Thursday, February 11, 2010

NY Times Says Mets Near Deal With Takahashi

After all that, it looks like the Mets will be signing the soon-to-be 35 year old, Hisanori Takahashi on a minor league deal. David Waldstein of the New York Times is reporting, here, that the Mets are nearing a deal with the lefty. According to Waldstein the deal is "believed to be worth about $1 million if Takahashi makes the major league team, with a chance to make roughly an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses."  Waldstein then goes on to say that this might indicate the Mets being out on John Smoltz, as he is reportedly looking for at least $3 million.

Although Takahashi has had what Waldstein is calling an "inconsistent career in Japan", he still seems to me to be a good signing for the bullpen.  However, Waldstein seems to think the Mets have a different idea for Takashi, "he will be given a chance to compete for the Mets’ fifth starter’s job, and could also be used out of the bullpen. Unless the Mets sign or trade for another pitcher, Takahashi will compete with Fernando Nieve and Jon Niese for the final spot in the rotation, although with his experience there is a chance he could move to a higher position in the rotation before long."  I don't see this guy being able to compete for long with Niese and Nieve, considering Niese has a chance to be the golden boy and Nieve pitched pretty decent last season.  I think Waldstein is probably giving a little too much thought to Takahashi in the rotation, as he'll probably end up competing for a spot as a second lefty out of the 'pen.  If he makes it into the rotation I'll be concerned, as the scouting report on him includes an underwhelming fastball and isn't know to be a huge innings eater.

In general I like the move, the more competition on minor league deals, the better chance they have of one of these guys working out.  That has, and seems to always be, Omar's plan.  Omar likes the reputation of "unearthing gems" like he did with Tatis a few years back.  The only thing about that plan I don't like is that it seems that Omar takes his focus off of the "big fish" who is probably a sure-fire bet, in an attempt to prove his savvy and sign the cheap alternative with the potential to be useful.  I hope Takahashi works out, but I'm concerned about him being brought in when a guy like Joe Beimel is still out there on the market...


Takahashi is apparently not a bullpen option, reports Kevin Burkhardt on twitter.  Apparently, he's either going to be a Tom Glavine type, or will pitch in Buffalo, according to Burkhardt.  I guess that'll have to do then...

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