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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crawford On The Block?

WOULD the Mets dare return to the scene of the crime? Would they consider trading another high-end young starter such as Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey to the Devil Rays and risk a sequel to the Scott Kazmir blunder?

At the very least, they will get the chance to think about it since Tampa intends to dangle Carl Crawford in attempts to land a pitcher with top-of-the-rotation abilities.


Omar has cojones the size of Ramon Castro's head and he's not the one who dealt Kazmir for a damaged pitcher who never was anything. He would not hesitate to make a deal with the Devil Rays if he wanted to. However, it would cost more than just a Phil Humber or a Mike Pelfrey. For a team that is already rather offensively proficient, one has to wonder how much is too much? There will be plenty of teams that might be deeper in pitching willing to give up some players that are maybe more proven like the Angels were willing to give up Ervin Santana as pointed out by Sherman in his article. It would be naive to think that one arm and some mid level prospects would get it done.

Think Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey or Phil Humber to start to even get the Mets into the running for Crawford should he be dealt. While Crawford is affordable for the next four years and is one of the best players in the league right now, the Mets would be giving up young and affordable pitching. They would have Reyes, Wright, and Crawford all coming up for big paydays in relative proximity to each other. While the Mets have spending power, it can certainly be debated where the Mets need to have their available resources targeted for.

With Carlos Beltran and Lastings Milledge in the bigs right now and slated to be around for a while with Fernando Martinez and Carlos Gomez on the near horizon, it would seem that the Mets should be looking to develop their young stud arms. The emergence of John Maine, the presence of Oliver Perez, the impressive start to his pro career by Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra certainly allows the Mets to entertain trading Humber or Pelfrey, but deep pitching is never a bad thing and the likelihood of all them panning out is slim. Safety in numbers, right?

With the Mets potentially having a nice, speedy compliment to Jose Reyes in Lastings Milledge able to hit in the two hole and play left while balancing the lineup out a bit better, Crawford may be a luxury the Mets do not need. Should Omar at least look into it? Of course, but Mets have a chance of their own to develop the type of rotation the Devil Rays are looking to put together and with solid the offensive product they should be putting out, a top notch rotation could be the key to a dynasty. I would approach dealing Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey for anything other than a young stud arm in return with extreme caution.

* * *

  • In case you missed it....

    A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal’s back, state media said Wednesday.

    Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said.

    “He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand,” and jumped into the enclosure, the newspaper said.


    This guy should be hung upside down by his toe-nails.

    “I bit the fellow in the back,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper. “Its skin was quite thick.”

  • Depending upon Pedro's health, he might get get pushed back leaving game one to Tom Glavine most likely.

    Randolph added that "depending on how [Martinez] comes out of his start, he might need to be pushed back."

    After the game, Martinez said, "I don't know what's going to happen [Wednesday against Atlanta], so I can't say anything."

    When asked if he could be pushed back from Game 1, Martinez responded, "There's always a chance."


    Of course none of this matters as long as Pedro is healthy, but that seems to be up in the air though Rick Peterson is confident Pedro will be ready to go and cut loose in the post season. Hey, at least he is not shut down until the playoffs start.

  • Ramon Castro is getting the nod for the postseason as the backup catcher.

    Randolph said Ramon Castro will be the Mets' backup catcher for the postseason. Castro could join the Mets during their three-game series in Atlanta, which begins tonight. ... The Mets' final home attendance was 3,379,535, setting a club record.

  • Carlos Beltran felt good in his return last night.

  • Neil Best takes in interesting look at the Mets and Yanks and who appeared more on the back pages.

    It's close, probably closer than Mets fans who have complained to Newsday editors about perceived favoritism would expect. Still, those complaints got us wondering, so we counted:

    From Opening Day through today, the Yankees have a 75-69 edge, all but locking up the regular-season title.


    Of course he does go onto mention that the Yankees early struggles and everyone laughing at A-Rod provided a more compelling story for the writers early on, but the Mets did pretty good in getting their fair press this year.

  • Cha-fucking-ching....

    The New York Mets tonight announced a final sale of 3,510,157 tickets for the 2006 regular season at Shea Stadium, which includes tickets sold for four rainouts (April 8 vs. Florida; June 2 vs. San Francisco; August 27 vs. Philadelphia; September 5 vs. Atlanta).

    With tonight's crowd of 34,027, the Mets conclude their 2006 home schedule, attracting 3,379,535, including eight sellouts and 11 crowds in excess of 50,000 at Shea. This year's attendance is up 549,604 from last year's attendance of 2,829,931, a 19% increase.


    Can the Mets hit 4,000,000 in 2007?

  • Emmanuel Garcia ranked #11 as the best prospect in the Appy League by Baseball America.

    11. Emmanuel Garcia, ss, Kingsport (Mets)
    B-T: L-R Ht: 6-2 Wt: 180 Age: 20 Drafted: Mets FA '04
    Born in Montreal, Garcia went undrafted in 2004 because of baseball shortage of work visas. The Mets signed him as a free agent that winter and he made his pro debut by leading the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in hits, runs and on-base percentage last year. He continued to impress in 2006, showing a complete package at shortstop.

    Garcia's above-average speed might be his best tool, as he finished third in the league with 19 stolen bases, with his bat is a close second. Managers were uniformly impressed with his actions, range and body control at shortstop, but his arm is slightly below-average for the position.


    Good stuff.

    Overall as an organization, the Mets didn't have one person on the Baseball America All-Star teams for each level. Not a very good showing.
  • 26 Comments:

    Anonymous The Brooklyn Bum said...

    Um, what the fuck is going on in the NL Central?

    My worst nightmare is St. Louis not making the playoffs. With Houston 2.5 games back and surging, we could actually have to face Clemens, Oswalt, and Pettitte in the first round. I don't care if hey can't hit for shit, Houston is the scariest team to face in a 5 game series.

    12:14 PM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I agree with your sentiment regarding Crawford. I love the guy, for obvious reasons. But he is not the fit for this team at this time. And like you said, I want strength in numbers with great pitching prospects, because if we even got 1 or 2 legitimate frontline guys out of Humber, Pelfrey, Guerra, Mulvey, Guerra, Niese etc... that would be awesome. The other guys will likely get injured and lose their stuff (Hi Paul Wilson), or just end up as backend guys (Hi Paul Wilson). We can't expect 3 or 4 to become Cy Young contenders.

    Fuck Houston. Nobody in the NL scares me. So what if they have good starting pitching? We don't score, they don't score, and then it gets to the bullpens... Who do you like there?

    Hmmm, so Garcia has good speed and a good stick, good range and poise, but a below-average arm for a SS, and we have a 23 year-old superstud at shortstop for the next 15 years.... Yeah, I think he should start concentrating on second base.

    12:31 PM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I counted Guerra twice, apparently I am really high on him. But you get the point.

    12:31 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    hey folks, just wanted to crawl out of my hole and respond to mike's question from last week -- there probably are more orioles fans here in norfolk but there are plenty of mets fans and now nationals fans too. needless to say, i'm super pissed about the aaa move.

    i wouldn't complain about trading for carl. but i no longer have angst about these things. i sit back, relax, and defer to omar.

    bring on the playoffs, i haven't cared about a game in weeks.

    12:56 PM

     
    Anonymous The Brooklyn Bum said...

    Fuck Houston. Nobody in the NL scares me. So what if they have good starting pitching? We don't score, they don't score, and then it gets to the bullpens... Who do you like there?
    There are lots of things that scare me in the NL. I agree that if we are playing at the top of our game we should be able to beat the living snot out of any NL team. But we're not playing at the top of our game. We're not even close to playing at the top of our game and haven't played well in a month. When we had some pressure filled games in Pittsburgh we folded.

    I just listened to Lo Duca on WFAN. He flat out admitted that the team has nothing to play for anymore and are mailing it in. He thinks that the regulars will play all but one game from here on out. That's great and all, but what if they continue to suck?

    Well, I've got to get those thoughts out of my head. I just got my game 1 & 2 tickets to the NLDS!

    12:56 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Houston = bad news man. Bad news. Let's pray for the best.

    Ah, I forgot Neise in the piece. I hope he forgives me. I think Omar is on board with the pitching thing too.

    Danny point taken on the bullpen thing, the Mets obviously edge out anyone, but that being said, I'd rather not have to face Oswalt twice in five games.

    Jake, I knew you'd be pissed about the move, but in reality, the Orioles and the Tides are a perfect fit. How nice would it be for us Jersey folk to have the Mets AAA team? They'd sell out every fucking game. Dare to dream...dare to dream.

    I don't like mailing it in. I understand how it is hard to play with some focus when you have everything wrapped up, but whatever. I guess we as fans ask for too much sometimes. They are all beat up and probably are enjoying the rest wins or not.

    Nice on the tickets....I should be getting mine anyday now according to Mets people. I am getting nervous though. They are sure waiting until the last second.

    1:23 PM

     
    Anonymous Coop said...

    Mike, fret not. I got my playoff tix already :-)

    1:38 PM

     
    Anonymous deegee said...

    Frankly, I think the Mets investment in Wright, Reyes, Beltran, etc, is balanced by the team's hope that at least Humber & Pelfrey provide affordable arms to the rotation. And then of course the team has some more than adequate back of the rotation options as well. I like Crawford but don't see the need. Obviously the mustache will have to be replaced at second base, and who knows what Omar will pull out of his sleeve.

    NY papers are whining non-stop about Pedro, but I think we get it done with or without, at least in the first series. The Mets have been awesome all year with very limited pitching at times, so it's going to come down to the team hitting.

    2:00 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Newspaper writers could talk all they want about trading a young pitcher to Tampa Bay but the fact is, you get someone like Carl Crawford.
    To compare VIctor Zambrano to Carl Crawford is a crime in 39 states.

    The most amazing part about the story is how the Panda's name is "Gu Gu"

    I hear alot about Emmanual Garcia. But when I look at his numbers, I don't think they're that special. Whatever. Maybe his perofrmance with the Cyclones left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I'm not scared of anything. The Mets are going to the World Series and no team will stop them.
    Mailing it in? With lineups featuring Michael Tucker and ANderso nHernandez, of course the team is gonna look like shit.
    Lets get the full real deal lineup in there and I feel sorry for teams.
    Carlos Beltran before yesterday was missing for a week.
    C'mon on now guys, The Mets are the BEST team in the majors. STOP being pessimistic.

    2:04 PM

     
    Anonymous deegee said...

    And don't forget that Heilman may get his chance to start again next year with Mota under Mets control and Duaner hopefully back in full Duaner mode! Of course, Heilman might be the most tradeable commodity on the team, having talent enough to start and perhaps even close.

    2:06 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-things-about-momentum-in-the-postseason/

    Silly rabbit.

    *Houston = bad news man. Bad news. Let's pray for the best.*

    Their offense stinks. Their bullpen stinks. And i'd like nothing more than to face that troica. I've been rooting for the Astros the past week.

    *WOULD the Mets dare return to the scene of the crime? Would they consider trading another high-end young starter such as Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey to the Devil Rays and risk a sequel to the Scott Kazmir blunder?

    At the very least, they will get the chance to think about it since Tampa intends to dangle Carl Crawford in attempts to land a pitcher with top-of-the-rotation abilities.*

    I want Carl Crawford. Pelfrey, come on down, meet your new teammate, Scott Kazmir. It's not even particularly difficult. Pelfrey's secondary stuff is very bad. If it takes a Milledge and Pelfrey (and Willis ain't available) the deal for Crawford must be made.

    Just think of the entertainment value... unless Pelfrey turns into Roger Clemens, i'm going to be too busy smiling to care what Pelfrey becomes. Reyes and Crawford giving opposing pitchers infarctions? Sign me up!

    "But he is not the fit for this team at this time."
    No offense, but baseball is as much about entertainment as it is about winning. If you can get both by trading a raw starting pitcher and a crappy outfield prospect (Milledge, hello) you've GOT to do it. Period.

    Emad

    2:08 PM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    Emad, just a question for you my man. I know you are a Milledge hater from way back, but would you have said that Crawford was a "crappy outfield prospect" in 2002 in his age 21 season, when he went .259/.290/.371 in 259 ABs for the Devil Rays in a ridiculously low pressure environment? Milledge has gone .247/.317/.389 in 162 ABs.

    Now do I think Milledge will end up being as good as Crawford? No, probably not. But he is getting better, and the jury it still out on that.

    And while I would certainly trade Pelfrey before Humber (who is more polished and has that sweet hammer), Pelfrey's dominant fastball is so good that even if he just has 2 other average offspeed offerings, you are looking at a backend guy. If he develops another plus offspeed pitch to go with that fastball, welcome to acedom.

    2:35 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Soriano in LF

    3:03 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Coop, how can I not fret if I don't have them? I will be fret-less once they arrive in my greasy hands.

    DG, I agree with you on the Pedro thing depending upon who we play. I like Maine's chances if gets slotted in there, but I do not think the Mets can really afford no Pedro for the entire playoffs, which I know isn't the worry here. I think Pedro will be popping the mitt better than he has all season come October.

    Benny....a drunk man bites a panda and says his skin was thick, and the most amazing part is the panda's name "Gu Gu"? I don't get it.

    I'm not scared of anything. The Mets are going to the World Series and no team will stop them.

    I admire your faith in the Metropolitans...

    DG...Heilman is still in the pen I think. Too many starters and Mota is a free agent. We'll see if the Mets actually retain him. I think they should have all three in the pen with Duaner and Aaron setting up and Mota doing the 6th or 7th. Fucking swell indeed. Best bullpen for the next three years.

    Emad, I want Crawford too, but I guess where the opinions differ is on Pelfrey's secondary stuff. If a person doesn't believe in it (i've soured a bit), then it's a no brainer. But the kid has an arm and a half that you do not come by often. I think it's a tough call on a team that could have four starters 26 and under come 2008. That is how I spell dynasty.

    I'm on board with Danny though. Is there less risk in Crawford than Milo and Pelfrey? Fuck yeah. But the upside and payroll flexibility is there on the other end with a potential #1 starter still in the fold. As we all know, #1s are hard to come by. Pedro was that in 2005 for the Mets, but not so much this year and we haven't had too many bonafide #1s. The Mets need to start getting some....stat.

    Soriano? Rough one. Of course I want him out there, but we'll see if the Mets spend on him. If they do, they most certainly need all those young, cheap arms.

    3:35 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I could care less about what happens in the off-season. Right now i am worrying about October.

    Which brings me to my point. What is Willie doing with the rotation. Why isn't he setting it up for the various Pedro scenarios. Why is Perez still pitching he will not be on the post-season roster.

    If game 1 has a chance to be next Tuesday or Wed and game 2 Thursday and given the uncertainty surrounding Pedro shouldn't Glavine pitch tomorrow (Thursday) so he is available next Tuesday if needed. As it stands now there wil be no way to pitch both Pedro and Glavine 2 games if necessary. I guess El Duque is the game 1 starter if not Pedro.

    Adam

    3:45 PM

     
    Anonymous dg's coagulate junk said...

    Okay, here's my babble: if you are going to try to turn Pelfrey & Milledge into something, add some sugar and go after ... Vernon Wells. That would be sweet and the kid's going into his peak years. And don't give me the "but he plays CF" garbage; he'll switch to win in NY. And Green can play wherever Wells doesn't play then come off the accounts in 2008 (anyone want to sing "Fernando" that early? probably not...).

    Anyway, back on earth, I'd say that we seem to lose our shine on players awfully quick around here. Milledge is 21 yrs old and should be able to start out as an 8th hitter. He's improved every year in the minors, and I have no doubt he'll be a decent to better to possibly all star major leaguer. People have to remember that we (but not me) were ready to hang Reyes out to dry and trade him for the wrong Zambrano. A talented team ought to be able to let a player mature in the majors.

    As for Pelfrey, he belongs in New Orleans working on a changeup/slider/splitter/curve, you name it. Why jump ship? Guys got to mfing calm down! Unless you turn these guys around for a true blue overwhelming star.

    Mike, I think Mota and an emerging Henry Owens could give Aaron the job he wishes for. Let him put up or shut up and go back to the pen. I would be shocked if the Mets did not offer Mota arbitration, though I don't think it will even get that far.

    Further, El Duque would slot perfectly into the long man/spot starter/Pedro fill in role.

    Mets need a right handed hitting two bagger next year. Switch hitters may apply of course.

    And obviously I'd take Matsuzaka, but we all know the Wilpons aren't throwing$30 million at a player before even having the chance to negotiate a contract. But if the Mets have to have a free agent pitcher, I'd rather it be him.

    Pedro Beato #2 prospect in the NY-Penn league. They ought to hide their heads for being unwilling to spend $200 grand above their offer.

    4:03 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Emad, just a question for you my man. I know you are a Milledge hater from way back, but would you have said that Crawford was a "crappy outfield prospect" in 2002 in his age 21 season, when he went .259/.290/.371 in 259 ABs for the Devil Rays in a ridiculously low pressure environment? Milledge has gone .247/.317/.389 in 162 ABs."

    Milledge doesn't have that kind of talent. And if I saw Crawford and his swing in person, I might like him more than the numbers suggest I should and here's why:

    First of all, Crawford is one of the fastest men in baseball. Milledge isn't even the third best baserunner on his own team. That kind of speed wrt body-type is very rare.

    Second, Crawford is a former football player and is 6'2", which suggests far more power potential than Milledge. Also, look at how Crawford has consistenly improved his contact rate. Most players don't improve in this regard to the degree that Crawford has.

    Third, Crawford is a GREAT defensive player and an outfield of Beltran, Crawford and Chavez would change games with the leather.

    "I'm on board with Danny though. Is there less risk in Crawford than Milo and Pelfrey? Fuck yeah. But the upside and payroll flexibility is there on the other end with a potential #1 starter still in the fold. As we all know, #1s are hard to come by. Pedro was that in 2005 for the Mets, but not so much this year and we haven't had too many bonafide #1s. The Mets need to start getting some....stat."

    I understand and agree with the sentiment, but I don't want the Mets to take a gamble on Milo's power potential and Pelfrey's secondary stuff. The Mets are TERRIBLE at developing great pitching and I don't trust in them developing Pelfrey, whose breaking pitches are dreadful. Have we developed any great pitching since Doc? ANY? Maybe i'm forgetting someone...

    We're not trading Verlander in a Mike Pelfrey. Pitching prospects fall apart all the time and heaven forbid he should lose velocity...

    Crawford isn't exactly the bees knees, but he's entertaining. And if i've learned anything in the past few days, it's that obsessing over the playoffs is a fruitless exercise. Entertain me, dammit! Mortgage the fucking future for Willis. Hell, send them Pelfrey AND Milledge AND Heilman. I'm quite tired of all these overhyped prospects. Bring me the arm of Dontrelle Willis!

    [Emad hasn't eaten lunch, so forgive the loopiness.]

    4:26 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I agree on Milledge and Pelfrey....to soon to count them out and like I said, the aggregate of those two down the line has a possible bigger upside than Crawford.

    As for Heilman in the rotation, I hear you. They can cover the bullpen without him, but with Pedro, Glavine, Maine, Perez, and Humber/Pelfrey/Bannister in there, I'm not seeing much room for him. It's more of a crowded rotation picture than anything.

    I'd take a look at El Duque to the pen, but I think he still has a shot to start somewheres.....

    Hopefully Milledge could be the right handed banger.

    That Beato thing kills me. Betances is getting raves too. Oh well. Mulvey did look encouraging and Smith looks solid, but Beato would have been gravy.

    Emad,

    No one is contesting Crawford's eliteness, I just question whether or not he is the best thing for the Mets. Their offense looks pretty set for the next few years and their pitching picture is not. Anything that subtracts from that in terms of their blue chip talent is a detriment in my eyes...if they turn Pelfrey into Willis, now that is another thing altogether.

    Like I said above, whether or not you would pull the Pelfrey + Milo for Crawford deal is predicated on whether or not you believe in their long term potential and their ability to reach their ceiling.

    It's just guess work from us for now so I woud guess there are two camps. I've soured a bit on Pelfrey because of his lack of a secondary stuff, but I think his arm is rare. The throws hard with natural sink on his fastball that you cannot teach...IF (and that's a pretty big IF considering how horrible his secondary stuff looked) he can figure it out, he will be naaaaasty.

    5:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There's really no point in debating this issue right now, guys.

    We're building a dynasty here. The true test of what this team needs will be revealed to all come playoff time--whether it's pitching or offense or both.

    I think it's pretty obvious now though that our offense has a few holes in our offense.

    My question to all of you is, if we decided to get ONE more position player, who would it be? I've only seen Crawford play a couple of times. What does he gibe us that Soriano wouldn't (and vice versa)?

    If Soriano is a free agent, we don't have to trade away any of our young arms or Milledge.

    9:36 PM

     
    Anonymous Scott said...

    Yup Soriano hits 50hr's for us next season. Dmn this would be the greatest Mets lineup ever.

    Reyes
    Beltran
    Soriano
    Delgado
    Wright
    Green
    Valentin
    LoDuca

    Only 2 words can describe this line up... HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    11:16 PM

     
    Anonymous Kranepool Society said...

    The only way I'd trade Pelfrey or Humber is if you can get a defrosted Ted Williams (head sold separately)and he has turned in a 23 year old

    1:27 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    c'mon guys, you need to start thinking big. sign soriano AND trade for crawford. legit.

    1:56 PM

     
    Anonymous Scott said...

    Just compared Crawford with Reyes. Damn their numbers are so similar. Imagine two Reyes as the top of the order!!!! Wow!!

    Ok Jake. I love your thinking but what do we do with Green and his 10mil salary?

    6:04 PM

     
    Blogger warmsox said...

    What are we...Yankee fans all of a sudden?

    "He'll move to win in NY"?

    Fah.

    8:25 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Say good-bye to the Hebrew Hammer after the post season. I'd rather see Milledge playing full-time.

    Don't we have enough to worry about after getting shelled again in Atlanta? I pray to God that we won't be humiliated like this in October.

    9:59 PM

     
    Anonymous Farva said...

    Where the hell is the panic button!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Goddamn it!!!

    11:49 PM

     

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