2-1-13 – LaTroy Hawkins, Drug Testing, Shaun Marcus,


A 95 mph fast ball takes 0.4 seconds to reach home plate! Hitters have .15 seconds to decide whether it's a ball or a strike.

The Mets sign soon to be 40-year old RHRP LaTroy Hawkins to a minor league contract, with an invitation to spring training.

I like the way Sandy Alderson is thinking. He has a limited budget and is stocking the bullpen with seasoned veterans that don’t cave under pressure. They also can give the very young team some balance in the clubhouse and help some of the kids along the way. The last three invites have been particularly interesting because they all come off a good year. Hawkins went 3.64 in 48-games, Scott Atchison went 1.58 in 42-games, and Pedro Feliciano pitched well in winter ball. All three have only one thing against then and that is their age which is nothing if you average less than one inning per outing and around 7-8 outings a month. You add Greg Burke to this mix and you have completely remolded this pen from a bunch of kids trying to make the parent club to a solid group of support players you can build around the likes of Bobby Parnell, Frank Francisco, and Josh Edgin.

What this also does is allow the Mets to season their younger pen recruits at the AAA level. Remember, pitch count doesn’t come into play here and your prime years for successful relievers is in the late-20, early-30s range. Guys like Jeurys Familia and Elvin Ramirez can join Brad Holt, Craig Hansen, Jeremy Hefner, Ryan Fraser, and Armando Rodriguez in Las Vegas.

Probably players released will be Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, Chuck James, Daniel Herrera, and Aaron Laffey.

I’m real old school about drug testing.

I know there is a distinct chance that there can be a false positive, so I’ll take the first offense off the table. But, you test positive again on anything from growth hormones or deer antlers and you’re done playing and receiving a paycheck for a year. In addition, I would not agree to any future owner/player contract agreement without a clause that would allow the team to void your existing contract (if they chose to) after this really second offense. Next comes the third strike. Test positive for a third time and it’s the death penalty. Your career is over. Period.
The players union would have nothing to do with something like this, but the sad part is the fact that, if this was the rule, there would be no drugs in baseball. You take both the game and the money off the table, and people will clean their act up real quick.

Here is how the additional $4mil worth of incentive bonuses would be paid out to P Shaun Marcus in 2013:

            • $250,000 apiece for reaching 120, 140, 160 and 170 innings.
• $375,000 apiece for reaching 180 and 190 innings.
• $500,0000 for reaching 200 innings.
• $375,000 apiece for 90 and 120 days on active roster, or on disabled list for injury unrelated to his right arm.
• $500,000 apiece for being on active roster or DL for injury unrelated to right arm for 150 and 170 days. (The major league season is 183 days.)

These are all nice, if you actually were going to finish this year as a member of this team. I can’t see any scenario where this happens. Marcus is going to want to eventually get a long term deal from somebody and the Mets have their plans for their future rotation on paper.

What happens if, come the all-star break, the Mets are 15 games out of first place, but Marcum is 7-3, 3.10… at the same time, Zack Wheeler is lights out in Las Vegas and Dillon Gee is having his normal 4.25 season. What do you do and who goes where?

Let’s remember something before you ship this guy out for a AAA/AA OF prospect…  right now the only guys in the Mets rotation that have proven they deserve to be there are Jon Niese and Matt Harvey. We’re still three slots away from the perfect storm. Yes, Wheeler looks like the real deal and Noah Syndegaard projects to be the third SP2 in the system, but all this is still on paper.

If, and this is a big if… if you are building a team around your rotation, and this guy turns out to still be the real deal, why not sign him to a 3-year deal while your prospects work their way through the system?

I’m just saying…


Charles said...

I think they'll look to trade Santana first, if he's pitching well, and if that doesn't work out then they'll look to other pitchers like Marcum.

By the deadline, somebody will most likely be trade bait to get a cheap young outfield prospect.

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