I hate the Yankees. Their $ 194,663,079 payroll will now be $211,563,079 when counted against the luxury tax threshold after they acquired Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle. Now Abreu is not having a great year, but his .277/.427/.434 with 26 doubles, 8 homers, 65 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases is still very good. Their ability as a team to now get on base is downright silly and when Sheffield and Matsui come back, that lineup will be the best lineup by far. Of course, offense was not the Yankees problem, it was pitching. Cory Lidle will help alleviate that problem, but he is not really good. He will just provide marginal help.
What really irks me about this trade is what the Phillies received back. The Phillies received back 2005 first round pick disappointment C.J. Henry, 27 year old lefthander Matt Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and righthander Carlos Monasterios. Only Smith has played above low-A and the Phillies, though they maintained they would not just dump salary, did exactly that. They gave Abreu up for nothing. Lidle's salary was not enough of a salary dump in my eyes to justify not getting any worth while prospects, but it happened. We have seen this type of thing happen a lot in the past and the Yankees pulled off a tremendous trade that should be a criminal offense.
As for 2007, the Yankees have a $139,700,000 with Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Randy Johnson, Hideki Matsui, Carl Pavano, Alex Rodriguez, and Bobby Abreu on contract. The rest are either in their first three years of MLB service, up for free agency, or have an option that could be exercised as in Mussina's case. The Yankees took on a considerable financial burden with Abreu, but they did not even have to exercise his 2008 option to get the deal done. Simply mind boggling. As for the people that say why couldn’t the Mets pull off a deal, the Mets had several issues I would surmise. First, the Phillies would have been reluctant to just give away a player of Abreu’s skill level to a divisional rival. Secondly, the Mets are not the Yankees. Abreu’s $15 million in 2007 might have been a burden while the Mets chase an ace starting pitcher after this season. It would have a been tougher for the Mets to work out a deal than the Yankees. However, if the Yankees somehow land Yulieski Gourriel despite not really even being a good fit while the Mets are perfect fit, I might just go nuts.
"I don't want to get into that," Glavine said. "The manager took me out of the game and that's the deal."
Willie did the right thing. Glavine had nothing and the lead was too slim to chance it.
Heilman for Marquis? The bad karma would be to much for the Mets to fight. They would be doomed. If that goes down, Omar is an idiot. MLBTradeRumors.com lays down some perspective, but the deal is just not good any way you shake it as it really just does not help them much, if at all.
After all, Marquis will be a free agent after this season and currently sports a 5.67 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. "But wait!" you're saying. "What about those times Tony La Russa sacrificed his ERA to save the bullpen?" Alright, alright, let's take those out (which is more than a tad generous). Removing Marquis's 12 and 13 earned run starts, he's got a 4.39 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. That actually makes Marquis look like an above average pitcher. Indeed, he is a pretty solid back of the rotation guy.
Billy Beane on the Zito trade rumors.
"I haven't talked to Omar (Minaya, the Mets' GM) in two months,'' Beane said Saturday, and after the game, he said, "Rumors are just that: rumors.''
Gotham baseball says something different.
Gotham Baseball On The Mets
Gotham Baseball's Mark Healey has an update with the latest buzz surrounding the Mets.
Healey talks to various team officials and uncovers Billy Beane's reported asking price for Barry Zito: John Maine, Carlos Gomez, and Aaron Heilman.
You'd have to do it if that was the case.
Milledge for Oswalt? I would say that has to be done.
The asking price for both Schmidt and Oswalt is believed to revolve around multi-talented young outfielder Lastings Milledge.
Should Minaya land either Schmidt or Oswalt without surrendering anyone off the club's current major league roster, he'd be landing a major body blow to the rest of the National League, which is already a few laps behind the Mets.
"If the Mets get one of these guys, they're pretty much a World Series lock,'' one competing NL executive said.
Why would the Astros do it? They could have enough pitching (though not great pitching) without Oswalt if they get a starter back and could then use Milledge in a trade to acquire a bat such as Alfonso Soriano or Miguel Tejada. Tejada being the more likely target being that he is under contract for a several seasons. In reality, I consider moving Milledge far less detrimental than moving Phil Humber. I think the Mets can fill in their outfield next season reasonably while Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, and Ambiorix Concepcion progress to step up in take something over in the near future. Also, if the Mets can land Gouriel at second, which they should do at all costs, a possible outfield rotation with Floyd, Nady, and Diaz should be enough.
For the record, Dan Grazzino says that Milledge's name was not mentioned in any deal with the Giants.
Late last night, the Mets were in negotiations with the Giants in an effort to acquire right-hander Jason Schmidt. The deal is a long shot, but it was intriguing enough to both sides that they were exchanging names. Interestingly, Lastings Milledge, who'd been the key name in the Mets' murky efforts to land Barry Zito from Oakland, is not one of the names involved in talks with the Giants. San Francisco, according to a person close to the talks, would rather make Aaron Heilman the centerpiece of a Schmidt deal, adding a prospect or two around him.
Rumors about Livan continue to swirl, but any trade for him might even be step back at this point as he might represent a marginal upgrade over Trachsel who probably wouldn't even be the one bumped from the rotation.
The Mets are looking at Roberto Hernandez again.
Still, the Mets engaged in weekend dialogue with the Pirates, with ex-Met reliever Roberto Hernandez and Wells the two most obtainable options from Pittsburgh. Chips that have been mentioned in that type of deal include Heath Bell, Anderson Hernandez and hard-throwing Double-A reliever Matt Lindstrom.
Not a bad deal if he can be snagged for one of them.
Deolis Guerra also tossed up a gem on Saturday in Hagerstown's win over Asheville. Guerra went 5.2 innings and gave up three hits, no runs, and one walk while striking out four. He improved to 5-6 and owns a 2.45 ERA.