Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mets Land Kelvim Escobar

New York Mets fans might wonder if they got a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings but just haven't bothered to check yet.

Free agent pitcher Kelvim Escobar has signed a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Mets pending a physical. Usually a physical is a formality but Escobar has pitched a grand total of one game over the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Escobar's last full season in the majors was in 2007 when he won a career high 18 games with the Angels.

The Mets plan to use Escobar in the bullpen possibly as the set up man for Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez. Now it's entirely possible that Escobar could be healthy and might be a good addition to the Mets bullpen. The problem is that in this off season the Mets have at various times pursued Roy Halladay, John Lackey, Kevin Millwood and Jason Bay. These efforts have borne no fruit. It's possible the Mets could still sign Bay but it appears the door is opening up for him to re-sign with the Red Sox. It might be that Bay realizes the Mets aren't going anywhere and why not stay with a team that has made the postseason five out of the last six years.

The Mets need an additional starting pitcher and power hitting outfielder and have nothing to show for their efforts. If your only free agent signing hasn't pitched in nearly two years it isn't exactly cause for celebration amongst Mets fans.

On the other hand it might be that the Mets are hoping Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado will be healthy and David Wright will see better pitches to hit. While the Mets floundered without them in 2009 they couldn't get to the post season with them in 2007 or 2008.

I'm not knocking the Mets for taking a chance on Escobar. But if that is their only move then it doesn't inspire confidence. The New York Mets are very much at a crossroads in 2010.

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