It was counterproductive in the winter of 2006 to let go of Chad Bradford, who was a huge part of the Mets bullpen when the team won the N.L. East. Since then, the bullpen has gone downhill. But bringing back Bradford, who the Mets have had chances to return here whether it be last season's trade deadline, or this offseason, isn't going to help.
Besides the fact that having two submarine pitchers on the team is a little redundant, Bradford is the type of pitcher the Mets already have way too many of ... that is to say: another pitcher who's tough on righties, and brutal against the opposite side. (Look at his splits if you don't believe me.) On a team that has relievers who can pitch to anyone (like the Mets had in '06 or the Rays had in '08) Bradford serves a purpose. But put him in the Mets bullpen last season, his value would have been limited at best, and most likely another in a long line of pitching changes Snoop Manuel would have had to make last September. Yeah, Bradford would have been a better option than, say, Aaron Heilman, ooooooor ... Al Reyes. But he wasn't what that bullpen needed last season, and he's not what they need going forward unless the Mets decide they have to trade Joe Smith to significantly upgrade their team.
What does bother me is the rationale that is floating around out there that Bradford was "out of their price range".
"The Rays offered Chad Bradford to the Mets because $3.5 million is too much in Tampa's world for a set-up man, and Ray officials were shocked when the Mets told them it is too much for them, as well."Combined with the "we're scared off by the Yankees and the Red Sox" quote regarding Derek Lowe, that blurb regarding Bradford makes the Mets look frugal ... like they're about to sell us Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia all over again. Hopefully, what the Mets really meant was that Bradford cost too much for them in relation to what he provides. Conversely, I'm hoping that what they meant with Lowe was that the Yankees and the Red Sox would surely overpay for Derek Lowe, making him the next prime candidate to be Kevin Brown or Carl Pavano. That, I can deal with.
But if the Yankees and Red Sox have indeed scared the Mets away from Lowe, and Derek winds up signing with the Phillies (apparently they're not so scared of the big bad Yankees and Red Sox), then Omar Minaya will have folded with an inside straight against an opponent with two pairs. You keep doing that in Vegas you'll lose your shirt.
Where are the winter meetings again?