With the Mets not in on any free agents in the range of Michael Bourn to Josh Hamilton, and with the only other way to acquire decent players in the off-season seemingly being off limits, then one would wonder what the point is of even showing up at the winter meetings next week. Hell, hotel rooms cost money. Room service costs money The candy used to lure other GM's to your room so that you don't have to change out of your pajamas to go visit another GM's room ... yes, cost money. This is money that can be put toward David Wright's new contract, making the difference between $125 million and $142 million.
(All right, that might be an exaggeration. We all know that only Oliver Perez can eat $17 million worth of candy.)
But there's a guy who might make the meetings worth it if the Mets decide to show up:
In wake of Ryan Madson deal, #Angels were letting clubs know today that Jordan Walden is very available.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 28, 2012
Walden is one season removed from a 32 save All-Star season (albeit one with ten blown saves) ... that season removed being one where he was removed from the closer's role and relegated to setup and mop-up duty. Funny thing about Walden's season: He was ripped from the closer's role after an April in which he had six outings in the ninth, blowing one save and having another bad outing while down 4-0. At the time, Mike Scioscia said he need to "work on some things". And then he never got the role back. I'm sure that the Angels saw things that you can't see in boxscores (Ernesto Frieri taking the job and running with it didn't help.) But the difference in his 2011 and 2012 seasons aren't stark. He went from 3.9 BB/9 to 4.2, but his K's per 9 actually went up as well (10 to 11.1). It was his hits per nine that became the problem, from 7.3 to 8.1, and as a result his ERA went up about a half run.
But if that's all it takes for the Angels to trade him, then maybe this is somebody the Mets should kick the tires on. Because you know that Frank Francisco is going to drown in a pool of suck. And then who will you turn to? And who takes that guy's place? There's really only two guys under contract I have any faith in when it comes to the Mets bullpen, and one of them is Bobby Parnell. Scared yet? Walden might be scary too but he has stuff. And if he can harness it ...
You know the more I write this, the more Jordan Walden sounds like Parnell west. So yeah, I'm a little scared. But if he can be had at a bargain price, why the hell not? Offer Jerry DiPoto some candy.