I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the same person who believes Grant Balfour is a good acquisition, and would be willing to see Oliver Perez get another chance to play for the Mets, is in favor of Francisco Rodriguez coming to New York, since that’s basically a combination of the Balfour idea (taking on money in lieu of dealing good prospects for bullpen help) and the Perez idea (return of an embattled pitcher who left as a wildly unpopular Met).
But it’s still nice to hear that both Ken Davidoff, one of the wise men who writes about New York baseball, thinks this is a good idea. And it is even better that the Mets do, since it suggests that they are looking to intelligently leverage their first half of 2012.
Rodriguez has been okay, but not great so far in 2012 as the setup man for John Axford in Milwaukee. It is easy to foresee a scenario where Rodriguez, returned to a pennant race and a closer position, becomes far more effective.
Here’s what’s basically impossible to see: a scenario where the Mets acquire Rodriguez, and he isn’t an enormous upgrade over the pitchers, such as Miguel Batista and Jeremy Hefner, who have made up the bottom of the team’s reliever corps this year.
So if the only thing it costs is some salary and a negligible young player, this is a deal the Mets certainly ought to make. It is the easiest way to maximize the 2012 Mets. The starting pitching is sound. The offense is fine, and the defense cannot really be upgraded without, in all likelihood, compromising the offense. (Same players are both helping and hurting: Lucas Duda merely the best example of this.)
But the bullpen, worst in baseball, could use an upgrade. And in a year when no one is really standing out- the Dodgers are currently a half-game ahead of the Mets for the final wild card spot, and that was no team of world beaters- the Mets would be remiss not to take their shot.