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

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hola Duaner Sanchez

Unable to complete a deal for Tampa Bay's Danys Baez, the Mets have turned West to fill their void for a setup man. According to officials from two major-league clubs, the Mets had all but finalized a trade to land Duaner Sanchez from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In return for Sanchez, a 26-year-old righthander, the Mets will surrender righthander Jae Seo, the officials said. The trade will probably be announced by the end of this week.

Sanchez pitched in 79 games for the Dodgers in 2005, going 4-7 with a 3.73 ERA, walking 36 and striking out 71 in 82 innings. He throws a fastball that reaches about 95 mph on the radar gun, and he also displays a curveball, slider and changeup. He instantly becomes the Mets' primary setup man to new closer Billy Wagner.

Instantly becomes the set up man for Billy Wagner? Is Heilman chopped liver or is he just moving to the rotation. Very interesting if he moves to the rotation. We all know he wants to start and could represent the second best starter on the Mets or he could regress to yesteryear performances, but I think his new arm slot and his continued success in Winter Leagues tells me he is probably a candidate to be a solid Major League pitcher. It is not like he was not highly regarded in the past.

2004 67 80 3.38 4.95 3.04 1.35
2005 79 82 3.73 7.79 3.95 1.35
Total 146 162 3.56 6.39 3.50 1.35
Sanchez just turned 26 and is under team control for another three seasons. He has some good stuff and could be a very, very solid setup guy with possible closer stuff down the road. This move, if nothing else, eradicates any possibility of a non sensical Baez for Heilman deal and I still think the Mets should pony up some cash for Tavarez, though not four years since his market does not appear to be huge, and the Mets could still have a very good pen even after moving Heilman to the rotation.

Pedro, Glavine, Benson, Heilman, and Traschel starting with a bullpen of Wagner, Tavarez, Sanchez, Bradford, Perisho (or another LOOGY), and two of Padilla/Zambrano/Bell/Fortunato/Owens is not a bad crop of arms. The Mets still have some wiggle room with starters should someone go down with Zambrano and Bannister and still have a nice set of arms in the pen with some possible depth to boot. Duaner Sanchez is not so much of an unknown since he did work 160+ innings over the last two years and did put up solid numbers and had increased his K-rate from '04 to '05.

Though Seo looked promising and this deal on the surface does not seem extract maximum return, it does close the door on some other potential deals and possibly brings Heilman into the rotation which maybe be the best move of 2006 should they be able to fill in the set-up role adequately. If that goes down and Heilman is moved into the rotation with Tavarez setting up with Sanchez, there will be little to complain about. If it means Zambrano is in the rotation then at least the Mets will have potentially one of the best 1, 2, 3 punches ending games with a one of the better fifth starters in the league in Victor Zambrano. However, if Omar does not use this opportunity for what could be a huge upgrade to the rotation, I think he will have missed the boat.


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