Saturday, November 6, 2010

Takahashi will not be back for next year

By: Clayton Collier

     When the rotation was in turmoil, when the K-rod pulled a pinheaded move landing him out for season, who did the Mets call, Hisanori Takahashi. But after the Mets and Takahashi could not come to terms last night, this will no longer be the case. One of the Mets greatest assets this past season is now a free agent.

     The Amazins wanted to offer the Tokyo native roughly one year with an option with a total of roughly $3 million. On the other end of the negotiating table, Takahashi wanted three years and $4-5 million per year, a high asking price that was apparently too high for the Mets.

      Although a big loss, one can understand the Mets reasoning in not signing Takahashi to a multi-year deal. Takahashi is 35 and given all the bad contracts clogging up the 25-man roster, the Mets were probably not inclined to take that kind of a gamble. For example, Oliver Perez had a good 2007 and a decent 2008, he got a 3 year, $36 million contract and now is a cheap joke on ESPN. Also, the budget this off season is very little, so Alderson probably did not want to put a large chuck of his budget into one player.

     For most of his career, Takahashi was in Tokyo pitching for the Yomiuri Giants. In 10 seasons with the Giants Takahashi went 79-66 with a 3.70 ERA and over 1,000 strikeouts. In his final season in Japan, the Yomiuri Giants won the 2009 Japan Series, the equivalent of the World Series in Japan.

    In Takahashi's first MLB season, He went 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA and 114 strikeouts. As a starter, Takahashi's ERA was 5.01, but as a reliever his ERA was a dominant 2.04.

    An off season of little financial flexibility has resulted in the Mets losing what was sure to be their 8th inning man for 2011. He will have to come back down to earth on his asking price, but there is no doubt he will find a home as a dominant reliever, a 5th starter or maybe even a closer. The only thing that is certain about Takahashi's MLB future is that he won't be in Flushing for 2011.

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