Omar Minaya has ruled out bringing in Manny Ramirez or any other major expenditure. The lone pieces still being sought are a lefty reliever on a minor-league deal and a righty bat for the bench, perhaps via a spring-training trade.Fine. I understand no Manny, and I had been OK with that from the start. The problem I have is with the lefty reliever on a minor league deal.
Guys like Will Ohman and Juan Cruz are still on the market, and would be excellent additions to the Mets weak middle relief portion of the bullpen. If Omar is going to short change them with a minor league deal, I think they're going to be shut out.
There is no reason they shouldn't pay a guy like Ohman or Cruz enough money to come to the team. I think Minaya is completely overvaluing guys like Duaner Sanchez, Sean Green and Brian Stokes. Heck, I want them all to do well, but I really don't think they're good enough to bridge the gap from starter to J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez.
Those two guys at the end of the bullpen are completely worthless if the team can't hand them a lead. Without a solid set of pitchers for middle relief, I'm not very confident in the outlook for 2009.
The depth chart has the Mets bullpen as follows (without K-Rod and Putz):
- D. Sanchez
- P. Feliciano
- S. Green
- B. Stokes
- C. Muniz
- B. Parnell
Green, I don't know enough about to judge, but his numbers really aren't that good. A career 4.32 ERA and 1.53 WHIP aren't going to calm my nerves, or my heartburn, when he's pitching in the 7th inning with a one run lead.
Muniz has been riding the shuttle between triple-A and the major leagues for a while now. He's never really gotten a ton of work at the MLB level, and rightly so. He's just not that good. Parnell is a young gun, who they hope will blossom and prosper soon, but he's just not ready yet.
So save for K-Rod and Putz, the bullpen is a bit of a mess. They need to go out and lock down Ohman or Cruz (or someone else!), and soon, because this 'pen is just not going to cut it in the NL East.