New York Mets: Matt Capps

Cards going 'hard' for Dotel

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
8:09
PM ET
If the Mets are focused on second-tier closing candidates, Octavio Dotel may not materialize. An NL executive said the St. Louis Cardinals are pushing "hard" to sign Dotel.

The same executive projected Matt Capps would be a perfect match for the Mets at the salary the club is looking to spend.

Closer look

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
10:07
PM ET
ESPN Stats & Information did an in-depth look at the free-agent closer market. Here's a look at their research ...

The most abundant position in this year’s free-agent class is relief pitcher. There are nine high-level closers/ex-closers on the market.

Teams that could be looking for a closer include those that are losing them and a few whose bullpens struggled in 2011. They include/could include the Blue Jays, Cubs, Marlins, Mets, Orioles, Padres, Phillies and Red Sox.

Notable Free Agents:

Player, 2011 saves-save chances, ERA, WHIP, K per 9

Ryan Madson, 32-34, 2.37, 1.15, 9.2
Heath Bell, 43-48, 2.44, 1.15, 7.3
Francisco Cordero, 37-43, 2.45, 1.02, 5.4
Francisco Rodriguez, 23-29, 2.64, 1.30, 9.9
Jonathan Papelbon, 31-34, 2.94, 0.93, 12.2
Jonathan Broxton, 7-8, 5.68, 1.90, 7.1
Matt Capps, 15-24, 4.25, 1.20, 4.7
Brad Lidge, 1-1, 1.40, 1.50, 10.7
Joe Nathan, 14-17, 4.84, 1.16, 8.7

NEXT LEVEL: Win Probability Added measures a pitcher’s contributions on a play-by-play basis, assigning value to each plate appearance based on how much it contributed to the team’s chance of winning or losing (based on historical data). Value is measured in “wins added.”

Highest Win Probability Added Among Free Agent Relievers (2011 Season)

Papelbon 3.53
Madson 2.33
Rodriguez 2.13

Largest Free Agent Contract- Total Value (Relief Pitcher)

B.J. Ryan, 2005-06, Blue Jays, five years, $47.0 million
Cordero, 2007-08, Reds, four years, $46.0 million
Mariano Rivera, 2007-08 Yankees, three- years, $45.0 million
Billy Wagner, 2005-06 Mets, four years, $43.0 million

Largest Free Agent Contract- Average Annual Value (Relief Pitchers)

Rivera, 2007-08 Yankees, $15.0 million/year
Rivera, 2010-11 Yankees, $15.0 million/year
Rodriguez, 2008-09 Mets, $12.3 million/year
Rafael Soriano, 2010-11 Yankees, $11.7 million/year

Heath Bell

** Bell has the most saves of any pitcher in the last three seasons with 132, ahead of Brian Wilson (122), Rivera (121), Cordero (116) and Papelbon (106).

Francisco Cordero

** Cordero’s 194 saves are the most of anyone in the last five seasons, ahead of Jose Valverde (191) and Rivera (190). One area of intrigue for Cordero is that he’s managed to keep his job despite his strikeouts-per-nine-innings dropping from 10.0 in the first year of his deal (2008) to 5.4 in the last year (2011).

Brad Lidge

** Since going a perfect 41-for-41 in save chances in 2008, Lidge has experienced both mound struggles and injuries.

Brad Lidge- Last 4 Seasons

Category, 2008, 2009-11
ERA, 1.95, 4.73
K per 9, 11.9, 9.9
BB per 9, 4.5, 5.2
HR per 9, 0.3, 1.2

Ryan Madson

** In his first season as a full-time closer, Madson had the second-best save percentage in the NL (32-34, 94.1 percent), just behind John Axford (46-48, 95.8).

Joe Nathan

** Joe Nathan was one of the game’s premier closers until getting hurt in spring training in 2010.

Joe Nathan -- 2004-2009

Save Pct, 90.8, rank: 2nd (246-271)
ERA, 1.87, 2nd
WHIP, 0.93, 1st
K per 9, 11.1, 5th
>> Minimum 200 IP

Jonathan Papelbon

** Papelbon has ranked in the top eight in the AL in saves in each of the last six seasons. His 8.7 K-to-BB rate was third-best in baseball behind Koji Uehara (9.44) and Rafael Betancourt (9.13).

Francisco Rodriguez

** Since breaking the single-season saves record in 2008, Rodriguez hasn’t had more than 35 saves in a season. However, in the three-year stretch since, his peripheral numbers are similar to 2008.

Francisco Rodriguez- 2009-2011

Category, 2008, 2009-11
K per 9, 10.1, 10.0
BB per 9, 4.5, 3.9
HR per 9, 0.5, 0.6
WHIP, 1.29, 1.26
ERA, 2.24, 2.88

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187