Mets General Manager Omar Minaya continued to tinker but refused to make any big moves this past week as he signed two relievers to small time deals.
First came the signing of a rare knuckle baller R.A. Dickey who got a minor league contract and a shot at making the team out of spring training. Dickey spent his last year in Minnesota where he a 4.62 ERA in 64 innings of relief. The year before that he put up a 5.21 ERA as a starter and reliever in Seattle.
Later in the week, the Mets scooped up injury prone starter and reliever Kelvim Escobar.
The 33-year-old right-hander has pitched just one game in the last two seasons but was a star for the Angels before that. Between 2006 and 2007, Escobar went 29-21 with a 3.50 ERA and better than a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Escobar received an incentive laden deal that guarantees him $1.25 million while offering a number of bonuses for staying healthy and performing well.
Despite the Mets need for a starting pitcher and both pitcher’s starting experience, both Dickey and Escobar are expected to be used as relievers if either one makes the team.
The Mets have made a number of small moves like this to add players who aren’t guaranteed to make the team this year but have yet to land a big get at any of the posititions on their shopping list: starting pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman (if they can trade Castillo), and power hitting outfielder.
The Mets spent a lot of time looking at pitchers like John Lackey, Randy Wolf, and Jason Marquis but all three and most other higher end pitchers have already signed with new teams.
The Mets have also offered contracts to outfielder Jason Bay (four-year deal worth $65 million) and Bengie Molina (two-year deal worth $12 million) but neither one has been too eager to take the deal.