So, now that the dust has settled on the R.A. Dickey business and the Mets (and their fans) try to put everything back together, it seems to be occurring to the team that, uh, there's still a ton of holes on the roster, without much time or money to fix them. General manager Sandy Alderson has said he's going to bring an outfielder or two, add a couple of starting pitchers, and fill out the bull pen. As Howard Megdal has pointed out, the Mets don't have anywhere near the money to patch all of those problems — or they do, but need to spend it on debt rather than players — which means it's time to go shopping at the pawn shop.
Thus, the Mets are negotiating with and kicking the tires on the downtrodden, the defeated, the wounded, and the Pavano. Who's on the Mets' radar?
Francisco Liriano. The former Twins/White Sox lefthander is most famous for his no-hitter back in May 2011, and when he was younger, he was thought to be a potential Johan Santana type. That has worked out because of injuries, weight issues, and the difficulty of being Johan Santana, and last year, he had a 5.34 ERA. Liriano always hangs around because of his 2006 season — a Johan-esque 16–2 with a 2.16 ERA — and he would seem to be a bad fit for the Mets if just because of his lack of durability. (The Mets, more than anything, need innings.) But he offers at least a bit of upside, if he can make it 2006 again by science or magic.
Grady Sizemore. Once considered the next great center-field superstar, injuries have devastated Sizemore's career. Speaking of 2006, Sizemore led baseball in runs and doubles that year, hitting 28 homers and stealing 22 bases. He was last an All-Star in 2008, and then it all fell apart. He played 106 games in 2009, 22 in 2010, 71 in 2011, and none last year. He's also going to miss the first half of 2013 after having microfracture surgery on the knee he hadn't already had microfracture surgery on. As a mid-season acquisition, Sizemore doesn't offer much upside — and he can't play center field anymore; it's a wonder he can walk — but if the Mets want to make a two-year flier at the veteran minimum, there are worse risks. Again, if he can walk.
Carl Pavano. Yankees fans can commence giggling. Other than last season — when he only made eleven starts with a 6.00 ERA — Pavano has been a reliable innings eater, something the Mets certainly need. Of course, he did have a 6.00 ERA last year. Also: Why in the world would Pavano want to put himself through another year in New York? (He didn't have that much fun last time.) Favorite factoid on Pavano: As a member of the Montreal Expos, he gave up Mark McGwire's 70th home run in 1998.
The Mets are also talking to the Dodgers about maybe trading for Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang, two pitchers Los Angeles no longer needs. Nothing's going to happen until after the New Year, so do try to check your pulsating excitement for a few days.