Knee Jerk Moves? Not This Time.
What Omar did yesterday was prove that he can get the small deals done and was quite impressive while staring at what could have been a disaster. Early in the day, we heard rumors of Oswalt, Schmidt, or Zito, but nothing materialized. The sticking point on Zito was the A's desire for Milledge, the Schmidt deal did not even include Milledge or Heilman, but the Giants decided to go for it, and it sounds like Oswalt deal was squashed by Angelos in fear of making his team better long term. Omar went for the only three pitchers on the market that could have made a difference. He could not get them, so he moved on. After Duaner was hurt, Omar was forced to address the pen or else they might not have done any deals.
"The Sanchez injury forced us to go in that direction," Minaya said.
"It did shift my focus to addressing the bullpen. The bullpen has been very important to us this year, and Duaner Sanchez was a big part of our pen."
It is unclear whether or not Sanchez is out for the year, but the Mets will know as early as today, but more likely in a week. What is clear is that the Mets needed to do something to secure their bullpen since he has been the best reliever for the Mets all season with the exception of Mr. Billy Wagner. During a time when Omar could have easily got ripped off or panicked and overpaid for something, he dished off Nady and brought back Roberto Hernadnez and Oliver Perez. When I first started hearing the Mets were talking to the Pirates and had spoke about Perez, I was excited. The Mets dealt a solid player in Nady, but Milledge could quite possibly play better overall this season than Xavier. I'm very happy about this deal and would have been happy regardless if it was Linebrink or Perez. Omar did well and we should all be happy.
I saw Jayson Stark's update, R. Hernandez and O. Perez to the Mets, without the Mets pieces mentioned. I think Oliver Perez is a good guy to take a chance on, especially if you have veterans like Pedro, Glavine and a pitching coach like Rick Peterson to try to straighten him out. The guy was lights-out in 2004. The problem is the lights are definitely on this year, hitters are seeing him pretty well, he's given up 6 HRs in 32 IP in Triple-A and just gave up 8 runs in 1/3 of an inning in his last start. All that said, as long as the Mets don't give up Milledge or their 17-year-old phenoms (Guerra and Martinez) in such a deal, I think it's a good chance to take, because the Mets would have two solid months to work with Perez to see if he could help, at the very least as a power bullpen arm down the stretch.
Garry Gillette on the deal from ESPN's trade central:
Big Losers: Phillies, Pirates, Nats. Big winners: Mets, Yanks, Rangers (including Lee deal).
Mark (Bangor, PA)
Will the Tribe just DFA Mota?
I expect they'll deal him for a pretty small return.
Keith (Fairfax, VA)
Don't want to be negative, Mets season has rocked, but Perez sounds like a younger version of Victor Zambrano. Roberto will be an able fill-in for Sanchez, but Omar could've gotten more for Nady if his hand wasn't forced. Agree?
Not really. Nady isn't that good or that valuable. Perez has a lot better upside than Victor Zambrano.
Nady is tough loss, but I'd rather him than one of the Mets future cornerstones and Perez could be making us think this was an epic steal in a few years. Omar got good value from Littlefield for a player that is not going to help him at all in the big scheme of where they are going. Littlefield made several perplexing moves and failed to really do anything to brighten their future. In reality, with their current state of their team and their young pitchers, he probably should have even dealt Jason Bay for some premium talent like Lastings Milledge.
Bill Madden on the deal:
METS GET: RHP Roberto Hernandez and LHP Oliver Perez
PIRATES GET: OF Xavier Nady
Why the Mets did it: Hernandez showed he can pitch in New York last season, and the Mets needed bullpen help after Duaner Sanchez's taxicab accident. Perez, a 12-game winner in 2004, amounts to a project.
Why the Pirates did it: Nady, at 27, is basically Craig Wilson with some fielding ability in the outfield. He represents an upgrade. They also needed to get rid of the star-crossed Perez.
Winner: Pirates. Nady was too much to give up for the 41-year-old Hernandez, whose ERA after last year's All-Star break jumped nearly two full runs, and who posted a 5.14 mark over the last month.
He got it wrong. Faced with what Omar was faced with, he should be commended. Are the Mets worse off than when they had Duaner? It's a no brainer. Yes, they are, but they are much better than they were after the accident.
A report in Cuba's La Presna news refutes rumors that highly-touted infielder Yuliesky Gourriel, veteran shortstop Eduardo Paret and other players had defected last week. Gourriel was quoted by La Prensa after returning with the Cuban national team from a tournament in Columbia. Gourriel and Cuba were preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled to begin Aug. 21 in Cuba, an event that will feature a prospect-laden Team USA that will attempt to qualify the U.S. for the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Of course, it is hard to trust any news from a communist country as it could all be propaganda, but it really seems like he is back in Cuba.
As a side note, Castro relinquished power and could actually be dead.
Humber has made it look easy since returning from Tommy John surgery. He is 3-1, 2.37 overall and in his last four outings he has allowed only one earned run over 23 innings while fanning 22 and walking six.
He has made it look easy indeed.
Deolis Guerra made it as an honorable mention.
Deolis Guerra, rhp, Mets (Low Class A): In his last two starts the 17-year-old has allowed one run over 12 innings with six strikeouts and a walk. In his last 10 starts, he is 5-3, 1.94 in 56 innings with a 39-16 strikeout-walk ratio.
Jeff Keppinger is playing with a renewed sense conviction since he was traded to the Royals.
Jeff Keppinger, 2b, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): Since being acquired from the Mets for Ruben Gotay, Keppinger has been raking. The 26-year-old is 16-for-37 with three doubles and two home runs for the Royals. At some point, he is bound to get a chance and it is far more likely that will come with the Royals then with the Mets.
Fernando Martinez went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs as Hagerstown lost to Asheville.
John Maine is not in the rotation.
At least I think he is not. He is not listed as a pitching probable and Mike Pelfrey is in the rotation. Seventeen scoreless innings got him nothing while useless pitchers remain in the rotation, or rather one useless pitcher. The Mets are trying to find out who can help them this October, right? I don't expect this to be the case for the rest of the year, but I do not think anyone can really justify moving Maine to the pen right now.