Watching the Mets go after free agent pitchers is like watching a game of musical chairs, except the Mets are the ones who are left without a chair when the music stops.
First came the announcement that free agent pitcher Ben Sheets had signed a one-year, $10 million (plus performance bonuses) contract with the Oakland Athletics. Now comes word from Corey Brock of mlb.com that Jon Garland has signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal to pitch for the San Diego Padres. The deal also pays Garland $6.75 million in 2011 if the Padres choose not to buy him out for $600,000.
After the John Lackey signing with the Red Sox, many of the remaining free agent pitchers on the Mets' radar have signed reasonable contracts FOR OTHER TEAMS! None of these contracts has been for the amount of money the team wasted on Oliver Perez to retain his impeccable ability to throw ball four.
Here are some of the deals given to players who were supposedly on the Mets' radar, but chose to sign somewhere else. The players are listed in alphabetical order to appease the fans who like organization amongst all the disorganization:
Surprisingly leaves Arizona to sign a one-year deal with Milwaukee for $5.25 million.
Takes his laundry from LA down the coast to SD for the next year and $5.3 million.
Yawns his way out of the north side of Chicago to sign a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers.
Gets off his Rocky Mountain High to sign a two-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $15 million (with an option for a prosthetic right leg).
After a career year in St. Louis, he looks to the heavens and finds the Angels and their two-year, $16 million deal to his liking.
Celebrates his year off from baseball by signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the Oakland Athletics.
Takes the force with him from Los Angeles to Milwaukee for three years and $29.75 million.
Usually players sign with other teams for big money, for the security of a long-term deal or to play for a contender. Every player listed above signed for less money than Oliver Perez did in 2009. Other than Wolf, none of the players signed for more than two years. And other than Harden and Piñeiro, the rest of the players decided to sign with teams who finished the 2009 season with a losing record (Brewers, Padres, Nationals, Athletics).
So are you telling me the Mets couldn't afford these pitchers? Did they find the length of their contracts to be too much? To the Wilpons, I have one thing to say. Come close to the screen so you can see it clearly.
WHERE'S THE BEEF??
Are you aware that the fans are not going to accept a repeat fourth-place performance by the Mets in 2010? Do you think you can place a small patty inside a bun and hope that it satisfies your paying customers to come back for seconds? Surely you can't believe we're idiots!
But hey. Who am I? I'm just one of those paying customers who keeps coming back for that small patty inside that oversized (and overpriced) bun. The free agent pitchers who have chosen to sign with other teams are probably on to something that I've failed to notice.
As Mets fans continue to sit around hopelessly watching the latest free agent pitcher sign with another non-blue and orange team, I'd rather look on the bright side. At least Omar Minaya hasn't decided to re-sign Jose Lima (yet).