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

Friday, July 14, 2006

Let The Rumors Begin

This one is a doozy.

The Mets may have found a partner willing to deal a starting pitcher after all, which could be even more pressing as Pedro Martinez is about to miss his third straight start.

The White Sox have been calling around to clubs - including the Mets - letting it be known that Javier Vazquez or Freddy Garcia would be available. The price: top-notch relief help, which would allow the Sox to fortify their bullpen leading to closer Bobby Jenks, sources told the Daily News. Chicago has 23-year-old Brandon McCarthy ready to step into its rotation.

Freddie Garcia:

Signed though 2007 and he will receive $10 million in 2007
WHIP: 1.39
ERA: 4.91
K/9: 5.23

Garcia throws a mix of fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and changeups. He throws his fastball about 92-93 mph.

Javier Vazquez:

Singed through 2007 and is due to make $12.5 million in 2007
WHIP: 1.35
ERA: 5.07
K/9: 7.14

Vazquez throws the same pitches as Garcia and about the same speed.

They are really more or less identical. When you look at their record, salary, BAA in 2006 and 2003 through 2005, their age, and their repertoire, it's a toss up. Both are work horses that can give you 200+ innings year in and year out, but if I had to choose one, I would choose Garcia. With the production that they are giving this year, you are really trading for playoff experience and a known quantity of a decent big league pitcher. The idea of dealing from the bullpen and giving them Sanchez or Heilman may not be optimal. Dirty Sanchez in no way can be moved and is the best Met reliever and possibly the future closer. I'd give up Heilman if he was solely a reliever, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities that he can produce just the same as these two while being younger (albeit not too much young) and cheaper.

I have no problems rolling the dice with Owens and Bell if a deal is struck, but it boils down to who Omar trusts. If they really do not like the idea of giving Heilman a try out as a starter (and they don’t), then trade him for starting pitching. Heilman should have been tried out a bit ago to asses their needs, but there is no more try out period. Also, they are picking up a lot of salary in '07 and though I do not think that would preclude them from going after Zito, it is a lot of money for what could be mediocre pitching. If you can keep Sanchez and Heilman it is a no brainer, but that is never going to happen. I'm sure Chicago would not mind some salary relief for the remainder of '06 and in '07 and might have a guy in Brandon McCarthy who is better than either of Garcia or Vazquez, but it is not something Kenny Williams would do. They are possibly the best team in baseball and will be looking for a certifiable upgrade and not a marginal one.

I really see this as a possible lateral move and the Mets just adding salary. I like the fact they are more of a proven commodity for sure, but you are still rolling the dice that they suddenly become more effective with the Mets. Yes, the change of leagues will help, but I’m a big fan of paying for current performance rather than past performance. I would just as soon roll the dice on Heilman in the rotation and have him as a cheap and versatile player for the future. With Bannister, Maine, Pelfrey, and Heilman in the running, I could see two emerging for the Mets as solid starters in 2006. In the end it is entirely possible the Mets have soured completely on Heilman, but I hope not. If they have, make the deal like I said because then they view him solely as reliever. If he is not going to get his shot now or down the line, get a starter that can help you this season and next.

* * *

  • The Yankees picked up Ponson. I expect him to fail miserably, but I would not mind seeing him in the bullpen. He throws hard and might be able to good reliever and the Yankees are certainly thin in that department.

  • Jon Donovan is the second guy to hand the Mets the only A in the National League. If you are asking me (and I realize no one is), the Mets, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, and the Yankees get the only A's. Why the Yankees? What they have done missing Sheffield and Matsui and not having pitching really leaves them as big over achievers. I know their payroll is high, but they kept pace with the Red Sox and as much as I hate them, it is praise worthy.

  • Stomach virus? Raise your hand if you believe that. No one? Ok, raise your hand if you are getting nervous.

  • Brian Bannister is looming, but I'm not sure I would get excited about him throwing 86 mph fastballs.

  • Don Burke gives us his five things to watch in the Mets second half.

  • The Mets inquired about Abreu and Gordon, but I do not expect Gillick to do a salary dump. I do not see either of these happening because the Mets simply would have to give up too much since it gets pretty sparse after Milledge in terms of tradeable talent. I guess Heilman is a valuable commodity, but I would think the Phillies are looking for a lot of talent in return and more than just a Heilman-type player.

  • Lastings Milledge is still very impressed with himself.

    "Obviously, I want to be with the Mets, but that's out of my reach," he said. "I'm pretty sure the Mets would be glad to have me and any other team would be glad to have me. We'll see what happens.

    "It's cool. It's funny how 11 other teams passed on me and now all of a sudden they want me."

    I'm sure his teammates might have plenty more to say than this.

    While Milledge's teammates were careful not to criticize the organization's top prospect on the record, off the record they said the kid's ego is as big as his upside.

    "It's gone to his head," one member of the Tides said.

  • Jose is not ready to play yet.

  • On Nady...

    Nady said a four-day layoff doesn't seem to have alleviated discomfort with the broken bone in his wrist, which a doctor on Sunday told him could take six weeks to heal. Nady said even grabbing the railing on a ladder while getting out of a pool during the break was uncomfortable.

    Rumor has it he feels discomfort when counting his millions too.

  • David Lennon hands out his mid-season grades. I agree with all of them, but the rotation. It is looking pretty average right now and will continue to look average if Pedro and Glavine do not regain early season form. I'd stick them with a B.

  • Maine is pushed to the bullpen.

    Pelfrey got the nod over John Maine for Tuesday -- although Maine also was with the team and will pitch out of the bullpen for now.

  • Here is a gem from Rob Neyer's latest chat...

    Brad (New York, NY): Rob- I get my baseball info from ESPN...I know much about the Yankees and Red Sox but who are these A's and Royals you speak of?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: They're these other teams, playing many of their games west of the Appalachian Trail. There was a time, before modern marvels like the InterWebNet and wireless telephony, when these teams ruled the baseball world. And you can find their tales written in "books".


    Mary (Brooklyn): Mr. Cashman says he has no plans to trade young pitcher Hughes. I have heard him compared to a young Dwight Gooden. What do you say?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: That's preposterous, the Gooden comparison. Felix Hernandez is the only pitcher in the last 20 years who was remotely comparable to Gooden, and even Hernandez has had his problems. Hughes is an excellent prospect and I believe Cashman is sincere about keeping him. But if he belonged to any other franchise he'd be just another Grade A pitching prospect.

    Just keeping it all in perspective.

    Michael (KC, MO): I got your Book of Blunders in May and loved it. If you ever revise it, do you think you'll add the Pierzynski + cash for Liriano, Nathan, and Bonzer. With even 2 of those 3, I would have to think SF would win the West.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: I think that's fair to assume. And while it's hard for a modern trade to be considered a huge blunder because of free agency, a three-for-one deal makes it possible. I think Brian Sabean's going to be hearing about this one for a while, and it's a LOT worse than Kazmir-for-Zambrano.

    Kind of makes me feel better....kind of.

  • Royce Ring threw one scoreless inning with one strikeout for the International League All-Stars as the IL beat the PCL 6-0 and two hit them on Wednesday.

    Michel Abreu went 1 for 3 with a run scored for the North All-Stars in the AA All-Star game. The South was victorious in the game 5-3 as they out hit the North twelve to six.

    Joe Smith keep on rolling as he picked up hiw fourth save for Booklyn on Wednesday as they beat Williamsport 4-1. Smith has now given up four hits and two walks in ten innings while striking out thirteen. I do not expect him to be here all that long considering his college experience and should finish up the year in high A St. Lucie with an eye on Binghamton in 2007.

  • Barry Bond's ex-friend has ratted him out and said that he used steroids and suffered from 'roid rages'.

    Laura Enos, Bonds' attorney for business matters, told The Times that Hoskins threatened her client after Bonds confronted Hoskins in June 2003 over the alleged forging of Bonds' signature on contracts.

    "He came and we met in a conference room," Enos told The Times. "He said: 'I have three doors. If you don't drop this memorabilia issue, I'm going to ruin Barry. Behind door No. 1 is an extramarital affair. Behind door No. 2 is failure to declare income tax. And behind door No. 3 is use of steroids. And I will go to the press and ruin Barry. His records will be ruined. He will never get into the Hall of Fame.'"


    Blogger Whitney said...

    It's remarkable that David Wright could offer a precise blueprint of "How to Be Beloved in the Big Apple and Beyond" -- firsthand, no less -- and it would be ignored. It goes past arrogant, right to idiotic.

    1:40 PM

    Blogger Whitney said...

    Sorry if that came off as a non sequitur; the Milledge Ego article was the one that prompted that epithet.

    1:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ha, well David actually wrote about him on his not-so-swell blog a bit ago.

    About Lastings Milledge

    Lastings Milledge will help us until Xavier Nady returns. He’s a talented young player. It was only a couple of years ago that I was in that position. He’s young, he’s got all of the tools. He needs to go out and play and not let all of the hype get to him. He’s fortunate, like I was, to have been put into a lineup where there isn’t any pressure on him. He just needs to relax and let his skills take over.

    He’s accomplished a short-term goal by getting to the big leagues. It’s a great accomplishment but he has to realize now that it’s just a start. Now he has to establish himself and help our team win a championship. Getting to the big leagues is fine but the goal is contributing to a championship.

    When I first came up, the veterans made me feel comfortable and things are pretty much the same now. Players on our team realize how important that is to success. If you feel comfortable in the clubhouse and feel like one of the guys, that allows you to relax when you play.

    I was kind of mixed on the entire article. It really didn't strike me as bad until the team off the record quote. I have no problems with confidence, but when you rub your teammates the wrong way, it's concerning.

    1:49 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco said...

    Like i said earlier when I was talking to you, Garcia has been involved in 7 playoff series. He has performed VERY well in all of them.
    I think that either Bell or Owens can replace Heilman in the pen. Or hell, even Darren Oliver! Oliver can be the 8th inning guy!

    Now, if its Vazquez or Garcia, its easily Garcia. He wins hands down. Vazquez wasn't very hot in his previous NY stay. And again, Freddy Garcia has been real good come playoff time and I'll take on that playoff experience anytime. Its all about those intangibles baby!

    Think of it this way, you can keep Heilman and have a rotation of:
    Pedro, Glavine, Traschel, El Duque come playoff time. Shit... that sucks.
    OR you can have, Pedro, Glavine, Freddy Garcia, and El Duque with Traschel in the pen, or Traschel as the starter with El Duque in the pen.
    I like the chances of the latter better.
    The other sucky options are Livan Hernandez, Jon Lieber, and Vazquez and I'll take Garcia anyday. Healthy, good stuff, and proven positive playoff experience.

    It still pisses me off that despite losing Pavano, Sheffield, and Matsui, and ignoring thier contracts thier payroll is still higher than everybody else, fuck that shit.

    Lastings Milledge is a cocky asshole, I wonder how this turns him into the big badguy accoridng to the media. It will develop over time and he will be hated by many.

    Barry Bonds' friend musta been piiiiiiiised, haha. I bet all this was because Bonds wouldn't put him in his top 8 on Myspace.

    1:49 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    am i wrong, or was pedro chilling in the dugout during the all star game? if so, does that neccesarily or probably make noble's story bs? i know this is important to everyone but i need any inside info possible bc i just made a mega deal for him in my other fantasy league which i absolutely must win.

    the milledge thing is disconcerting. i'm sure his trade value is cut in half already.

    2:00 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    nevermind, i just read he was in the dominican. i guess it's reasonbably probable to get a belly ache there.

    2:03 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I agree he can be replaced, but how many people wanted to move Benson because of his average pitching for eight million dollars. These guys are slightly better than Benson, but now seem to be in the same arena of skill sets...they numbers are similar.

    We are trading Heilman to get back a Benson-type #3. We need one, but that trade is looking silly a bit now since getting what we needed out of Benson is going to cost us Heilman. Sure we still have Maine, but I'd rather have Heilman.

    I agree the rotation sucks, but I'm not sure anyone on the market is the answer. All the top talent is staying put. Don't make a move to just make one. Mets.com said that Minaya will not make a move unless it drastically improves the team. Does that drastically improve the team? Not really. Slighty better? Yes. They could trade for Garcia and he could pitch like it's 2001 again, but he's been a bit inconsistant throughout the years. I want him, but I'm not sure even Heilman is worth it. I still think he can be a good starter in this league.

    The Yankees payroll is just silly.

    The MySpace comment was hysterical.

    2:05 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake, he was in the DR....you read correctly.

    Bad deal picking him up though man. You should have done a mega deal for another ace. He might be average until playoff time.

    2:07 PM

    Anonymous Benny Blanco said...

    Kris Benson would never known what the playoffs are even if it performed fellatio on him.
    I'm telling ya man. Freddy Garcia in the playoffs is good. I'm not gonna say he's "money" but he is good and has performed really well. And not just last year either, he's been involved in 7 different series and has performed well in all of them.
    The difference between starting Freddy Garcia or Steve Traschel to ME in my opinion is a huge one!
    This isn't about the regular season anymore, this trade is all about having a parade in Manhattan.
    And please note, Javier Vazquez isn't even in this discussion. No Javier Jazquez, only Freddy Garcia.

    2:15 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    I would go to battle with an American League-tested Freddy Garcia in a heartbeat. Vazquez, probably not so much. The National League stinks; Garcia would probably perform markedly better than Trachsel has.

    2:33 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    Off the record jabs about Lastings are very concerning. Hopefully playing the rest of the season at AAA while deflate his ego a bit. Either that or he needs to be like Sugar Pants and become Cliffy's bitch for a while.

    Did you watch the Letterman interview on youtube? That kid is all class all the time. My wife thinks I have a mancrush on him.

    As for the trade, I'm with whomever said don't make a move for the sake of making moves. You need to either vastly improve them or leave them alone.
    The Human Rain Delay is getting insane run support for every start. You can't fuck with the mojo.

    3:09 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Kris Benson would never known what the playoffs are even if it performed fellatio on him.

    That was magificent.

    I agree Kenny, off the record concerns me. Moreso than anything I've heard. I would have done Willis for Milledge in a heartbeat before and now I'd do it an nanosecond.

    Someone needs to make him his bitch and carry bags and shit. Cliffy was on to something...not just being lazy.

    Stop denying it Kenny. You have a mancrush on him. It's ok, we all do.

    I like Garica, and he is an upgrade, but is it sigificant? I'm not so sure. Whether or not the deal should be done is bases soley on how they truly feel about Heilman.

    The Human Rain Delay is not getting much yet, but hopefully Maddux will start serving it up soon.

    3:15 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Nice...3-2 and Nady can put it 5-2 with a single....

    3:23 PM

    Anonymous rick m said...

    I would love to have Garcia too, but it's hard to imagine that the ChiSox would deal him. He and Ozzie are both Venezuelan -- remember last year when Ozzie's son wore Garcia's jersey to every playoff and world series game? They wouldn't trade him just to shore up their pen.

    Mike, most of this week's SI cover story is about Met nicknames, you're obviously a trend setter. I like Captain Red Ass for LoDuca, but Sugar Pants didn't make the cut (they call him Visine).

    5-2, you gotta love breaks like that!

    3:24 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Nice....I am a trend setter.

    Woody! Big time. Let's go undefeated in ithe 2nd half.

    Captain Red Ass?

    I couldn't find the link...Can you give it to me?

    3:29 PM

    Anonymous rick m said...

    You can see the cover here --


    But you have to subscribe to read the story.

    3:32 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Is it a rain delay in Chi Town??

    Screw it. We played 5, get the win and play tomorrow!

    Word up!!

    - Nokes

    3:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Nokes...that'd be bad. That gives Traxx a complete game and complete games hurt my team Balls Deep. This game must go on!

    3:59 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    mike, i gave up clemons and cordero. too much? i had four other closers and just aquired saito as my fifth. and i hate clemons. still a bad move?

    4:16 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    i got jaque jones too, plus lilly as a throw in. and i gave up hamels. that was it three for three.

    4:17 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh, the trade overall is not that bad. I thought it was just 2 for 1 to start. Nah, and you get Pedro. That counts for something.

    Just watched the Wright/Letterman clip on Youtube. Two words come to mind...Sugar Pants.

    4:37 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    is beltran hurt? he's out of the game.

    4:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Carlos Beltran left Friday’s game in the sixth inning with an undisclosed injury.

    We’re guessing this has something to do with Beltran’s stretch to reach first base in the ninth inning of the All-Star Game. Endy Chavez took over in center field.

    4:46 PM

    Blogger Whitney said...

    Beltran is out with a sore knee.

    And for those without the benefit of a TV at "work" or wherever you may be, Chris Woodward just hit a home run that the think tank in blue has ruled a triple. Let's hope they can score him from 3rd and/or that it doesn't factor in the game's outcome.

    4:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Beltran sore knee? That does not sound so bad.

    I'm suprised Willied pulled Traxx with 80 pitches through six. Probably wanted to get in some bullpen work for his studs I guess.

    I'm out...have a good weekend.

    5:16 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Funny these "lastings'rumors are very similar to the ones that preempted the Kazmir trade....

    7:16 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    If Pedro is still unfit then leave him on the DL. Give him a month and then a handful of rehab starts so he comes off and is hot and refreshed for the playoffs.

    Milledge seems to believe that he will fill Barry Bonds place in baseball as King of Pricks. Three things though kid, Bonds is playing, you are still in AAA and A-Rod is the absolute King of Pricks and will be for some time to come, punk!

    Bring on Freddy! He is the best option I have heard coming this way this year. Can we trade Milledge for Willis, sign Zito in the offseason and get Garcia? Maybe I'm being greedy. But it looks like Abreu is in Omars sights too so he could replace Milledge in our future plans.

    9:03 PM

    Anonymous MikeinSpain said...

    Not quite sure how i feel about giving up Heilman, but one thing I know is this - Omar will unquestionably view both Vazquez and Garcia as upgrades on Heilman.

    7:56 AM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    All, rest well knowing that one of the boys here at Metropolitans is representing in Chicago at all the games this weekend. Always fun watching the Mets slam the lowly Cubs in the friendly confines. Yesterday was a great game and I expect the winning to continue today.

    Milledge for Willis...in a heartbeat.

    Mike is correct. If Heilman is buried in the bullpen and has no chance to get in the rotation, take Garcia. Benny, totally agree with you, Garcia is the type of guy you go to battle with in the playoffs. Go get him if there's nothing better out there.

    1:50 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    Vasquez was an ace at one point. maybe back in the NL he could be again

    7:41 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I see it this way. Between Javier Vazquez and Freddy Garcia, if you needed to to bet for one of those guys to win you a big playoff game. I'd bet my money on Garcia and not Vazquez, I don't trust Vazquez. Garcia is proven, Vazquez is also proven but he's proven to flop in the playoffs.

    12:46 AM

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