Hisanori Takahashi is one and done with the Mets. The team released him on Friday after failing to agree on a contract.
“Hisanori wanted to test the free agent market,” new Mets GM Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “We thank Hisanori for his contributions to the Mets in 2010 and wish him good luck in his future major league career.”
The contract Takahashi signed before his rookie year called for him to be a free agent on October 31st. That is standard for many of the players coming from Japan. That deadline was extended to Friday, but the two sides could not reach a deal. Under MLB terms, he now cannot resign with the Mets until May 15th.
The New York Post said Takahashi wanted a three-year deal. He probably also wanted to be paid as a starter — Takahashi has said in the past that he still wants to start.
The Mets likely saw him as a reliever. He was all right as a starter in 2010, but he thrived out of the bullpen. In 12 starts he was 4-4 with a 5.01 era. But as a reliever he was 6-2 with a 2.04 era. He also had 8 saves filling in for that guy who beat up his girlfriend’s dad.
Takahashi will be missed, but at the $4 million to $5 million he reportedly wants, his salary certainly won’t. The Mets have very limited money to spend, and giving that much to a 35-year-old lefty specialist, especially when they have Pedro Feliciano earning about the same (although I predict he won’t be back, either. They should have dealt him at the trade deadline when they had the chance) is a luxury the Mets cannot afford.