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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Other Side

During the seasons I sometimes peruse other team's MLB sights to see how certain trades or other goings ons are viewed, spun, and rationalized. I did not do that in this case since Marty Noble's Met question was on the Best of the Mailbags and it showed up on SportsSpyer for the Mets, but you get the idea.

Was acquiring Kris Benson really worth giving up a power setup man like Jorge Julio? I think there are other starters around who could fit better into the O's rotation.
-- Sebastian J., Berlin, Germany

This was a trade that virtually everybody agreed on in the baseball industry, which is a pretty rare phenomenon.

At this point I thought he was going to say everyone thought the deal was good in both directions, but not so much.

The general consensus was that Baltimore did well to acquire Benson in exchange for Julio and John Maine, and the thinking turned on one theme. The Orioles know what they're going to get from Benson, and they were never sure what Julio might do next.

Even the reliever's biggest backers -- this reporter included -- would be hard pressed to predict what he'll do this year. Julio's ERA has risen in three consecutive seasons, and he didn't really have a defined role in the bullpen. In fact, one witty observer characterized his career arc as going from "closer to setup to mop-up."

Also, the Orioles needed a starter much more than they needed another relief arm. Benson brings some consistency to the top of Baltimore's rotation, a trait that was sorely lacking in recent years. Rodrigo Lopez may be steady, but the staff's other three starters -- Daniel Cabrera, Erik Bedard and Bruce Chen -- have had volatile careers thus far.

The Orioles think they can get 30 starts and 200 innings from Benson, and if they do, this deal is a success no matter what Julio does for the Mets. And if new pitching coach Leo Mazzone can fine-tune Benson's stuff, this trade has the potential to be a serious difference-maker for Baltimore, both for this year and extending into the future. -- Spencer Fordin

However, the real point of this and one that I never thought of was the opportunity Kris Benson has in regards to working with Leo Mazzone. Moving from the NL East and pitching in spacious Shea to the offensively charged AL East in and pitching in a bandbox is certainly going to be a real testament to whether or not Leo Mazzone is actually the greatest pitching guru in the universe. Although I think we all already think he is, if he takes Benson and spits out the same numbers or better in his new situation, I think Rick Peterson should get a tattoo of Leo's face on his ass.

Speaking of Rick Peterson, if you don't read Metrsadamus' site, then you might not have caught his speculation that Rick Peterson may in fact be Lou Gram of Foreigner.

* * *

  • Clemens is still undecided about returning and still, no one cares.

  • Beltran and Delgado hitting homers with an aluminum bat? That is scandalous.

  • Ouch. Anna looks like a mess here.

    Well it looks like she is about to become an 'athlete'.

    "I'm still a young little poker player. I've got a long ways to go," Benson said. "It is a thrill to me. They call it a sport now, so it's kind of cool for me to come in and be my own type of an athlete.

    "I'm hoping to really amass an empire with this poker. I love to give money away to charities, to change people's lives."

    As much as I like poker, calling poker players athletes is a bit of a stretch. They are as much athletes as mathletes. I'm not buying it.

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