The New York Mets are grasping at straws if the latest rumors are true. While the discussion are currently termed "very preliminary", Carl Pavano and the Mets are at least in touch about the possibility of joining the team, according to the Star-Ledger's Andy McCullough.
The Mets needed starting pitching even before trading Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, Pavano will undoubtedly come cheaply, which could allow the Mets to add another arm before spring training begins. However to even have their sights set on Pavano at this stage is a confusing strategy.
Pavano is among the worst options out there for any team looking for starting pitching. The former Twins hurler might have been a solid starting pitcher as recently as 2010. However, the 37-year-old has been one of the worst performers on the mound in the twilight of his career.
Pavano led the Majors with 262 hits allowed in 2011 while going 9-13 with the Twins. This past season he was even worse with a 2-5 record and 6.00 ERA, allowing 11.4 hits per nine innings for a total WHIP of 1.397.
For a pitcher who made $8.5 million last year, Pavano's Wins Above Replacement player rating was -0.8. That means a league-average pitcher would have been a better (and cheaper) option for the Twins. The Mets should consider the same.
It's surprising the Mets would even consider Pavano as anything but a non-roster invite to spring training at this stage. He might surprise and make the rotation -- therein lies the beauty of baseball and the failure of statistics to completely tell the full story. However, options like Shaun Marcum and Chris Young remain available and the Mets would do well to chase them before Pavano.