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

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Zito for Milledge? Discuss....

From ESPN Insider:

A New York story?
Jul 22 - The Mets could dangle Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports. Oakland GM Billy Beane is the west-coast president of the Lastings Milledge Fan Club, and Beane has gone so far as to shoot off flares recently that indicate Zito isn't as untouchable as most teams think he is.

Dating back to last winter, the Mets have shown more interest in Zito than any other club. But in the past, it was the price (Milledge and Aaron Heilman) that was prohibitive. Now, according to baseball men who have spoken with Beane, he isn't even asking for Heilman anymore. With Rich Harden out until September, the A's would need to get a pitcher back -- but "not necessarily in that deal," said one AL executive.

This is an interesting scenario here with John Maine and Mike Pelfrey in the pitching mix. Does a deal need to be made? Should Omar stand pat and hope Maine or Pelfrey will be that guy? Essentially he may be trading the sixth best overall prospect according to Baseball America for a guy they can have a legitimate shot at getting next year in the off-season. Problem is, they are going for it all this year too.

If they bring him in and he leaves, they get two draft picks from whoever signs him. If he stays, they get Zito and spend $12 million a year on him and now need to fill an outfield void. Bring Floyd back? Bring in a big time left fielder like Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano? You have to do what you can to go for it this year while balancing out the future. I do not envy Omar.

* * *

  • F-Mart? Sick...just sick. 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs in Hagerstown's win over Lexington.

  • The Mets are 21 games over .500 with last night's win and have the third best record in the Major Leagues and the best record in the National League.


    Anonymous Jaerock Lee said...

    I think that a Heilman trade for Garcia would be a better move which lets us pick up Zito offseason and keep Milledge. Even if we were to sign Carlos Lee to replace Cliffy then Milledge or Nady can be further used to impove the team later.

    Or Nady and Maine could be used to get Abreu. Worth thinking about.

    8:25 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Abreu makes no sense (age, $$$). His contract is insane. The Mets need pitching. I doubt Omar will deal within the division. Dealing away an athletic and young position player like Milledge would be a mistake. The only player worth that would be DWillis. And I highly doubt the Marlins will move him in any trade, forget the idea of their divisional rival.

    I say, stick with the rotation and see if Pelfrey and Maine can solidify the backend for the regular season. The top of the rotation is pretty much set for the playoffs. With the large lead, the backend of the rotation is not so critical.

    Unless the Mets can get a top-end guy (Willis), they should wait until the offseason and "buy" Zito. I'd rather have Willis, but who wouldn't.

    Keep Milledge, Humber, add Zito in the offseason. Pedro, Glavine, Zito, Pelfrey, and Humber. Milledge, Beltran, Nady in the outfield for 2007.

    - Bada

    8:52 AM

    Anonymous Raskolnikov said...

    This is just chicanery by Beane, trying to tempt the Mets since he is "conceding" and lowering his price tag on Zito. It would take him 0.7 seconds to accept the offer.

    No. Let's not trade Milledge unless there's a great young pitcher involved. I'd try to shop Nady and Maine/Bannister, even give up Heilman or Sanchez if the right pitcher is available.

    10:30 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    We have enough depth in pitching we don't need anymore, we are winning without Pedro and when he comes back its like getting a new guy anyway, i know i'm dating my self but after 86 we traded for mcreynolds and the chemestry we had went poof in 87( drugs didn't help.

    11:31 AM

    Blogger Paladin said...

    This is absolute garbage. More bad trades. Enough. The guy is gonna be a free agent next season, so what's the rush to throw away a top prospect who just about every team in baseball would love to have?

    This rotation has many holes, some of which may very well be filled by guys like Maine and Pelfrey, but only time will tell. Bringing Zito in now won't cure Pedro's hip and toe, or Glavine's age, or Trachsel's mediocrity. I do think that Zito still has something to offer, and a shift to the NL (not to mention being on a solid offensive club like the Mets) might just do wonders for his career. But let's see that move get made in the off season. Fact is, if he really wants to come here, then he'll do it as a free agent. If this trade is made, and he goes elswhere in the off-season, then the Mets look like a joke... AGAIN.

    I don't care what type of compensation they would receive for Zito leaving, it wouldn't make up for Milledge no longer being a part of this franchise. At this point I really don't care if they use the kid as trade bait. Just get a good deal in return. Is there one out there? I just don't see it, and quite frankly, I don't think Omar does either. So then stand pat, and leave the kid alone. Better to have him than give him away in a bad deal.

    11:42 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I realize the METS make a lot of $$$$. But the best thing so far this season that has to do with next year is that Cliff Floyd so far has not been an offensive force so losing him in free agency will not be that great of a hit when Milledge steps in. You do not trade a 300K player for a 2 month rental.

    11:43 AM

    Anonymous David said...

    If the Mets were battling for a playoff spot, then this trade would make much more sense. Otherwise, you are just trading Milledge for essentially ONE start. We've got the division, so Zito would just be important for game 3 of the NLDS and if the Mets keep advancing then he'd get 2 or maybe 3 more starts. I'll take 15 years of Milledge over a couple starts of Zito. Just make a strong push to sign him in the offseason.

    11:52 AM

    Blogger Paladin said...

    BTW, Mike, I noticed that Fernando Martinez was used as a DH in that game. Now while I do know of him, I don't know much about him as a player and how he is progressing. So what's up with the DH? Is that something they use him for once in a while, or is he just a sub-standard fielder? Just curious cause if he can't play the field, then what's the point in having him in the NL?

    11:54 AM

    Anonymous Benny Blanco from da Bronx said...

    I believe that Barry Zito will bring the Mets to the top and make them World Series winners.
    Without him they already make the World Series but do they win it?
    Barry Zito makes them win it.

    This isn't about the regular season anymore. This is about Games 1,2,3 in the World Series.
    Pedro Game 1
    Glavine Game 2
    Zito Game 3
    I don't want Traschel, Maine, Pelfrey, or even El Duque pitching Game 3, I just don't.
    I don't want to trust Mr. Average, 2 young ass rookies, or a 60 year old man who MIGHT pitch a good game, might pitch a bad one, might get injured...

    Now would trading 6 years of Milledge be worth it? Shit... now that the Mets are this good and I can see them winning it all, I'm opening up to the idea it's tough... REAL tough.
    I'd be heartbroken if the Mets lose in the World Series and I know every Mets fan would be too.

    I just still have a very hard time believing Beane would do that. I mean, they're right in the middle of it, they NEED him alot more than the Mets do. I still believe that unles they lose every game for the next 8 days, he stays in Oakland.

    I don't trust Carlos Lee as a good longterm commitment though, he's a HUGE guy and could break down... but he's clutch though.

    12:24 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Zito is no sure thing in a game 3/ the team has the nucleus to be a playoff team for a long time/ just imagine if the "trade" was never made who our #3 picher would be.

    2:12 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Pelfrey seems to be progressing well enough that I can trust him in the third game of the World Series. John Maine and Orlando Hernandez could be used as long guys out of the pen along with Darren Oliver in case any of Pedro, Glavine or Pelfrey falter. I am OK with what we have and feel we could win the World Series. The only move I would make is to upgrade the offense by trading Xavier Nady and a minorleaguer along the lines of a Carlos Gomez for Bobby Abreu or Carlos Lee. Of course I wouldn't make a trade if I thought we had to put in a talent like Milledge or Fernando Martinez or Philip Humber.
    If we get Abreu and then bring up Milledge next year when Floyd leaves, we can have an outfield of Milledge, Beltran and Abreu until Fernando Martinez is ready to take over for Abreu when Abreu's contract runs out.

    2:33 PM

    Anonymous Benny Blanco from da Bronx said...

    Sure its nice to say you would trust John Maine and or Mike Pelfrey in a game 3 but to me it's not fair to put expectations like that on a rookie.
    The year Dontrelle Willis won the ROY, he was the long man in the pen for the Marlins. He did really well but still.
    It's just not fair to put those type of expectations on rookies.
    It's just a situation of "I'd rather not" when it comes to having him start a Game 3.

    Barry Zito on the other hand has pitched real well in the playoffs. Sure, his last appearence was in 2003 but still, he's pitched VERY well in the playoffs. And he's someone I would trust in a big spot.
    Remember, he doesn't have to be an ace, he has to be a #3 starter.
    Why would you even say Zito is "no sure thing" in a Game 3?

    I mean, you could trade Milledge and then in about 2 years have Fernando Martinez in. It's not THAT bad of an idea.

    2:48 PM

    Anonymous Jaerock Lee said...

    Damn right BEnny! Zito cements the rotation and gives us a chance in the WS. I know El Duque has a sick post season record but he is getting older and not showing he can still pitch like he did.

    Milledge for Zito (and long term contract) will be done!

    7:12 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    Milledge maybe for dontrelle, but NO on Zito--too much to give up for too little, and can just sign him for next year. That would be a foolish move.
    Nuff said.

    11:46 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    itsmetsforme, the argument is that, you can sign Zito in the off-season BUT you won't win THIS season.
    He is the type of player that brings you uover the top. Right here, right now.
    Getting him next year won't help you win it all this year.

    Not saying that I would personally trade Milledge for Zito but I'm just saying...

    1:44 AM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    As much as I love Zito, I am of the camp that thinks Omar should just stand pat and make NO waves in the trade deadlines. He didn't last year - true, Mets didn't make the playoffs, but they weren't expected to anyway and were more than a Manny Ramirez-type bat from doing it anyway then.

    The only thing working for the Mets at this point is the fact that EVERY team (not just theirs) is suffering from lack of pitching. The only difference is that the Mets are in first place by a country mile. I would be heartbroken (like Benny :-) ) to lose in the World Series but willing to take my chances on a kid with a bright future ahead of him, and a strong push for Zito in offseason. In the spirit of Moneyball, Beane isn't letting ANYONE go till he gets his draft picks. he also did not get to where he is by being dumb...and this could be a dumb move by him as well (esp during a playoff push for his team)

    I'm confident enough in the pitching AND the offense that Omar doesn't make a move. And I'm sorry but what is so great about a chubby right fielder who dogs most plays and hits OK? STAY AWAY ABREU! He should be a Yankee, with that arrogant look on his face!!!!

    12:08 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Beane isn't letting ANYONE go till he gets his draft picks. he also did not get to where he is by being dumb...and this could be a dumb move by him as well (esp during a playoff push for his team)

    Beane did not get draft picks for Giambi or Tejada because he did not offer them arb because they were young enough to accept if they did not get the deal they wanted and try their luck again on the market the following season. He traded Mulder and Hudson (albeit in the off-season and not during a playoff run) before they got to free agency.

    With Boras as the agent and Scott Millwood as the precedent, will he offer Zito arb? It would certainly be a first that I can remember of him offering a top tier guy arb. He usually trades them or lets them go. The middle of the road guys who won't make $10 million + and relievers with manageable salaries, yes...absolutely he does. However, he cannot chance that he will be saddled with a $12,000,000 salary. Maybe he has it budgeted in his payroll that he can absord that type of hit in a worst case scenario, but Beane get his comp picks from non-superstars. Zito would certainy fall under the category heading of people that he either traded or let walk. Of course, he may also roll the dice because two NY teams will be making a play for him, but he knew NY was going hard after Giambi and let him walk with nothign in return after he was unsuccesful in signing him over what I remember to be a full no trade clause that Giambi wanted.

    Like Benny says.....

    itsmetsforme, the argument is that, you can sign Zito in the off-season BUT you won't win THIS season.
    He is the type of player that brings you uover the top. Right here, right now.
    Getting him next year won't help you win it all this year.

    Would I do it? I'm not really sure. It's a hard one because part of me says yes, and part says no. I'm glad I'm not Omar right now. One has to wonder though, does Heilman have a lot of value still (non-hustle play does not factor into my desire to trade him)? Does Maine have much value if he puts up another solid start this week? Would a Beane take Heilman, Maine, and Gomez (or something like that)? Draft picks are unknowns and I suspect that Billy does not mind getting some knowns that are in the bigs right now with a high ceiling outfielder who is at AA. The package might not look like equal value for Zito, but if he plans to let him walk without offering arb and no one else steps up with a deal, would he make this move, which is not a bad one?

    2:47 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I'm not sure if i would do it either.
    How about this for my reaction,
    If the Mets keep Milledge and don't make any moves concerning the pitching I'm ready to do battle in the playoffs with Traschel and El Duque and hope one of them plays over thier heads.
    I'll be ready to kick ass and take names and expect a World Series appearence.

    If the Mets trade Milledge for Zito, I'd actually be happy. I'd be ok with it. I wouldn't be pissed off and start crying and wonder what the hell is wrong with Omar.

    I don't think Omar can make a "wrong" move here, I think its a win win, regardless of what he does.

    2:58 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'll do battle with this team, but if the Mets do win the WS, it will take a few starts playing over their heads. Glavine is not exactly making me feel all comfy about his mediocre pitching of late. Pedro will his normal dominating self in the playoffs. However, if Glavine is not up to snuff, running Traxx, El Duque, and a slumping Glavine out there would be slaughter. SLAUGHTER!

    Do you just pat yourselves on the back and say nice season and go after it again in 2007 with an upgraded team with Millege in right and Zito in the rotation? Here is where it gets sticky for me. The Mets are not in 'go for it' mode like the Expos were when Omar traded for Colon. They were not going to keep Vlad past that year and Bud told Omar there was not going to be ANY team anyway the following season (that's the story anyway). The Giants are stuck in 'go for it' mode until they dump Bonds at which point they can start to build a winner from the ground up and not just collect as many guys nearing 40 as possible to try and make it to the playoffs.

    The Mets are a team that CAN win today and be in it to win it five years from now. That is the crux of the problem. To sell the farm on what is certainly not going to be a one and done shot might seem like a crazy thing to do to some people. If Omar does trade Milledge, the Mets better bring home the bacon. I could live with Heilman, Maine, and Gomez being sent off even if they do not win. I cannot live with Milledge being sent off and they do not win.

    3:05 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    I'd forgotten about that arb rule with Giambi - I thought for sure he had done that b/c he would have gotten something out of it. I remember that Tejada was a wash.

    I see where you and Benny are coming from but I feel like this is a strong team now and a strong team for the future. Still, even with Zito starting Game 3 - do we guarantee that Glav and Pedro win games 1 & 2? We don't know that. What we do now is we're cleaning house w/ our two best pitchers schlummin it.

    Beane MIGHT offer Zito arb, only b/c Zito is a West Coast boy (I think he's from NV or something) and I think he's "OK" with moving to the East Coast but prefers staying west. $$$ signs could change that tho'.

    Who knows? Benny my friend you said it best - it's a win-win situation.

    3:13 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Alright fine, you can't gaurantee Pedro and Glavine win game 1&2, BUT if they lose both who will give you the best chance of keeping your hopes alive?

    Is it Barry Zito behind door #1?
    Steve Traschel behind door #2?
    or is it Orlando Hernandez behind #3?

    I like door #1 best. Confidence.

    The chances of being down 3-0 with Traschel or El Duque would be alot higher than with Zito pitching.

    3:26 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I just checked out the A's payroll on Hardball dollars for 2007. They look to have $30,000,000 in play with eight spots on their 40 man being accounted for. It would be tight for him to spend $10,000,000 to $12,000,000 he would get in arb and work everything else out, but it is doable with him offering arb. I've already conceeded next year's pick to Oakland if they Mets go after Zito because I just cannot imagine he lets him walk for nothing, but he's has done it before. I guess no one knows what he will have to get his team to salary wise and if he can stretch it in this case, but it seems like he could if he really wanted to do it.

    You are right though Coop, he said he'd be OK with an East Coast team, but most guys say that stuff when they get asked at a visiting stadium. He would come East in a second....and I believe he will be in NYC in either a Yankee or Met uni. However, with his personality (or what he hear of it anyway), it seems the Mets are a better fit.

    Agreed Benny...give me Zito. Also, it is not like Maine or Pelfrey do not have the ability to do better than either Duque or Traxx. Maybe one of them will step up and make something happen. I'll run in there with Traxx or Duque as the #4 with a certifiable #3 behind Glavine and Pedro.

    3:39 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Hey guys, I'm still all about Zito...don't get me wrong. I'd love nothing more than see him in a Mets uni.

    But just remember in 2000 - John Franco was the only Mets pitcher to get a win in the WS. Then again, the mets beat El Puque in that same game, the only time they were able to beat him (I think that was the game anyway, I remember my Yankee fan friend yelling at me about it)...Granted 2006 is leaps and bounds and oceans and mountains more talented than 2000...but that's just some food for thought.

    I won't cry if we get Zito though. I still love him :-)

    3:51 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Does Barry Zito get hugs n' kissies, Coop?

    4:01 PM

    Anonymous brian b said...

    looks like soriano might be going to the chisox for mccarthy and anderson. We shall see as this story develops.

    what a lineup that'll be ... thome, konerko, soriano.

    too bad NL didn't win the allstar game, konerko/thome in an NL ballpark is a pain. Who plays OF?

    4:37 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Coop, I'm with you. Zito guarentees nothing. Paying $200 for you team guarentees nothing, which is the problem for me. Trading Milledge and not winning the WS would be where I expected the Mets to finish. Which is a bad. Giving up Milledge AND losing the WS. Ouch. Of course, no one will know the outcome until it actually happens. Best case scenario, Mets win it all as is and still improve drastically next year by bringing in Zito, bringing up Milledge, and Pelfrey and Maine getting better.

    Barry Zito gets nothing.

    Brian, good deal for both sides really. That kills any deal for Vazquez or Garcia too. Sick, sick, sick lineup. Wow. Lots of pop. Dye has like 30 homers and Crede has about 20.

    You hit the nail on the head. More games in the NL parks mean less Thome and Konerko in the same damn game. Who plays OF? Sori in left and Pods goes to center with his suspect defense. Not ideal, but I don't think Kenny is thinking defense first for winnings games. He is thinking offense first. The interesting thing is that Soriano has put up such monster numbers out of the leadoff spot and in that park. He will be downright SCARY in Chicago. Kenny Williams is impressive.

    4:56 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    But to say Zito doesn't gaurantee anythign is saying that ALL trades don't gaurantee anything. Which is well, true in a way but that's like NOT being impressed with what Kenny Williams is doing right now with that Soriano trade.
    If that's the line of thinking then I'll just scoff at that trade, not be afraid and say "getting Soriano gaurantees NOTHING".

    I mean seriously, c'mon.

    5:09 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Barry Zito gets MAD kisses and huggies if he's a Met next year! I'd like to see him in some of those advanced yoga poses!

    YEAH BABY!!!!!! LOL :D

    5:17 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    I like Zito but, I mean, he doesn't dominate consistently. I don't think he's the right guy to trade your #1 prospect for. Sign him in the offseason, giving up nothing, sure, but a trade......not so sure.

    5:17 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Again, count chocula, Getting Zito in the off-season doesn't help you win right now.
    Getting him for 2007, doesn't help you win the World Series in 2006...

    5:30 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    Yep, Kenny Williams knows how to move. Podsednik, Soriano, Thome, Konerko, Dye, Crede, Pyrzienski, Iguchi...fuck! Stupid lineup.

    I'd really hate to see Milledge go. It would be great to see him stay and grow with this team. He's homegrown and he'll fit. Would be a lot of fun to watch. Pick up Zito after the season. I won't freak if this deal goes down. But it still would be a drag to see Milledge go. But Z definitely solidifies going for it this year. Just hate giving up Milledge. Obviously, I'm torn like it sounds everybody else here is.

    5:32 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    I understand getting him later doesn't help you win sooner, I just don't think he's a "lock" enough to guarantee (or anything close to it) winning this year. His body of work has been pretty ordinary the last 2 years. But he's young and he's a lefty and he won the Cy Young so he gets cut some slack. But put his numbers next to Javy Vazquez, and you're not talking about trading Milledge for him.

    5:36 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Now you talking nonsense.
    All putting Zito's numbers next to Vazquez's is make Barry Zito look that much better.
    Shit makes me realise that Milledge would be well worth it now.
    Get the impact guy, rather than the mediocre guy.
    The league is hitting .234 against Zito this season, .228 for his career. - That's Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, and Jason Schmidt teritory right there.
    Wouldn't you like either of those guys pitching a game 3 for you?
    Would they be worth Milledge?

    Zito doesn't give up homers. The league is slugging like .354 against him!

    In February I would have said hell no to this trade. And I have been saying hell no to this for about 2 years now.
    I felt that Zito was over-rated.
    But now... seeing as he's the final piece, he's what the Mets need.
    I think i'd do it.
    And you can't really argue against it.

    7:24 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    oh snap i havent been following this discussion since i posted. I guess i just dont feel that Zito guarantees anything this year, and thus, right now it feel keep milledge>get zito hastily.
    as other posters said, even with zito the rest of the rotation will have to pitch WAY above their heads to win a WS--but you never know. If there was more on the market available we could have a more interesting discussion, but because it "Seems" that only Zito is available right now, fans are more desparate to "get" him.
    I'd rather have Willis (who is unavailable), and i wont mind if they add zito this offseason. I'd like the luxery of the off season to scrutinize Zito a bit more before i'm convinced he is the best use of freddy's $$.

    2:39 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    With Zito, the rest of the rotation does NOT have to pitch way above thier heads.
    The playoffs have a 4 man rotation.
    Pedro, Glavine, Zito, whoever,
    3 guys can pitch the way they pitch and one guy just has to keep them in the game.
    Not that bad.
    Without Zito 2 guys would have to pitch over thier heads. And that's asking for alot.

    11:12 AM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    Benny, you misunderstood me. I meant if you put Zito's numbers next to Vazquez's name you would not be talking about trading Milledege for him (Vazquez). I did not mean a comparison of the 2 pitchers would result in a determination that Vazquez was a better pitcher than Zito.

    11:57 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    thinking about something...

    we gotta make this zito-milledge trade if its there. i thought about it and realized that we've got a damn good chance to do it this year. i wanted long term stability/prosperity with this team but when have a serious chance (and not some bullshit chance like the year we traded kazmir) you've gotta make a trade.

    we're planning on next year but u never know if pedro finally blows out his labrum or anything else ruins 2007 b4 it gets there.

    you feel me?

    12:36 PM

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