Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 9, 2007
BASEBALL: Free Parking

The Mets have signed Chan Ho Park to a 1-year, $600,000 . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaaaa! AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Run away! Fleeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sorry. Knee-jerk reaction there. Where was I? Yes, the deal is a $14.7 million pay cut against last year's salary for Park, but it's still a major league contract.

Park passes the "better than bringing back Jose Lima" test, but not much more than that, and other than residual emotional scars from last season's starting rotation fiasco I'm not sure I see what is left that makes Park a worthwhile gamble. He's certainly a step down from, say, a rehabbing Victor Zambrano, though without the Kazmir baggage. Park's strikeout rate isn't terrible, and he had a 2/1 K/BB ratio last year for the first time since 2001, but nonetheless he's been below 7 K/9 for four straight years, so he's not going back in that direction. While he threw more strikes last season (less than 3 BB/9), he also allowed 1.3 HR/9 pitching in San Diego. He did average over six innings per start in 21 starts before being sidelined with intestinal bleeding, so I suppose he should be healthy enough to give the Mets an option that doesn't include rushing one of the youngsters.

I can live with this deal because it's cheap and because the Mets have shown some success from the habit of collecting low-cost castoffs, but I wouldn't be all that hopeful.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 3:06 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

"Park passes the "better than bringing back Jose Lima" test..."

Heh.

I'd say its a fairly good deal for the Mets. It has good upside with little downside. If he's a bust you're out petty cash. If he does well you're a genius. I'd make the deal.

Posted by: Dwilkers at February 9, 2007 3:24 PM

The downside I see is that it bumps Pelfrey from the rotation. Now, maybe Pelfrey needs a little more minor league seasoning, but I'd sort of like to see what he can do with a full season.

I'm sure Park will be on a short leash, but how short? Five starts? Ten? I'd almost prefer to see Pelfrey there from the beginning than wait for the inevitable Park blowup - and he will blowup. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I can't see him being much good.

Posted by: paul zummo at February 9, 2007 3:58 PM

I feel the way you do Crank. He's better than Lima Time! and there's little downside to bringing him to Port St. Lucie or whereever they hold Spring Training these days.

But he's an HR waiting to happen these days. Straight 88 MPH fastballs and hanging curves. Don't start him in Philly.

Posted by: Mike at February 9, 2007 5:14 PM

Sorry, but OMG that is SO freaking funny! That totally makes my weekend.

Posted by: jim at February 9, 2007 6:03 PM

I think both Park and Aaron Sele are reasonably decent emergency fall-back positions, as long as they are no more than that. The danger is the Mets not giving an opportunity to the Pelfreys and Humbers because these other guys "are proven veterans", or "know how to win", or just don't have options left. Hopefully the braintrust is smarter than that. There's no point in refusing to trade your prospects and also not using them.

Posted by: Jerry at February 9, 2007 7:43 PM

Building off a terrific showing in the WBC, Park looked pretty good here last year when he was healthy. At the price the Mets signed him, there's not much downside. Smart move.

Posted by: Geoff Young at February 11, 2007 7:23 PM
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