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Fillling a Void.

By Ramon Perdomo

Since the turn of the 2004 season when absolutely everything was wrong with the New York Mets, they had always one or more weaknesses. Even the magical 2006 season which saw the Mets fall one base-hit shy of the World Series, had its weaknesses. Starting pitching was lacking, as was evident when the Mets entrusted rotation spots to an unknown John Maine and a then fallen Oliver Perez.

Those times have changed and the Mets now have a rotation anchored by arguably the best pitcher in baseball. With the signing of All-star Francisco Rodriguez and fellow All-star J.J. Putz holding down the 8th inning the Mets have taken the best from the west and statistically fortified their nightmarishly bad bullpen.

The tide can now shift to finishing off the rotation led by Johan to making sure that the game will even proceed to the star studded bullpen. The question remains who will Omar Minaya target next to shore up the rotation. The ideal situation would be to bring back Perez. Perez the incumbent pitched 194 innings while striking out 180 and posting a 4.22 ERA. The only obstacle here would be the financial situation. Although Perez won't command a Ruthian (or should I say Sabathian) Salary, it will be significantly higher than other free-agent pitchers on the market not named Derek Lowe. The Mets should be weary of signing Perez to a high salary deal as he was as much to do with the late season "failure" posting a 5.79 ERA from September into October.

If the Mets are just looking for an innings eater, John Garland 3 years removed from his break out season in 2005 is available, having pitched 196.2 innings last season and has averaged 205 innings pitched since 2002. Another name that has come up in trade rumors is Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis. Although you can say he is known more for his bat than his pitching he can still provide around 200 innings of work and would make a competent fourth or fifth man.

More recently the Mets have been linked to Randy Wolf who pitched his first full season in the bigs since 2003. The former Philly who split time with San Diego and Houston last season went 12-12 with a 4.74 ERA and 190.1 innings pitched. Despite the fact that Wolf is injury prone he would make a much more logical and less costly alternative to Perez as the Mets would fill the void with a lefty. Opposing left handers did however hit well over .300 against Wolf.


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