A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Going For Broke

Omar has decided to go for it all this year and though we are told it is still doubtful they will trade Lastings Milledge, they have nothing else of any sort of value on the farm whatsoever. They still have a few chips on the big squad, but their farm system is now probably the worst in all of baseball at this point and that includes the Yankees. We still know Omar has a lofty agenda that will certainly cost Milledge if he follows through. I hate the LoDuca deal for the simple fact that Castro plays better defense and is not far off offensively for a whole lot less money. I was not one who fully trusted him and apparently the Mets didn't either. However, I was willing to roll the dice if it came down to LoDuca or Castro. Also, do not get this confused. I am not against trading a 19 year old pitcher like Gaby for a Major League player, but I seriously do not feel like Omar got the maximum return for his value and that is what this should be about. That is the entire point. From the comments over at Metsgeek:

LoDuca is a sure thing - to give you well below average production for his position.

Gaby is no sure thing but he has a higher ceiling & better stuff than Petit. He is the only healthy & signed front of the rotation pitcher in the entire system - well he was . . . You don’t trade front of rotation prospects for weak hitting, bad throwing 33 year old catchers . . .

In choosing LoDuca over Molina or Hernandez you would have sacrificed 60-70 points of OPS last season - a significant difference. Unless LoDuca + someone we’ve never heard of turns into Vazquez this is a bad trade. If AZ wasn’t meeting FL’s demands then why the need to pull this particular trigger?

Is this team better today than it was before the LoDuca trade? I would have to say no. Even if this trade was to acquire another player and spin LoDuca, which I highly doubt, should LoDuca have cost Gaby + PTBNL + picking up all of his cash? I don't believe in the transitive property in this case even if it does net another player that is better than LoDuca. The bottom line is it should not have cost that much to get him. Yes, yes, 19 year old pitchers are far away and not a sure bet. No shit. That does not mean you trade promising prospects for crappy, league average to below league average players. You could have gotten more for you money. Great, he hit .285 last year. His defense is poor his OPS is ugly, even for catchers. Why even go down this road when you can ink a free agent if you did not trust Castro? To not surrender a pick? Gaby was a #3 who was pitching like a #1. You gave away a known for an unknown if that was the case. I try and be level headed and not knee jerk to deals, but this one makes no sense, even if he is spun.

Just to give the other side a shot and prove that The Metropolitans is a fair and balanced site, this also from Metsgeek:

You guys are completely ridiculous. 19 year old pitching prospect. Relax. We have the financial flexibility to sign people and thus can rely less on unproven prospects. we have young solid people on our team (Heilman, Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Seo, etc). Lo Duca is a veteran solid player with great clubhouse attributes. And this may get a chuckle, but the Dodgers and fans almost revolted when he was traded…why? not bc they missed his homers, but bc of the intangibles he brings to the team. Also, we’re not even sure if this isn’t a precursor to another deal….and, we save money we would have spent on Hernandez/Molina…and we don’t lose the draft pick we would have had to give up. So stop freaking out. Delgado will be huge for us. Worst case scenario, this was a bad deal, and we traded Gaby Hernandez for 2 million dollars per year and a draft pick. NOT SO BAD

One again, just because the are young, it doesn't mean you just dish them off for crappy players. Yes, the Mets have financial flexibility so they shouldn't be nitpicking about a million more they would spend on Ramon Hernandez in order to keep Gaby for good or for a better trade. Those young solid people are going to be costing a lot of money in a few years with NO young talent to supplant the holes created by the aging expensive talent that will be off the team over the coming years. That is how you get yourself into trouble and into mega debt like the Yankees. This off season could go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible when all is said and done. Not because of the money dished out to Wagner, Delgado, and LoDuca, but because the Mets may not be able to field a team in five years at this rate with no cheap talent to supplant free agent pickups or their own arbitration eligible players. Yes, this is only one more prospect so that shouldn't sway me if I was happy until now, but their cupboard is really empty now and I don't have warm and fuzzies about what is left still being around come opening day. At this point, it is essential for the Mets to keep the talented guys they have and they must have a great draft with some good international signings to ensure there will be something when they are needed in four or five years. Enough with the solid clubhouse guy. I had enough of that with Ice last year and the Mets could have him again this year if it is that important and still have kept Gaby. Don't give up a draft pick? Give me the more known quantity of Gaby over any 2nd rounder that Ramon Hernandez would have cost the Mets if he even got offered arbitration, which he will not since the Padres already inked Giles. If you remember, Millwood did the same thing with the Phillies and passed up a long term contract to try his luck the next year. It happens. Can the Padres chance that? They already said they could not afford both tipping their hand with Ramon Hernandez. My call? Ramon would have cost no pick making this a really bad deal. Not Kazmir for Zambrano bad, but still a bad deal.

I've taken a step back from when I wrote this last night to think about it more and nothing has changed for me. It sucks. I know they wanted a catcher bad, but was it that burning of a need?

* * *

  • The race for AJ Burnett is heating up. The Blue Jays have an offer on the table for five years and between $52 and $55 million. The Cardinals bid for Burnett is for four years and about $40 million dollars. The long shots in the race are the Orioles, the Rangers, and the Mariners. With Paul Byrd off the market and the best free agent starting pitchers on the market being Scott Boras clients, he has to feel comfortable with his position. Teams looking for pitching are tipping their hand in terms of money they have to spend if they come calling for his clients and he may end up creating quite a market for himself. Also, at this point, the Marlins would be crazy to not offer AJ arbitration since he has lucrative offers on the table that he just will not pass up. I fully expect the Mets to not get involved with this bidding war and though some were hoping the Mets were in the weeds on this one, it just looks like they really have little interest.

  • Barry Zito for Milton Bradley is a trade that is currently being discussed. It is unclear whether or not any more players would need to be involved, but Bradley would certainly give Beane a right handed batter with some pop and stress his defense saves runs mentality.

  • The Mets have awoken a sleeping giant.

    "We would never, ever have signed with New York if they had said they were going to trade us," said Anna Benson, 29. "I was Miss [Politically Correct] for the Mets the entire time I was there.

    "I have no deal with Playboy," she said, adding that talks crumbled last month over money.

    She was in fact a solid citizen much to my dismay as she was the biggest disappointment next to Carlos Beltran in 2005. I was expecting non-stop quotes from her to keep us all entertained and that never materialized.

    "How are they going to sit there and say it's so controversial when they sign someone like Delgado, who turns his back on our flag?" Anna Benson said.

    Ah, that's a little taste of what I wanted.

    "Playboy is all-American. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Cindy Crawford has posed," fumed Benson, who once posed topless for Penthouse. "They didn't turn their back on the flag."

    What's not to like about this woman?

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