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Published on December 7th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine

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Scott Feldman Signs with Houston: What Options Remain for New York?

The Houston Astros announced today a three-year, $30M pact with RHP Scott Feldman. Feldman, 31, made 30 starts between the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles in 2013. Feldman’s 3.86 ERA was a career-low for the right-hander, and his 4.06 FIP indicates that his strong performance wasn’t a mirage. The Hawaiian returns to Texas with his new contract, having previously pitched for the Texas Rangers.

Feldman should provide significant value for the Astros in 2014. Phil Hughes received a three-year, $24M commitment from Minnesota earlier this winter, which likely served as a frame of reference for this contact. While Feldman was able to obtain a multi-year commitment, his peripherals suggest he will be more valuable that other free agent starters the Mets have targeted this winter. Bronson Arroyo is seeking a three-year commitment worth upwards of $10M annually, and while he has a track record of consistency, he has both age and declining performance accompanying him.

The club has a loose cap of $10M remaining to spend this offseason, which could grow if Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, or Daniel Murphy and their multi-million dollar commitments are moved.

Recent non-tender RHP Tommy Hanson could remain a possibility for the club. His familiarity with the National League East and strong second-half performance will likely land him a one-year commitment, as previously discussed.

RHP Scott Baker started only three games for the Chicago Cubs in 2013, but looked impressive in his small sample. The 32-year-old is extremely effective commanding the strike zone as evidenced by his career 2.1 BB/9. Citi Field would be a nice fit for Baker, who induces fly balls 45.2% of the time from opposing batters. Contract demands and injury history are a concern with the former Minnesota Twin, who likely won’t command a multi-year contract.

If the Mets are willing to have a competition for their remaining rotation spot, former San Diego Padre RHP Clayton Richard could be an interesting option. The 30-year-old won’t receive much of a commitment due to his 7.01 ERA last year -most likely a minor league contract- but is only one season removed from starting 30 games and contributing 200 innings. If the club wants to add a starting pitcher with potential to match Arroyo’s production at a minimal cost, Richard is an intriguing -but not primary- option to invite to camp.

Assuming the Mets don’t break the glass ceiling and sign primary free agent starting pitchers, which under-the-radar free agents do you want to see the Mets pursue?

Photo Credit: Sports Talk Florida

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About the Author

Josh Chapdelaine started Around Citi in Oct. 2010 as a high school senior looking to venture into new media. The original inception of the site ran through March 2011 before Chapdelaine looked to outside endeavors. He returned to his Around Citi roots in Jan. 2013.



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