December 07, 2011
But they're reserved and quiet no more as general manager Sandy Alderson sprung into action late on Tuesday evening with a trade and a pair of signings to help replenish his depleted bullpen.
For the second time in a little over four months, Alderson found a match with Brian Sabean and the San Francisco Giants. In July, he shipped Carlos Beltran(notes) out West for San Francisco's top pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler. Now, with Beltran likely heading out of San Francisco, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports he'll provide them another outfielder in the form of 30-year-old switch-hitter Angel Pagan(notes).
Pagan struggled to play through several minor ailments in 2011 and never seemed to get on track. He ended up posting a career-low .262 batting average, a disappointing .694 OPS, while committing 10 errors in center field. I can already see Giants fan shaking their heads, but Pagan will be a definite upgrade offensively (if healthy) over Andres Torres(notes), who happens to be one of the two players going back to New York in this deal.
Also in the deal for New York is right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez(notes). Ramirez, 30, is coming off the best season of his six-year, mostly effective career. Over 68 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.62 ERA, a 66/26 K/BB ratio, and also filled in admirably in the ninth inning when Brian Wilson(notes) and Sergio Romo(notes) were injured or in need of a breather.
It should be noted all three players are arbitration eligible and most believe the salaries will end up offsetting at around $5 million. Considering both sides filled a hole on their roster without having to spend much, it looks like a nice little deal for both sides.
But as we said, the action didn't end there for Alderson. As the rumors of the trade with San Francisco slowly started rolling in, so did a report from MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette stating the Mets had signed right-handed reliever Jon Rauch(notes) to a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
Joel Sherman confirmed the move and also reported that despite their need for a closer and Rauch's experience (and moderate success) in that role in the past, the Mets were hoping to pair with another experienced late-inning arm.
Before the first two acquisitions could even sink in, Newsday's Ken Davidoff was confirming the Mets had also inked Francisco, Rauch's Toronto Blue Jays teammate, to what we're hearing is a two-year deal worth $12 million. He'll serve as their closer, according to Davidoff, with Rauch sliding into the setup role just as he did in Toronto.
It's a pretty steep price for Francisco, especially with many closer types still available through free agency or trade, but New York was determined to get those bullpen pieces in place. Now that they've done it, they can move on to what's next on their list.
Speaking of which, I better jump back on Big League Stew's Winter Meetings Tracker to make sure their next move hasn't already taken place.