Hot Stove: Here Come the Mets

Mets' best option is to sign Lackey (Evan Wohrman/Flickr).

With all three of the big name free agents (Holliday, Bay and Lackey) still available, the number of teams linked to having interest in them continues to grow. One of those teams who’s name is now being heard more and more in relation to these three is the New York Mets. I mentioned not to long ago that it was just a matter of time until the Mets started getting more involved this winter as they realize that they have quite a few big holes to fill on their roster. Here’s a few writers who have mentioned them today…

Jon Heyman/SI.com: Jon Heyman of SI.com had this to say on Twitter today, “purse strings opening for Omar? #mets are talking to lackey, holliday and bay with renewed hopes to sign 1 of big 3. molina also.”

Michael Baron/MetsBlog.com: “…as far as getting a guy to build around, i think Holliday is that guy out of the three, and i think they have a realistic shot at signing him, but if they have to make a choice of the three, i have to lean towards pitching and Lackey…”

I have to say I agree with Baron on this one. If the Mets are going to go after one of those three, they need to make sure it’s Lackey. While having Jason Bay or Matt Holliday in their lineup would be great, they have to try to believe that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran will have bounce back seasons and that they can piece together a few other free agents to fill in the other holes.

Diamond Cutter Scouting Report on John Lackey:

John Lackey has a sound delivery with a loose 3/4 arm action. He possess an 89-92 mph fastball with good late life that cuts in on lefties, a sharp, late-biting slider and a tight sweeping curveball. Has the ability to throw his breaking stuff at any point in the count. Unlike most, he tends to change speeds off his curveball rather than his change. The bottom line on Lackey is that he is a true ace who isn’t flashy, but does his job beautifully.

The funny thing is how little I have heard fans clamoring for their club to sign Lackey. I guess it’s probably due to the fact that Lackey isn’t as exciting as Sabathia was during last year’s free agency, as reliable of a workhorse as Halladay or as sexy as say King Felix would be, but he is a very consistent pitcher who will get the job done. He is an ace pitcher who does exactly what his club needs.

This is exactly why the Mets need him. After all, there’s one thing that will kill all hopes of the Mets this year and that’s if they can’t get solid starting pitching. After Johan Santana on the staff, there is nothing but huge question marks. Signing Lackey would make one of the toughest one-two punches for a pitching staff in baseball.

With a pitcher’s park like Citi Field, they have no other option.

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