State of the Mets Rotation (Part VI)

As I’ve said before, the Mets need pitching depth. Seems like Omar Minaya thinks so too. On Saturday, Christian Red of the New York Daily News, reported that the Mets had signed Livan Hernandez to a $1 million minor-league deal with $1 million in performance bonuses. When asked about Pedro Martinez, Minaya responded that they are set with the pitchers they have. However, “as long as Martinez has yet to sign with a team” David Lennon of Newsday won’t count the Mets out.

This news is very exciting. Last year, I and many others were hoping the Mets would sign Livan for the #5 spot. Turns out they could’ve used him with all the injuries to the rotation. This year, Livan will be competing with Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding and Jonathan Niese for the last spot on the rotation.

The downside to the minor-league deals given to Garcia and Livan is that Garcia has said he expects to be in the rotation or will pitch somewhere else. So we’ll have to wait for Opening Day to see whether the Mets will have strong pitching depth.

The best case scenario for the team would be to have Garcia make the rotation, with Redding in the bullpen and Livan in the Minors as the 6th man. Since Niese is still a rookie, it’s pretty much guaranteed that he’ll be starting in AAA.

As for Pedro, like David Lennon, until he signs somewhere else, I still see Pedro returning to the Mets. However, I think he’ll sit out the cold months (maybe in St. Lucie) and possibly get a call in June.

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