Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mets' bullpen woes over?

A couple of days ago the Mets acquired off free agency arguably the best closer in the Majors, Francisco Rodriguez (I resist calling him "K-Rod" for the same reasons Lisa Swan gives in Subway Squawkers: (1) it's an obvious ripoff of the nickname of a certain Yankee; and (2) his first name is not "Krancisco"). This filled the need arising from the injury to Billy Wagner, but didn't address the greater problem of the unreliability of the Mets' middle relievers last season, especially Aaron Heilman. Yesterday they announced a three way deal with the Mariners and Indians that, among other things, sent Heilman to Seattle and former Mariners' closer J.J. Putz (yes, he'll need a thick skin in Noo Yawk) to the Mets. As Jesse Spector "putz" it in Touching Base, "this trade...gives the Mets quite possibly the most fearsome bullpen in the National League. (They had that this year, but now it's fearsome to opponents instead of their own fans.)"

Whenever the Mets do a multi-player trade, there's always at least one that I regret their losing. In this deal, it's Endy Chávez. He's the kind of journeyman player that I admire because, despite his mediocre batting average that offsets above average fielding skills, I can't forget the occasional spectacular catch or clutch hit. I also like that he has a brother named Ender, who played for a season with my beloved Brooklyn Cyclones. What is it with Venezuelans--remember the Alfonso brothers, Edgardo and Edgar?

12/15 Update: MSNBC's First Read calls Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich "F-Rod".