Tag:Kerry Wood
Posted on: December 8, 2008 10:00 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 4:18 pm
 

K-Rod agrees to deal with Mets

LAS VEGAS -- The Mets always seemed destined to end up with Francisco Rodriguez, and now they will.

Rodriguez has agreed to a three-year, $37 million contract, uniting the record-setting closer with the team most in need of bullpen help. The Mets had initially offered Rodriguez two guaranteed years with an option, but they guaranteed the third year late on Monday and that got the deal done.

The Mets still aren't acknowledging the agreement and may not announce it for a few days, but sources told CBSSports.com that the deal is done.

The Mets, whose awful bullpen basically kept them from holding off the Phillies in the National League East (and the Brewers in the wild card), naturally prioritized adding a top closer this winter. Rodriguez, who set a major-league record with 62 saves for the Angels, was always their top choice.

The Mets always had to be Rodriguez's top option, too, at least after the Angels made it clear that they had little interest in re-signing him. The Mets were the only big-money team in need of a closer, and while they weren't willing to provide Rodriguez with the five-year, $75 million deal he originally sought, they had much more to offer than anyone else in the market for bullpen help.

With Rodriguez now off the market, and with the Mets no longer needing a closer, it will be interesting to see what happens to the pitchers and the teams that are left.

The Tigers and Indians are both looking for closers, but neither team has much money to spend. The Indians probably have a little more than the Tigers, but the Indians also have more remaining needs, and aren't anxious to spend all their available money on the bullpen.

The Indians have some interest in Trevor Hoffman, and may want to see if Brian Fuentes falls into their price range. The Tigers have shown some interest in either signing Kerry Wood or trading for Seattle's J.J. Putz, but they too may want to see what happens with Fuentes. The Tigers may try to free up a little bit of money by trading outfielder Marcus Thames.

The Brewers also need a closer, but they've been waiting to see if there's any chance they can retain CC Sabathia. The Cardinals also could be looking.

Some people have wondered whether the Dodgers would look for a closer, but sources familiar with their plans say they're more focused on acquiring a setup man.

Posted on: July 14, 2008 5:29 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2008 7:26 pm
 

The NL's other problem: Tired pitchers

The National League is always up against it in the All-Star Game, anyway. The simple problem, as became clear in the interleague matchups, is that the American League has better players.

The NL needs every edge it can get. Instead, NL manager Clint Hurdle heads into Tuesday night's game at Yankee Stadium with a staff full of tired pitchers.

Arizona's Brandon Webb, who leads the league with 13 wins, threw 108 pitches on Sunday. He said today that he has "a zero percent chance" of pitching in the All-Star game.

"I don't think I'm even available," Webb said.

Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum are first and second in the NL in ERA. Volquez threw 112 pitches Saturday, and Lincecum threw 116 on Sunday. Both said they're available for an inning, but neither could have been considered to start the game.

"It's my regular bullpen day, and I pitched in similar situations in college," Lincecum said. "I always go after my bullpens with the same tenacity I do a game, so it shouldn't be a problem."

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster, who threw 118 pitches Sunday, also said he's available for an inning. Then, thinking about the NL Central race, Dempster had a joking suggestion for Hurdle.

"We'll just get (Milwaukee's Ben) Sheets to throw seven innings," Dempster said.

One other NL pitching issue: When Kerry Wood had to pull out of the game with an injury, Hurdle picked Cubs teammate Carlos Marmol to replace him. But it turns out that the Cubs would rather that Marmol, who pitched in 49 games in the first half, doesn't pitch on Tuesday night.

As for the American League, the only starters who worked Sunday were Justin Duchscherer and Scott Kazmir. Duchscherer is feeling a little sick, but said he could pitch.

A couple of other things to think about on All-Star Monday:

-- Twins catcher Joe Mauer was talking about Johan Santana today, and he reminded everyone how good Santana has usually been after the All-Star break. It wasn't true last year, when he was 5-7 with a 4.04 ERA, but from 2003-06, Santana went a combined 40-4 with a 2.07 ERA in the second half.

"He really gets going in the second half," Mauer said.

-- In talking about the weak trade market for starting pitchers, one scout pointed to the number of pitchers with great stuff who are being made into relievers. He mentioned All-Stars Jonathan Papelbon and Joakim Soria, both of whom could start and have started at some point in their careers.

Incidentally, Papelbon has no interest at all in becoming a starter.

"I think that was settled a long time ago," he said.

A long time ago? Only if spring training 2007 qualifies as long ago.

 
 
 
 
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