There is an interesting situation growing in the New York Mets bullpen and it involves the lightning rod of the New York relief pitching platoon, K-Rod.
The Mets remain 10 games behind the Phillies in National League East and 6 1/2 games behind the Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves. While the New Yorkers have surged lately, with Jose Reyes moving to the DL, is it likely that they will be able to compete for a playoff berth?
Hence, the situation with Francisco Rodriguez. Should K-Rod finish 55 games this year, his contract calls for an automatic option for the 2012 season at the price of $17.5 million! Now, keep in mind, we aren’t talking 55 saves here; we are talking 55 games finished.
It’s obviously not manager Terry Collins’ money. Collins has used Rodriguez in 11 non-save situations already this year, thus giving Rodriguez 34 games finished just shy of the all-star break.
Now, it appears as though super agent Scott Boras is courting K-Rod and sources say that Rodriguez will sign with Boras at the end of the season…if his guaranteed deal for 2012 hasn’t kicked in. So, it appears as though even Rodriguez believes that he’ll be a free agent next year. That means he would not have finished the required 55 games.
Unless the Mets make a major push in the weeks immediately following the all-star break, look for K-Rod to be wearing a different uniform by August. That opens up saves opportunities for fantasy baseball managers.
It’s time to take a look at the logical closer following Rodriguez’s departure. The only question is whether that closer will be Bobby Parnell or Jason Isringhausen. Parnell doesn’t have the pedigree of Jason Isringhausen who has 293 career saves, but he’s younger and may be the closer of the future for the Mets. He’s 2.66/1.31 in 22 relief appearances this year versus Issy’s 3.14/1.19 in 28 innings. But, Isringhausen has blown all 3 save opportunities he’s had this year.
We don’t believe that the Mets can compete against the Phillies and Braves this year and we also believe the closer for the Mets will be Bobby Parnell by August 1. We recommend that you pick up Parnell and stash him on your bench until that time comes. Parnell will help you pick up some saves down the stretch.