indicate that, so far, Byrdak's 2011 is his most successful campaign in a career that stretches back to 1998 despite just 228 1/3 career innings pitched. He seems as if he would be dealt in your standard "player to be named later or cash considerations" move.

If the Mets can clear out these three relievers, it will be in order to free money for future payroll and a possible mammoth contract for shortstop Jose Reyes. Even more money could be cleared if Alderson deals other players like Carlos Beltran, but such a move would send a signal to fans that the season is essentially done.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com