Color me skeptical that anyone, Sandy Alderson included, can build a winning team in 2012 with the extremely limiting financial parameters currently facing the Mets.
But if anyone can, it’s Alderson.
He needs pitching depth, as previously discussed. And he needs to do it with minor league free agents. So as targets go, Chuck James is a good bet.
James pitched to a 2.30 ERA in Triple-A last season, a 2.32 ERA in 2010. He split time between starting and relieving, so he fits the swingman who can be sent down that Alderson described earlier this week. And the price is right: no guaranteed MLB contract or spot on the 40-man roster necessary.
James is also left-handed, so if he doesn’t provide help as a starter or long reliever, he can be another lefty out of the pen. One warning, though: his MLB stats suggest he has no platoon advantage, so tread carefully on making him a second Tim Byrdak.
This isn’t signing Jose Reyes or Yu Darvish. But it is maxing out the things Alderson can do, and that story shouldn’t be lost due to the financial storm.