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

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Take Two Crazy Pills and Call Me In the Morning

Everyone else does it, so why can't I?

What to do with Xavier Nady? That is the big question. Lastings Milledge has been playing so well that he has opened enough eyes to consider keeping him around even when Xavier Nady returns to the team. How is that going to work? I'm not sure exactly, but Nady going to the bench serves no purpose. For one, it does not make sense to put a guy who was on track for about forty homeruns on the bench to be a utility player and they just picked up a guy who would be manning the same utility spots in Eli Marrero. Marrero would require getting passed through waivers to be placed in Norfolk and he would most likely get picked up.

If Nady is not starting, he does not fit on the team. Furthermore, if Nady and Marrero are both on the team, there is only one backup up the middle infielder in Chris Woodward. Something has to give at this point. The big problem is that Cliff Floyd is leaving after this season and the Mets presumably are not going to retain him and the original plan was to have Nady and Milledge manning the corner outfield spots. However, there are options.

It is Sunday and today should be a day off for thinking about real baseball, so for discussion's sake, what should be done with the Mets sudden glut of outfielders?

Let us look at the Mets current tradeable commodities:

1) Xavier Nady - Lastings' play of late has opened some eyes and there may be a desire to keep him around even when Nady returns.
2) Cliff Floyd - With him in his walk year, Floyd may be moved to a team in need of a left-handed power bat down the stretch.
3) John Maine - There does not seem to be much room for John Maine on this team being he is now the 7th or 8th starter on the depth charts. Maine still has some upside, is young and cheap, and can succeed on Major League level.
4) Brian Bannister - With the rotation looking set right now, Mike Pelfrey looking at a AAA call up probably round July 1st, and Evan MacLane pitching himself into a decent back up plan for the rotation, Bannister is expendable and has proven he can hold his own on the big stage right now.
5) Heath Bell - He has the stuff to succeed in the bigs, but seeing him do that as a member of the Mets is becoming increasingly slim.
6) Victor Diaz - He has no future with the Mets, but few doubt his ability to hit in the majors.
7) Carlos Gomez - Lastings Milledge + Carlos Beltran + Fernando Martinez = Carlos Gomez left out.

Xavier Nady for Philip Hughes

While I hate helping the Yankees, sometimes business is business and worrying about not wanting to help the Yankees needs to take a backseat. The Yankees are desperate for a corner outfielder and are not in much of a position to bargain and the Yankees do get younger and cheaper in the process with a versatile ball player. Hughes may be struggling at AA, but he still has not turned 20 yet and still is a top tier talent. While not many teams in a pennant race trade for prospects, it is important to balance the future with the present. The Mets could keep Hughes to bolster their 2007 and 2008 rotation, or they can parlay him into something bigger.

One idea is for the Mets to look towards their 2007 outfield. The Diamondbacks have Shawn Green signed through 2007 and have Chris Young doing well at AAA. Eric Byrnes is certainly endearing himself to the organization and could be brought back for a reasonable amount of money to keep the seat warm for Justin Upton. That leaves Carlos Quentin as the odd man out and though the Diamondbacks need bullpen and rotation help today, Hughes might be just too good to pass up as a front end for the future. Quentin is young and brings a lot of much needed patience at the plate and a hitting game with a much bigger upside than Xavier Nady’s. He would also give Fernando Martinez plenty of time to develop on the farm and not be rushed.

Xavier Nady, Brian Bannister, Heath Bell, and Carlos Gomez for Barry Zito

Are the Mets giving up too much? Perhaps. But without a true blue chip to build around and the Athletics situation with Rich Harden being injured and still being in the race, Billy Beane has little incentive to move Zito. Beane is always looking for right-handed power bats for the lineup and Nady could easily displace Jay Payton giving them an outfield of Kotsay, Nady, and Bradley. Beane also gets a young and cheap player under his control in Nady as well as two guys that are under his control for a while that he can insert into his Major League squad right now in Bannister and Bell while having a talented player in Carlos Gomez with a lot of upside as a bonus.

The Mets guarantee they have all their draft picks intact next season by getting Zito now and have the obvious benefits of Zito in 2006 as insurance in case one of their aces goes down. As for the outfield situation in 2007, Nady will be gone but the Mets can bring back Cliff Floyd on the cheap and possibly platoon him while fast tracking Fernando Martinez for 2008. Yeah, Martinez is that good and though it is optimal to let him take his time, I think he can handle it. If Beane did require a blue chip back and the Mets were able to pry Hughes away from the Yankees, they could certainly build a package around that if that help things, but Beane would have to be conceding this year. Sometimes small market GMs have to do that to look at the big picture and ensure success for years to come.

There are other options like the Mets moving Floyd, but I do not think he will net that much making it not worth it in my mind. If they can perhaps get some good value back for Floyd, that is the way to go. However, that has little chance of happening in my mind. That being said, the Mets should not be desperate to move anyone as they are in the driver's seat and can easily shift Milledge back to AAA. In my opinion, Nady back to right and Milledge to AAA should be the move, but if the Mets did want to keep Lastings around, there could be some interesting options out there and some that could even include Alfonso Soriano.

* * *

  • Olé.....Olé, Olé, Olé....Alay y Jose. Alay Soler? Solid. The Mets go from no complete games in 2006 to two in three games. A great 108 pitch complete game shut out against the National League's best pitcher to hand him his first loss was amazing to watch. Like I said, I like this rotation right now. Soler allowed a measly two hits and walked three while showing what he can really do in his last two outings.

    "I've had more confidence in the last couple of outings," Soler said. "I threw the ball over the plate and let the hitters do their part."

    Jose Reyes picked up two hits and a stolen base, Beltran stole third on some great heads up baserunning, and Milledge picked up his first swipe on an ill advised successful stolen base attempt. Life is good.

  • I like Marrero already.

    Marrero on playing golf with El Duque:

    "He's a cheater," Marrero joked shortly after his arrival yesterday. "I know he's all serious, but he's cheater."

    Marrero on playing third base:

    Asked about his experience at third base, Marrero replied: "Like, zero. But how hard can it be? Catch the ball and throw to first before the guy gets there."

    Profound...

  • Pedro goes for the four game sweep and with the Mets offense rolling, things look fucking swell.
  • 11 Comments:

    Blogger Schuyla' said...

    About your second trade proposal--

    No way Beane trades Zito unless he gets Milledge AND Heilman, which would be a terrible trade for the Mets.

    Bannister and Bell have both been erratic in their MLB stints. Gomez has definite talent, but he's been way more erratic than Milledge was in the minors.

    About X-Man for Phil Hughes... sounds like a nice deal but I doubt the Yankees would do it. They love Hughes and Nady probably wouldn't start next year if Melky continues to produce and since Matsui's inked through '09. Nice thought, though.

    3:08 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, Nady can play first with Giambi DH'ing and Williams hitting the road. Nady is versatile, so he does not have to play right field.

    3:12 PM

     
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    4:14 PM

     
    Anonymous Aldous DGley said...

    Everything is super fucking swell, even double plus super fucking swell.

    I honestly think that Lastings should go back to Norfolk. He's been good but streaky good, and let's face it, he's insurance. Damn nice policy. I wouldn't do anything unless someone blew you out of the water for Floyd. Maybe those Detroit rumors could pan out.

    I don't think the Yanks would want to trade Hughes. Remember they own a bloated payroll, and the ETA of their top prospect is next year. They may get desperate, but I think they'll go for the cheaper fixes as they did last year.

    Carlos Quentin is the reason why the Diamandbacks acquire Willis IF the Fish trade him. It's not like the Fish cannot afford to pay Willis fair market value given the rest of the payroll. They could conceivably wait until the year before he becomes a free agent to dump him and get more. The Fish are not that bad - loads of talent but certainly green. Notice that Mike Jacobs has done what he's done every season since he turned pro? A true slow starter, but now he's at .260 with 7 rips and 33 ribs. Not bad.

    Lastly, I doubt that the Mets make that trade with Billy Beane unless the A's completely fall apart. They are currently heading in the opposite direction with their best pitcher - Harden - once again on the DL. The AL West is perhaps the weakest division and should remain in play. Plus, the A's just swept the Yanks!

    Nah, with apologies for such contrarian commentary, I think the Mets are in the veritable catbird seat. Sending Milledge down says to him that he's still got things to work on, which he does, I wouldn't budge unless we lose another pitcher. The Mets have a nice economic situation set up that will allow for putting payroll in the places it is needed in the next few years without necessarily raising payroll. What comes off the books simply gets reattributed.

    I agree (see, I can!) that I like this rotation. And John Heyman says that Pelfrey is definitely on his way soon if you believe him. Which means what, Duque or Soler in the pen?

    6:29 PM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    The only trade I would make at this point is for a real second baseman. Not exactly sure who's available, but Valentin (despite his excellent play of late) just makes me nervous. I think the previous poster may have a point in sending 'Stings back down, but he's clearly ready for the bigs. I would not trade Nady - he's young and I would like to see him develop. Floyd I would have no problem trading - it's not as if we'll miss his lefty bat, what with Reyes, Beltran, Delgado all hitting from the left side. Maybe some package of Floyd and Bannister (Floyd Bannister?) for a sure-handed 2B with some pop and a prospect OF.

    7:01 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Like the package, but we want an up and coming pitching prospect and perhaps an up and coming second baseman as well. Floyd plus change (sorry BB) nets more than one prospect. With Woodward getting time at 2b as well, I cannot say that I'm that worried at the moment.

    8:08 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Joe Garagiola, who I honestly thought was dead, and his broadcasting partner for the DBacks were absolutely salivating over HBell's stuff in the bottom of the 9th. Something to the effect that Bell was going to be a cog in the Mets pen for a long time to come. Thought you'd like to know that. DG

    8:12 PM

     
    Anonymous Brian B said...

    you guys see this yet?

    http://milledgefacts.blogspot.com/



    I thought the yankees were totally opposed to the idea of trading Hughes. I could be mistaken. If we dont trade anybody Milledge gets called up when the rosters expand.

    Toasty Joe, we should try to get Grudzy from KC, unless they want some gems, then they can go to hell.

    10:42 PM

     
    Anonymous benny BLANCO said...

    I saw those Milledge facts.
    Some guy from Metsblog did it, I helped in the first phase in submitting some of original facts on him.
    Good job, very solid.

    Send Milledge to AAA. Not that hard. If Floyd, Beltran, or Nady fuck up again then Milledge comes back up...

    Mets kick ass. 4 game sweep. They love the BOB! or Chase.. whatever.
    The Mets home ballpark should deffnitly be Chase Field...

    11:10 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Xavier Nady for Philip Hughes

    Are you nuts? Cashman would never do that.

    Emad

    12:28 AM

     
    Blogger Mike said...

    Lastings needs more time in minors. He has a tendency to try to pull the outside pitch, which will increase his "second time through tht league" effect. Look for a slump in the coming weeks. He's shown great talent, but now is not the time to hand it over yet.

    10:48 AM

     

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