For most of this offseason, when our titles have contained the word “Mets,” the phrase “The Contest” could be shortly found. If Omar Minaya is trying to keep pace with Dayton Moore and Ed Wade, last Thursday’s pickup of Kiko Calero on a minor league deal was a major step back.
Joe Pawlikowski covered all of the reasons why Calero would be a good pickup last month. Quite simply, Calero did everything that DIPS theory and FIP suggest that a pitcher needs to do to be successful, as he limited home runs and walks while striking out over a batter per inning, resulting in a 2.56 FIP. His 3.92 xFIP suggests some luck, as his 1.4% HR/FB rate probably isn’t sustainable, but that’s still respectable for a middle reliever, and probably deserving of a MLB contract.
The fact that Minaya managed to snag Calero for a minor league deal is commendable. If any of the injury issues that have plagued Calero’s career show themselves in camp, he can simply be cut. If not, he could possibly be a setup man for Francisco Rodriguez given Kelvim Escobar’s injury issues. There’s no reason that it should have taken teams this long to offer Calero a job, and Minaya managed to pounce at the right time.
Everybody loves to make fun of Omar Minaya for some of his questionable decisions and leadership over the years, but we have to give credit where credit is due when he makes a smart move. His pickup of Calero was a smart move.
Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.