According to David Lennon, an overhaul is most likely in the works to fix the Mets Achilles heel over the past few seasons. From today's Daily News:
Other than Joe Smith, Brian Stokes and Pedro Feliciano, the bullpen should look drastically different in '09.Stokes really came out of nowhere at the end and surprised the team with an above-average fastball and ability to go multiple innings.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon has spoken about addition by subtraction, meaning Aaron Heilman (two years from free agency), Scott Schoeneweis (one year, $3.6 million remaining) and Luis Castillo (three years, $18 million) all potentially are goners. Since the Mets would have to eat so much of Castillo's contract, or trade for an equally bad contract, they may be stuck with him.
Smith and Feliciano are the opposites of each other, which means they are delegated mostly to a specific batter, either LH hitter or RH hitters. The Mets are going to need a lot more versatility out of the bullpen, and they're going to have to sign, trade and promote to fill out the pen.
Eddie Kunz, Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese and Jason Vargas are all players who may find themselves either starting or in the bullpen in '09. Players available via trade include perennial-rumor name Huston Street, J.J. Putz and George Sherrill.
One big name who filed for free agency on Thursday is Chad Cordero. Cordero is working back from an injury and surgery of a torn labrum, and it's said he'll be ready by spring training. The Mets have been linked to Cordero for a while, so I'd expect some interest from Omar Minaya. We all saw Cordero before he went under the knife, and his fastball was flat and slow. If those problems are solved, and he's the Cordero of old, I'd be more than happy to have him on the Mets.
Any way you look at it, it's going to be a busy off-season for Minaya, and the bullpen is a major point of concern, especially if the young guys cannot perform up to snuff.