Sunday, January 11, 2009

Does Tim Redding Equal Oliver Perez?

Yesterday, the Mets and Tim Redding came to terms on a 1 year/$2.25 million contract that could be worth up to $3 million if incentive bonuses are reached. Redding, a right handed pitcher, will likely be the #5 starter for the Mets, who are still actively pursuing another starter.

Redding will give the Mets a veteran presence at the back end of the rotation and another veteran starter who has been successful in the majors before. Last season, Redding finished with a porous 4.95 ERA, but keep in mind that Redding had a 3.64 ERA in 2007 and a 3.85 ERA in the first half of 2008. When Redding is on, he is a quality pitcher. This is a low risk, high reward move for the Mets, who need all the quality starters they can get their hands on.

Redding's propensity to give up the long ball is somewhat concerning, but I like the idea of adding another starter who can give the Mets quality innings. Let's just hope that Redding stays healthy and consistent.

Even though Redding is only going to be their fifth starter, he could have a major impact on how the Mets decide to proceed with the rest of their rotation. The Mets now only have one left handed pitcher in their rotation (Johan Santana), which could leave them vulnerable to the Phillies power hitting left handed hitters (Howard, Utley, Ibanez). Adding another left handed starting pitcher would give the Mets a better chance to have a favorable match-up against their arch rival.

So what does all this mean? I think that Omar Minaya should back off his pursuit of Derek Lowe. With rumors swirling that the Braves are going all in on Lowe, now would be a good time for the Mets to step aside and focus their efforts on Oliver Perez, who is only 27 and great against lefties. Lowe would be a wonderful addition to the Mets rotation, but at this point I'm skeptical about giving him a fourth year or another $10-$15 million more than the Mets original offer (3 years/$36 million).

The Mets will be able to win with either Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez. But with Redding now in the fold, the Mets would benefit from a more balanced rotation and adding another left handed pitcher.

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