The New York Mets have said they are willing to spend money this offseason, so long as the player they target are worth the price. There are reports from Buster Olney that the Mets are close to signing their first free agent of the offseason. Alfredo Aceves is reportedly close to signing with the Mets Olney has reported. Aceves is hardly the big splash but he is a cheap arm that could bring back big dividends.
Aceves has had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the Major Leagues so far. He was a huge cog out of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees’ bullpen, posting a 10-1 record, 3.54 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 2009. He suffered from back troubles and the Yankees didn’t re-sign Aceves after the 2010 season. Instead, Aceves went to the Boston Red Sox and posted a 2.61 ERA, 10-2 record and 1.10 WHIP in 55 games which includes four starts.
Recently, Aceves has been up and down. In 2012, he stepped into the closer’s role in Boston long enough to notch 25 saves. However, his ERA ballooned to 5.36 and he posted a 2-10 record. Last season, Aceves struggled again as he bounced between the bullpen and rotation. He appeared in 11 games, six of them starts, and posted a 4-1 record, 4.86 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. He was released after becoming more of a headache than he was worth.
Adding Aceves would be a low-risk/high-reward move for the Mets. If he stays in the bullpen he could be a very nice arm, capable of giving a couple of innings per outing. He could also be used a starter in the backend of the rotation, a cheap option to hold down the fort until the Mets’ young arms are ready to contribute.
Of course, the move only makes sense if Aceves keeps quiet and doesn’t complain. That might be asking a lot as Aceves wore out his welcome in Boston pretty quickly and the Yankees showed very little interest in retaining his services. His injury history includes his back so that could also be a point of contention. Players with balky backs tend not to get better. However, if Aceves can contribute in either a starter’s role or bullpen role then this is a good move. He has shown success in the past and pitching in Citi Field should only help his numbers.
This is a low-risk/high-reward move for Sandy Alderson and the Mets. If Aceves is more trouble than he is worth his cost won’t prevent the Mets from moving on. This is a smart, cheap move for the Mets if Aceves does sign. It isn’t sexy but it could be, emphasis on could be, a great move.