I tweeted when I heard that Matsuzaka was released from the Indians earlier this week that it would make sense for the Mets to sign him. I still agree with that statement.
He didn’t look great last night, giving up 5 earned runs in 5 innings. But he’s still a no-risk situation.
Two of the six guys that were in the rotation are gone for the year. Harvey and Wheeler are fast approaching their innings limits. Before much longer, the 6 man rotation will have two men remaining – Jon Niese and Dillon Gee.
That’s three rotation spots to fill for the end of the season.
Even by slipping Carlos Torres in there, that’s still two shoes to fill.
But what about calling up some guys from the minors? Because the prospects are also young guys that are approaching their innings limits. Who’s going to be called up?
Daisuke Matsuzaka is a logical choice. Yes, he’s spent the entire season in AAA and last night, it looked like there was a reason why. But he’s an arm that can be thrown out there and sending him out there every 5 days will generate a little more interest than Chris Schwinden and likely have the same result.
And Schwinden may still end up in the late season rotation because even with Daisuke, as there’s still another spot that will need to be filled.
Is Daisuke a long term solution or even part of next year’s plans? Highly unlikely. Unless it’s maybe as a long man and emergency spot starter. He’s a disposable component for the team.
So why would Matsuzaka sign with the Mets? He is auditioning for a contract for next season. He’s going to have the next few weeks to attempt to show the other 29 teams that he’s deserving of a MLB contract in the offseason. The Mets have a situation that will give him that opportunity. A contender with a hole to fill at the back end of the rotation isn’t going to stake their season on him. Right now, Daisuke needs the Mets more than the Mets need him.
That being said, he fills a need for the Mets. The Mets fill a need for him. Both know it’s likely a temporary situation, but a mutually beneficial one.