In a recent meeting that included the Mets’ executives and coaches, members of the front office suggested releasing Mike Pelfrey before Opening Day, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. None of the uniformed staff was in favor of the idea, and it was downplayed….
One team official characterized the recent discussion about cutting Pelfrey as “just what you do in meetings, throwing (stuff) against the wall, and we throw a lot of (stuff) against the wall,” and went on to predict that Pelfrey would have a strong year for the Mets.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted Mike Pelfrey’s annual Spring Training and regular-season stats. Here they are now, after Pelfrey’s strong 6 1/3-inning outing against that thing calling itself the Astros:
|Year||Spring ERA||Spring K:BB||ERA||K:BB|
Pelfrey is everyone’s favorite LOLMets whipping boy for a variety for reasons. He was a high draft pick, he licks his hand, he admits to seeking counseling, and he’s not very good. Releasing him on account of any of those things, when he’s consistently above replacement level and the Mets have little in the way of Major League-ready starting pitching depth, would be silly.
Yes, there’s a chance Pelfrey repeats his poor 2011 season and will not be worth the $5.6875 million* he’ll make in 2012. But given his age, his propensity for health, and the randomness inherent in baseball, it seems just as likely he’ll pitch as well as he did in 2008 or 2010 and prove a valuable trade commodity if and when the Mets do have a Major League-ready replacement available.
And I know all about Chris Schwinden, Miguel Batista, Garrett Olson and Jeremy Hefner, and I understand the argument that says you could cobble together 200 innings as good as Pelfrey’s with a collection of guys on the Buffalo shuttle. But it doesn’t seem wise to enter a season like that, since you’re going to need those guys to cobble together Major League innings whenever some starter inevitably gets hurt.
*- Is it weird that Pelfrey’s listed salary goes to the fourth spot after the decimal point? That’s $500. I guess when you’re hammering those deals out to avoid arbitration, the player’s agent is going to fight for every last dollar, but how does that play out? “OK, how about $5,687,000?” “No, way, bro: $5,687,500 or we’re going to the arbiter.” Not a rhetorical question; I really have no idea how those negotiations work. I’m willing to find out if anyone wants to pay me upwards of $5 million to do anything.