Jason Marquis? Randy Wolf? Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Last season, Jason Marquis and Randy Wolf were good deals for their respective teams. The Rockies traded aging reliever Luis Vizcaino for Jason Marquis and got a 3.8 WAR ($17.1MM), all-star season out of the veteran. The Dodger signed Wolf for $5 Million plus incentives and he produced a 3.0 WAR ($13.6MM) performance.

Now, coming off career-years, both players are linked to the Mets, Marquis because of his hometown connections and Wolf presumably because of his shiny ERA. That alone is a scary enough, but there's a more important circumstance here that makes it almost impossible to talk about how these two could help the Mets. First consider Wolf's batted ball line:

LD%: 18.3 GB%: 39.6 FB%: 42.1 HR/FB%: 9.2 BABIP: .257 

Now a Mets pitcher's:

LD%: 16.8 GB%: 35.7 FB%: 47.5 HR/FB%: 8.6 BABIP: .296

The Mets pitcher is Johan Santana, and while he's obviously extremely better than Randy Wolf, it doesn't really matter for this exercise, because we're comparing their batted ball tendencies, and both are extreme flyball lefties. Notice how Wolf had nearly .40 points of BABIP in his favor, despite giving up more linedrives. 

Similarly, Jason Marquis' line:

LD%: 17.0 GB%: 55.6 FB%: 27.4 HR/FB%: 7.8 BABIP: .291

and Mike Pelfrey's:

LD%: 18.7 GB%: 51.3 FB%: 27.4 HR/FB%: 9.5 BABIP: .321

Both are righties that pound the zone with two-seam fastballs. Notice how, like Wolf, Marquis had a big advantage in BABIP, and even HR/FB despite pitching in Coors Field. The common theme here is that Marquis and Wolf both benefited from a good amount of luck and defenses significantly better than the Mets'. Sadly, both pitcher may be an upgrade over most of the Mets current personnel, but that doesn't make either a good investment. Before they even think about pitching, the Mets need to have a plan to address their fielding, and then should look for some pitchers undervalued this year, not last.
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