The Mets had horrible trouble with relief pitching last year, so you’d expect fans would be happy to learn that erstwhile Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez, aka K-Rod, last season’s (and all-time single-season) MLB saves leader, will sign with the Mets pending a physical. The reported price tag is $37 million for three years, with a “vesting option” on a fourth at $14 million if he hits his innings-pitched target.
But online team followers, having been burned by the Mets so many times, are only cautiously optimistic. Dom D’s Mets Fan Blog says it’s “by no means the solution to the Mets late inning woes,” though it “certainly is a huge step in the right direction.” Rickey Runs concedes he’s “better than Luis Ayala” but frets that K-Rod’s signing “will fool people into thinking the bullpen is fixed.”
Urbanite is glad the Mets “landed K-Rod for three years rather than the risky five he wanted.” (K-Rod is 27.) The Times wonders what other positions the team could have beefed up if they didn’t need a closer badly enough to pay so much money.
Faith and Fear in Flushing is even more measured. “I’m kind of glad he’s here,” the author admits. “We may as well go with the guy who’s had the most success and isn’t too old and hasn’t yet been hurt.” But he still worries that “K-Rod will blow up at some point. Wagner did. Looper did. Benitez did. Johnny [Franco] did… The last closer who didn’t make me nervous over the long haul as a rule was Randy Myers.”
Some fans are more effusive, but as ever the specter of disaster continues to haunt even happy days in Flushing. photo via Rich Anderson.