Thursday Mets Meanderings

I think I mentioned the other day that AA would be converted to the new SBNation platform this Thursday (i.e. today). Well, I apparently lied, as the site isn't getting flipped until Saturday. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go check out Athletics Nation, which was the first baseball site to be switched over. About half of the baseball blogs have been converted so far, with five going under the knife last night and another five -- including this one -- set for renovation in the wee hours of Saturday morning. If you want a quick list of new features, check out this intro post at Over the Monster by our esteemed tech guru Trei Bruntrett. A facsimile of that post will appear in this space when the cutover is made, so you can kill some time and be one step ahead of the game by going there and reading it now. Go on, I'll wait.

Ok, while they're off reading, let's look at a few interesting names that were recently released by their former teams. Well, the players were released, not the names, but you catch my drift.

Claudio Vargas, who was released by the Brewers on Tuesday to save the team some $2.7 million. Here are his last three years:

Year IP ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 FIP
2005 132.1 5.24 6.46 3.20 1.70 5.44
2006 167.2 4.83 6.60 2.79 1.45 4.90
2007 134.1 5.09 7.17 3.62 1.54 5.08

He hasn't been especially good, but he has been pretty decent overall and he doesn't turn 30 until June. His homerun rate is a bit high, but that should be suppressed somewhat by Shea Stadium. His strikeout and walk rates have been respectable. The Mets don't need him to be Sandy Koufax; they just need him to be serviceable for a handful of starts when needed and to keep the Mets in the game on days when an otherwise credible starter isn't available. Signing Vargas shouldn't cost more than a million bucks, if that, and he would provide some insurance -- or, as in this case, an actual fifth starter -- should the Mets need it at some point this season.

Marcus Giles was released by the Rockies after hitting .321/.457/.536 in 28 meaningless and arbitrary spring training at-bats. Giles has notched OPS+ marks of 87 and 68 the past two seasons, and may actually be finished at age 29. He has some patience at the plate and doesn't strike out that much, but he has very little power and is nothing special in the glovework department. Is he a better option than Fernando Tatis?

Rudy Seanez was dumped by the Dodgers and will be 39 this year, but he has maintained a terrific strikeout rate throughout his career. He gives up a few too many walks to be terribly useful, but the Mets could probably do worse than to offer him a minor league deal with a promise of first call if/when the Mets need another bullpen arm at some point this season.

In other news, a couple of former Mets properties were traded yesterday, as the Padres acquired Justin Huber from the Royals for a PTBNL and the Braves traded Tyler Yates to the Pirates for minor league pitcher Todd Redmond. Concurrent with the Yates deal, the Pirates cut Byung-Hyun Kim and Jaret Wright.

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