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The Stakes for Mets, Mejia

By Howard Megdal ~ September 3rd, 2010. Filed under: Howard Megdal, New York Mets.

Make no mistake- the looming first major league start by Jenrry Mejia tomorrow would be exciting, no matter what it meant for 2011. Mejia’s stuff is remarkable, and the reports from the minor leagues of greatly-improved secondary pitches should make for an exciting afternoon, even if the entire enterprise seems rushed (with Wrigley hardly the place for a young pitcher to build confidence).

But at the risk of disagreeing with Ted Berg, something I try never to do, I believe the 5-6 starts Mejia makes between now and October should be at least somewhat determinative as to whether the Mets go after a starter this offseason.

Consider that all reports have the Mets with very little money to spend this offseason. So should Mejia, say, dominate in a similar way to his Monday start in Buffalo, or even approach that from a peripheral standpoint, the Mets should really spend the money it would take to bring in a starting pitcher when they have a returning five of a (hypothetically) dominant Mejia, Dickey, Niese, Santana and Pelfrey? When the team has no second baseman, one outfielder whose production can be counted on, no backup plans at catcher or first base, and no bullpen?

I agree, in theory, that you always could use more starting pitching. I am not advocating for the Mets failing to bring in a bunch of fringe guys, and high-upside, low-cost pitchers, to compete for the Triple-A rotation in the spring.

But if Mejia performs in September, the Mets have to spend their limited resources elsewhere. Bronson Arroyo, for instance, isn’t as important as filling those other holes. And frankly, I’m not convinced Arroyo would outpitch the fringe guys anyway.

Howard Megdal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Perpetual Post. He covers baseball, basketball and soccer for Capital New York, MLBTradeRumors.com, New York Baseball Digest and has written for ESPN.com as well as numerous other publications. He is the Poet Laureate for SBNation New York. His book about Jewish baseball players, “The Baseball Talmud,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. His next book, "Taking The Field", is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and will publish in May 2011.
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