Taylor Buchholz says Mets plan to use him as a reliever. He has a $600,000 base salary. He was an elite set-up man in '08, before TJ surgery
And Chris Capuano's deal:
Capuano has $1.5 million base+incentives. A 2-time TJ surgery patient, Brew wasn't option after added Greinke/Marcum since he wants to start
Of the two new additions, Capuano has the most upside and the greatest likelihood of bringing signifiant positive value to the roster. He was worth 6.9 rWAR combined in 2005 and 2006 when he averaged 220 innings, 7.1 strikeouts per game, and 2.8 walks per game. That kind of upside wouldn't come with a paltry $1.5 million price tag if Capuano's 2011 forecast weren't shrouded in uncertainty. He had Tommy John surgery in 2002 and again in 2008 and has thrown just 66 innings in the last three years. The good news is that his velocity last season was 87.4 MPH, which is right back where it was before his most recent elbow reconstruction and might even have been a half-tick higher.
This is exactly the sort of deal Sandy Alderson alluded to weeks ago when he said the Mets will have to look for potential impact players who won't cost a lot of money. Francis and Young also fit into that category. While none of these pitchers is certain to excel, with a minimal investment and a bit of luck they could wind up with some pleasant surprises.