Mack: Thanks for the question, Joe.
First of all, I noticed that Sandy Alderson announced tonight that Johan Santana will not be throwing winter ball this off-season. What a shock! I want to remind what I said a month ago. It’s my opinion that you will never see Santana pitch another regular season inning for the New York Mets. I’m sticking to my story.
That being said, the opening day rotation is going to look a lot different than what finishes the season. There could be three (Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia) different starters come September, though I still think that the Mets plan on using Mejia as their closer.
My guess for the spring:
SP1 – I believe that Chris Young will be resigned to another one-year deal, with a second year option that the Mets can get out of with a minimal payout. His injury prevents his agent from getting a multiple year deal from any other club, and Alderson loved what he was doing for the Mets (1-0, 1.88, 0.96) in 2011. Remember… his career numbers are: 49-34, 3.74, 1.20. That’s big time numbers worth revisiting.
SP2 – Jon Niese has been a very unlucky pitcher in 2011 and is going to be in the Mets rotation for a long time. I believe you will see big time numbers from him in 2012.
SP3 – Alderson is committed to bringing back Mike Pelfrey. I have nothing more to say about this decision.
SP4 – R.A. Dickey has one more year left on his contract and, frankly, I don’t see any reason why the Mets shouldn’t consider another year’s extension while pitchers like Zack Wheeler can mature.
SP5 – This one’s wide open. Could be Dillon Gee, Chris Schwinden, even Miquel Batista for one more year. This slot will be earned in spring training.