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

Saturday, July 29, 2006

From Jason Starks Fingers to Your Eyes

Here's all you need to know about the trade-deadline climate, 2006: The A's keep suggesting they're willing to listen on Zito, a 28-year-old Cy Young who leads all AL left-handers not named Johan Santana in quality starts. Yet they have nothing going. Nada. Now it may also tell us something about how much teams enjoy the idea of trading for a soon-to-be-free-agent who just hired Scott Boras. But that's a side issue. The fact is, the A's have done everything but rent a billboard on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to advertise their interest in trading Zito to the Mets. And there is still no evidence to suggest the Mets have been swayed by that advertising blitz one iota. Instead, according to a variety of clubs who check in with the Mets, they're focused on a less glamorous (and way less pricy) group of starting pitchers. Livan Hernandez apparently pitched his way back onto that list with his win Wednesday. Also on it (if the price is discounted enough): Jon Lieber and Tony Armas Jr. The Mets prefer a hard thrower. They just can't find one. They've backpedaled on Kip Wells. They don't think Jason Schmidt is gettable. They made a fruitless run at Oliver Perez. So there's no reason to think they're suddenly about to turn their attention to Zito, who would require them to deal Lastings Milledge or Aaron Heilman, plus another lesser player. Zito is a Nordstrom's kind of item. And the Mets clearly are just Target shoppers these days.

They still say Aaron Heilman or Lastings Milledge. If that is the case, I expect Omar to be all over that since Heilman has all of a sudden become expendable in their eyes.

* * *

  • From ESPN rumor mill on Miguel Tejada:

    Many suitors for Miggy
    Jul 28 - According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the Rangers and Dodgers have joined the Angels and Astros in the pursuit of Miguel Tejada.

    Even after making that Carlos Lee strike, Texas could be a good fit for Tejada, who's still owed $38 million over three-plus seasons. The Rangers have a hotshot shortstop prospect in Joaquin Arias. And they might be willing to include their third baseman, Hank Blalock, if they decide to play Tejada at third.

    The Dodgers, meanwhile, have Cesar Izturis and a busload of attractive prospects to offer. And no team was doing more active bat-shopping Friday than the Astros. Shortstop Adam Everett would be in the deal.

    The Orioles also have been scouting the Angels' prospects, and would prefer to get a pitcher in return. But the Angels are unlikely to move Jered Weaver or Ervin Santana, meaning the Orioles would likely target second baseman Howie Kendrick and/or shortstop Brandon Wood. The Angels have maintained that they will not trade either Kendrick or Wood.

    How about them Rangers? I guess pitching is not something they think they need.

  • I heart Pedro. After a rough first, he buckled down to work six innings with only 77 pitches thrown. Oh, David Wright and Jose Reyes aren't too bad either.

  • Mike Carp is a stud. He went 5 for 5 with a two runs scored, a double, his tenth homer, and four RBIs in St. Lucie's 9-2 win over Lakeland. This is a bold statement by me, but I think he will be better than Eric Duncan. He's really having a breakout year.

    Fernando Martinez went 0 for 3 with a two walks and a run scored in Hagerstowns loss to Asheville.

  • From Benny...

    I just shit my pants. Yulieski Gurriel has defected. Get him Omar. Get him at ANY cost.

  • Friday, July 28, 2006

    Something to Prove

    "I absolutely think the Mets are still looking over their shoulders at us," Marcus Giles, the Braves second baseman, said yesterday. "They know what our track record is. And if we do what we have to do this weekend, they'll be looking even harder over their shoulders. They know where we are."

    The Mets are on pace for 96 wins at this point in the season. Out of the 45 seasons they have been in existence, they have won 100 games only three times as their cross-town rivals have won 100 games three out of the last four years. The Mets might seem like they are in cruise control, but those smug fuckers (aka the Braves) are out there thinking they have a chance.

    "I still don't think any of us are consumed with the wild card," Francoeur said. "We still think we can win the division. We're, what, 12 out now? If we sweep and we get that lead under double-figures ..." His smile finished the sentence.

    Pedro Martinez is back and that cannot be taken for granted. They still have pitching problems, but this guy is the lifeblood of this team. When he goes out there, best stuff of not, the guy is amazing. He pumps up the Mets and he pumps up the fans. As off as Pedro has been, he still has a .202 BAA and a 1.00 WHIP. His K/9 is actually up from last year and he is still a certifiable ace no matter which way you look at it.

    The Mets goal for the rest of the season should be to burry the Braves and top the century mark in wins. The Mets are facing three good pitchers this weekend, but it is imperative they march into Turner Field where they are 22-52 overall all time (22-55 if you include the playoffs) and keep the pressure on. The Mets seemingly have nothing to play for and could cruise into October, but they do have things to play for. They can silence the Braves and their fans and get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 100 wins would just about guarantee them home field advantage this year and Shea in October could be scary for visiting teams with 55,000+ maniacs foaming at the mouth.

    * * *

  • What did we all do before iced coffee and the internet? I'm not sure, but we are all better off with both. Here is another little gem from the internet. Just wait for the payoff, it is worth it. Thank god for stupid people.

  • Rob Neyer chat wrap..

    Jack (NYC, NY): After 17 scoreless innings, is Maine the real deal or do we need to trade for Zito now? I'll trade for Willis but I'm not so sure about 2 month rental Zito.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: If you're the Mets, you have to worry a bit about your No. 4 starter in October. But I think Maine or Hernandez will be good enough, and if I were them I wouldn't do a thing to the rotation.

    I think they will be good enough for the fourth spot too...now about that third spot....

    Jake (VA Beach): Rob, why wouldn't you make the move for Zito if Billy Beane is truthful in only needing Milledge in return? Aren't OF prospects the easiest to replace, and the Mets are one of the few teams who can afford to make sure it's more than a rental at season's end.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Because the Mets have a huge lead, and giving up Milledge isn't worth the tiny increase in your World Series chances that Zito would give you. Now, it's different if trading for Zito gives you a great increased chance at signing him to a long-term contract. This is complicated stuff, huh.

    Jake, is that you?

    David (Michigan): Rob, the top 3 ERA leaders in MLB are Francisco Liriano, Josh Johnson, and Justin Verlander. How amazing is it that the top 3 leaders in the big leagues are rookies?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Umm, pretty amazing. I've been waiting to see, or conduct, a comprehensive study of this rookie class (for one thing, it's complicated, trying to figure who the "rookies" were in a particular season). But I think it's safe to say that the top three guys in ERA haven't been rookies since 1901.

    There is some serious young talent in this league right now like we have not seen in a long, long time. This is a great time to be a baseball fan.

    Max (NYC): About Giambi: 1) He's not gonna hit 700 HR - 2) He stunk after he supposedly stopped using roids (.208 BA) and 3) he's presumably started playing well again roid free - we as a country love 2nd chance stories, whereas we're eager to crush people's "easy" success?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Right. 'roid free. That's a good one.


    Steve (CT): Who is the best-all around player in baseball?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Carlos Beltran.

    I knew I liked you.

  • Tom, maybe you should stop trying be the GM and let Omar do is job so you can concentrate on actually getting batters out.

    Old Atlanta teammate Tom Glavine, now with the playoff-bound Mets, has been lobbying to get Maddux in New York, and maybe Maddux has changed his mind about pitching there if he could be in a pennant race with his good friend.

  • Jim Baumbach goes over the truly useless prospects the Yankees are making available for trade. If they expect to land anything good with that group, they are sorely mistaken.

  • David Lennon says that Aaron Heilman is the most likely to be traded this weekend.
  • Thursday, July 27, 2006

    The Legend of Zorro

    "The dude's been clutch," said Cliff Floyd, who had grounded out as a pinch-hitter with two runners aboard for the final out of the ninth. "Valentin, he's been as important as anyone here all season."

    At no point this year could even the person with the most fantastical imagination in the world have predicted Jose Valentin's success this year. Valentin looked horrendous during spring training with a .143 batting average and only one extra base hit and three RBIs in seventeen at-bats. The Mets can say all they want they had faith in him and believed in him, but it looks more like a case of dumb luck.

    If you look at his spring training numbers and his at-bats through May 12th, which is just before his breakout Milwaukee series, he was horrible. He was hitting .155 and slugging .172. If you back up into his 2005 season with LA, he was batting .166 and slugging .239 in 205 at-bats when you include this spring and the beginning of the Mets season.

    And yet, the Mets stuck with him. The rewards have been huge with a .303 batting average as a starter and a .576 slg%. He is on pace for 19 homers, 26 doubles, and 71 RBIs in 388 at-bats this year and has showed no signs of slowing down. Jose Valentin has become one of the greater mysteries of the world and has made Omar and Willie's blind faith in him look like a stroke of genius, but who cares? Valentin has been just huge for this team.

    * * *

  • The Barry Zito rumors persist and the rumors that the asking price is exorbitant persist as well.

    To this point, the price for the 28-year-old lefthander has been too steep, with Athletics general manager Billy Beane demanding Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman and perhaps even a third prospect - possibly Brian Bannister or John Maine - in return.

    Of course, there are conflicting reports that say Zito is not on the market.

    Mike Vaccaro is pulling a Jon Heyman and saying Omar should go for Willis or Zito and deal Milledge and Heilman for either one.

  • Of course it is easy to jump on the John Maine bandwagon and be knee jerk and say he is answer, but it has only been two spectacular starts and few decent ones prior to this. However, it is not as if John Maine came out of nowhere. He was a highly regarded prospects with the Orioles and exhibited some control issues which buried him when he came up. He has all the tools including a big league fastball.

    Said one observer: "[Maine] has a lot of last-second life on his fastball, same as Zito. His 91 or 92 [mph] looks a lot harder than that to a batter. It creates the illusion of accelerating just as it gets to the plate, which is pretty rare."

    He certainly helps to temper everyone’s fears in regards to the rotation and Mr. Billy Wagner thinks Maine and Pelfrey might be the answer if no starter is acquired.

    "Unless we get some great deal that's a steal for us, I'm thinking we just hand the ball to those two guys and say, 'go to work.' "

  • Brian Bannister made a rehab start for St. Lucie last night.

    Brian Bannister, who has been out since late April with a hamstring injury, started a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie last night. The rookie right-hander threw 83 pitches over five innings and gave up four runs, six hits and four walks.

  • Heath Bell is on his way back to Norfolk.

  • The Soriano rumors are still hot and the Tigers are reportedly willing to deal Humberto Sanchez in a trade for Alfonso.

    "We know the price that we need to have from clubs," Bowden told the Times. "The price doesn't change. The price today is the same price it's going to be at the deadline. We don't have to trade anybody."

    Bowden back to his old ways. If Soriano can bring you a A/B+ prospect and B prospect do it. You will not get two A/B+ prospects from anyone for a rental. Beltran netted Baird Mark Teahan, Mike Wood, and John Buck. Of course Baird made a horrible deal and refused to take the best prospects and was targeting specific positions, but you get the idea.
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    DIPS Revisited

    I did this back in May to see who was overachieving and whose has not been as bad as their numbers suggest. To review what DIPS ERA is:


    * There are several possible outcomes for any pitched ball.
    o Strikeout
    o Walk/Hit Batsman
    o Ball put into play resulting in Home Run
    o Ball put into play resulting in an out
    o Ball put into play resulting in a single, double or triple

    * The pitcher has direct control over the first three, and there is a strong correlation between the players who lead these statistics from year to year. Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Billy Wagner

    * The last two are affected by the defense and can be summarized by Batting Average on Balls in Play (BAbip).

    * Voros McCracken found that BAbip is only weakly tied to the pitcher, and there is very little consistency in who leads this statistic from year to year. It is primarily the result of defense and luck.

    * You can compute a defense-independent ERA (dERA) based on the first three factors and this is a better predictor of next year's ERA than the current year's ERA is.

    Here are how things looked back on May 11th:
                    DIPS ERA  Actual ERA
    Pedro Martinez 3.58 2.89
    Steve Trachsel 3.87 4.96
    Brian Bannister 4.99 2.89
    Victor Zambrano 6.11 6.75
    Tom Glavine 3.50 2.19
    Aaron Heilman 2.49 1.96
    Billy Wagner 4.65 2.39
    Duaner Sanchez 2.60 0.41
    Jorge Julio 3.84 4.28
    Pedro Feliciano 2.34 0.93
    Darren Oliver 2.23 3.86
    Here are how things look today:
                    DIPS ERA  Actual ERA
    Pedro Martinez 3.65 3.45
    Steve Trachsel 5.32 5.14
    Tom Glavine 4.55 3.69
    The Duque 4.54 4.80
    John Maine 4.41 3.24
    Mike Pelfrey 3.64 5.28
    Billy Wagner 3.13 2.36
    Heath Bell 3.91 3.20
    Duaner Sanchez 3.70 2.70
    Aaron Heilman 3.80 4.40
    Pedro Feliciano 3.36 2.29
    Darren Oliver 4.17 2.09
    Pedro's DIPs ERA remained roughly the same but his real ERA regressed towards it which is to be expected over the course of the season. Even with his bad stretch, Pedro was still solid with a ridiculous BAA. His biggest problem was allowing the long ball a bit too much. When he makes a mistake these days, he gets punished. He has been fortunate enough to have most of those homeruns come with no one on base.

    Steve Trachsel's numbers show us his 5.14 ERA is not a byproduct of him being unlucky. Though he thinks that he pitched well of late, he really has not. As someone pointed out in the comments section on Metsgeek yesterday, some guy on Metsblog pointed out that Kaz Ishii and Steve Trachsel have alarmingly similar numbers when Kaz was cut. Kaz had 19 starts, a 5.24 k/9, 1.08 k/bb, 5.14 ERA, and a .257 BAA. Trachsel has 20 starts, a 4.24 k/9.98 k/bb, 5.14 ERA, and a .291 BAA. It can be argued Trachsel is pitching worse. With Willie not doing six man rotation for the rest of the year and the Mets needing to get more out of their starters, I think something needs to be done.

    Tom Glavine's DIPS era echoes Baseball Prospectus' numbers that he has been one of the luckiest pitchers in the league in 2006. Back on July 7th, he was the luckiest pitcher in the league according to Baseball Prospectus. You can officially begin to worry about the Mets having even one very good pitcher in the rotation come playoff time. Glavine has looked really, really bad after a strong start and not in a small sample size. It would be nice if it could be attributed to some injury that rest would help, but it does not appear that way. He is missing his spots and when that happens, he gets whiplash.

    As for the bullpen, they are still solid. Billy Wagner has pitched much better than he did earlier in the year and that is refreshing to see. Aaron has been pitched better than his numbers would indicate and though Darren is overachieving according to his DIPS ERA, he has been extremely solid and his high DIPS era is tied to the high number of homers he has given up. The Mets have a deep bullpen and it should continue to be a strength of this team.

    I'm actually starting the think the rotation is in worse shape than I thought. The Mets need to rely heavily on two rookies to step up and though I do not think it is impossible, it is certainly improbable that both step up.

    * * *

  • The Royals traded Elmer Dessens for Odalis Perez. The Dodgers are sending over $8 million to help cover the $16.5 million he is owed over the next two years.

  • There are still teams heavily interested in Alfonso Soriano. Even Bowden could not mess up getting some value for Soriano.

  • Looks like Bannister is attracting some interest.

    Mets righty Brian Bannister has his first rehab start today in St. Lucie and you can expect that to attract a lot of scouts. Bannister is a the kind of major-league-ready starter many teams are looking at, and those clubs are trying to get any read whatsoever on the righty, even off of a brief rehab start.

  • Ah, sexual harassment.

    After being accused of sexual harassment and fired by ESPN, former "Baseball Tonight" analyst Harold Reynolds said yesterday he doesn't think he did anything wrong and is still hoping to regain his job.

  • I think Paladin summed up last night's game in the comments last night.


    Oh, man! What a nightmare I just had.

    I dreamt that the lowest scoring team in baseball just scored 16 runs in two games against one of the "elite" teams in the NL... and they were still going in the second game!

    Wow. Good thing it was just a dream...

    ...or was it...

    No. No it wasn't.

    “I didn’t pitch, I didn’t hit, I didn’t field,” Glavine said. “That pretty much sums it up. It was one of those nights.”

    I don't care how good of a hitter any pitcher may be, when they go deep, it is insulting.

    “The weird thing is how much better I am lefty,” Zambrano said of his batting. “But I don’t like hitting with my right arm out.”

    It is even worse is when the pitcher hits a homerun from his weak side of the plate.

  • Jose Tabata, you are no Fernando Martinez.

    The Yankees' Jose Tabata was hit on the hand by a pitch last week and has been placed on the disabled list with a bruise on his wrist/thumb, according to a Charleston RiverDogs spokesman. The spokesman did not know which hand was injured. The 17-year-old had gone 1-for-21 after playing in the Futures Game and has not played in a week. He is hitting .303/.383/.427 in 314 at-bats for low Class A Charleston.

  • Pedro is ready to go on Friday.

    "I'm going to pitch Friday and that's about it," Martinez said. "If I wasn't (better), I wouldn't go."

  • The Mets have no intentions of moving Phil Humber to AA anytime soon.

    The Mets' plan for Philip Humber, who is bouncing back well from Tommy John elbow surgery, is to remain at St. Lucie for now. The 2004 first-round pick lowered his ERA to 2.73 Monday by limiting Sarasota to one run and twohits in seven innings in his sixth Florida State League start.

    With the state of the rotation, it behooves them to move him fast. Not that he will help this season, but it makes sense to keep moving guys that don't need much time closer if they are killing the league they are in anyway.

  • The buzz...

    According to officials with two interested teams, the Mets have been telling teams that Aaron Heilman could be included in a trade if the Mets got a good enough pitcher in return. What's not clear is what would constitute a "good enough pitcher." They've pressed the Cleveland Indians about Jake Westbrook, but the Indians don't seem to want to trade him. And there were rumors late Monday about a deal that would have sent Heilman to Seattle for Gil Meche, but it's likely they'd have to give up much more than Heilman to get Meche. Should they deal Heilman, who appeals to teams because of his experience as a starter, the Mets believe they could find a relief pitcher (Roberto Hernandez? LaTroy Hawkins) on the trade market to replace him.

  • Norfolk won 2-0 over Indianapolis as Lastings Milledge went 0 for 3 with a walk, Willie Collazo threw seven shut-out innings of three hit ball, and Ruben Gotay went deep for his first homer as a Met.

    Binghamton Beat New Hampshire 6-1 as Michel Abreu continues to rake and went 3 for 3 with three RBIs to raise his average to .346 and Carlos Gomez went 1 for 3 with an RBI and his 22nd stolen base on the season.

    Hagerstown beat Kannapolis 8-5 behind another solid outing by Jon Niese. Niese went 5.1 innings and gave up three hits, one run, and one walk while striking out six. He is 10-6 with a 3.41 ERA.

  • Back to his old tricks, Heyman wants the Mets to deal for Willis.

    But if I could find Minaya (who's presumably holed up in a room with a phone), I'd make this suggestion: offer Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman and Phil Humber to the Marlins for Dontrelle Willis.

    Luckily, the Mets done drink the same water as Heyman.

    When I ran my alternate plan by a Mets official who could be found Tuesday, he reacted with two words: "Too much.'' Another official was even more succinct: "No."

    Too much is an understatement.

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Odd Man Out?

    The Mets problem is that they have run out of time before they properly looked at all in house options. For the time being, they are running with a six man rotation for at least one go around as the trade deadline closes in. With seven days left, Omar needs to figure out what he has in house and what he can realistically add from other teams in the league.

    The White Sox are no longer interested in trading for a reliever as they acquired Mike MacDougal from the Royals and outside of a Barry Zito rumor, not much is going on in terms of impact players. The Mets have inquired about Cory Lidle, Rodrigo Lopez, and Jon Leiber, but I think we can all agree that a pitcher of their ilk is not the answer.
    Pitcher        7+   7   6+    6   5 or more  less than 5
    John Maine 1 0 0 1 1 1
    Mike Pelfrey 0 0 0 1 1 1
    Steve Trachsel 0 2 1 9 4 4
    Tom Glavine 2 5 3 6 4 1
    Pedro Martinez 1 8 1 3 2 1
    El Duque 1 4 0 1 1 3
    The Mets have six starters and there seems to be a large gap between the first two and the last four. El Duque was an intriguing guy that Omar picked up, but he has been inconsistent. He is second on the team with three outings less than five innings (one was rain shortened, but he was not having a sharp game anyway) in only ten starts. One Met starter has not made it through at least two innings in every start that did not get injured and that pitcher is Orlando Hernandez and he has done it twice. In a span of six games, he did not make it out of the second inning twice but completed seven innnigs in the other four.

    His 4.80 ERA, 8.94 H/9, 7.79 K/9, 1.33 WHIP, and 2.98 BB/9 are really not bad for what he is expected to bring at the back end of the rotation and he obviously has the ability to put up an impressive start quite frequently. In his other eight starts in which he made it out of the second inning, he has a 3.18 ERA, 7.59 H/9, 7.59 K/9, 1.14 WHIP, and a 2.65 BB/9. Throw in the fact he has a 2.55 career playoff ERA in 106 innings with a 9-3 record, his veteran presence is off the charts in the Mets eyes and the Mets will be keeping him in the mix. The problem is, he is older. Eventually his playoff magic will allude him. He was spectacular in relief for the White Sox in the ALDS last year, but walked four in one inning in the World Series. I do I like El Duque because of what he can bring.

    That brings us to Steve Trachsel who leads the team in starts less than five innings and has failed to go at least five in 20% of his starts. Trachsel has started twenty games this year and has not pitched an outing in which he blanked his opponents. He has given up at least one run each time out, at least three runs on eleven occasions, and at least four runs on eight occasions. His line of a 5.14 ERA, 10.36 H/9, 4.24 K/9, 1.63 WHIP, and 4.32 BB/9 is just horrendous. The Mets simply are not in a position to toy around with him for the year at the expense of not finding out what they actually have.

    If a trade does not alleviate the log jam of mediocrity for the Mets, Maine or Pelfrey will likely be moved into the bullpen or down to AAA. I do think the Mets are wrongly married to the idea of Trachsel in the rotation as Steve really has not pitched well all year. His ERA was under 4.00 for exactly three starts. It has been under 4.50 for only five starts of twenty. John Maine and Mike Pelfrey at least represent upside. Getting them in the mix for the remainder in the year could produce a product far more helpful than Steve Trachsel. In fact, if you are worried about big league post-season experience, Trachsel has as much as Maine and Pelfrey. You never like to turn your back on a player who has been solid and loyal to you team in the past, but it is hard to please everyone and put the best team on the field. If Maine and Pelfrey keep showing the Mets something in their next start or two and Trachsel continues to look horrible, Omar has to make the tough decision.

    * * *

  • Kenny Williams pulled off an impressive trade for Mike MacDougal to fortify his bullpen.

    General manger Ken Williams fortified the White Sox's bullpen Monday by acquiring flame-throwing Mike MacDougal from the Royals for two pitching prospects but said he was unwilling to deal any of his major-leaguers for a high-prized talent such as Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano.

    That includes pitcher Brandon McCarthy, whose name has surfaced in trade reports.

    Lumson appears to be decent prospect, but none are either to lose sleep over if sent packing as they were.

    "We're at a certain level, a certain mode of operation that I'd make no apologies for," Williams said. "We are who we are, and who we're about is trying to win a championship."

    Somehow I think if the Mets went after him, at 23 year old with decent numbers at AA and a decent pitching prospect from A-ball would not have gotten it done. I guess that is just the roadblocks that Omar will always face when trying to make deals.

  • This just never gets old.

  • Larry Brooks wants Omar to go for it.

    Trading is always a risk-reward business. Sacrificing Lastings Milledge, a 21-year-old mercurial talent, for a potential rental acquisition, Barry Zito, is a risk not worth taking if the reward is a possible wild-card berth or a chance at a division title.

    It is, however, worth taking when the reward is winning the World Series.

    Winning the World Series can obviously not be guaranteed and that is the problem. Nothing can guarantee a World Series. Not even a $200 million payroll, but Omar is in a tough spot. He has a great chance to win it all this year and truly appears one good starting pitcher away, but he also has a team that is poised to be in it to win it for a long time after this season. If the trade that Brooks proposed went down for Zito, it is entirely possible the Mets lose Zito after this season ends and loses Milledge. Not only can they lose both, the team that signs him most likely be a team drafting in the 2nd half of the 1st round. That means Omar could get Zito, not win the World Series, lose him in the off-season, Milledge would be in Oakland, and the Mets would only have a sandwich pick and a late second round pick to show for it. Worst case scenario? Yes. Possible? Entirely. The Mets would most likely be forced to keep Zito and overpay for his services, but you never know what can happen when the Yankees are involved in the chase for Zito as many suspect.

  • Harold Reynolds has been fired from ESPN's Baseball Tonight. He will forever be remembered for calling a player a "fresh of breath air" a few years back and will be missed.

    "We are not going to comment," ESPN VP Josh Krulewitz said.


  • Fernando Martinez hits Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet and lands in the third spot.

    He misses more than a month with a sprained knee, and comes back to go 9-for-17 in his first four games to raise his season line to .345/.402/.514 in 148 at-bats. You can almost hear the Mets fans singing, "I remember long ago another starry night like this, in the firelight Fernando." Well, maybe not. But it would be funny if you could.

    Victor Diaz makes his first appearance of the year in the weekly Baseball America piece, but not in the way he wanted I'm sure. Diaz landed on the Not-So-Hot portion of the article.

    Victor Diaz, of, Mets (Triple-A Norfolk)
    Technically no longer a prospect because he has too many big league at-bats, but we just wanted to point out the fact that he is 8-for-58 in July. But hey, at least he has no home runs.

  • Dayn Perry finally updated his picture on his column and armed with a few more pounds, he lists his five trades that need to happen.

    1. OF Bobby Abreu to the Yankees

    Yes, it would certainly help them and just make their ability to get on base otherworldly.

    2. SS Julio Lugo to the Rockies

    Barmes helped me win my fantasy baseball league last year with some crazy months, but this year? Not so much. Lugo is a beast this season and the Rockies have some decent talent to deal from in their farm system including an enigmatic starter in Juan Morillo who has reportedly been clocked at 102 mph.

    3. OF Jacque Jones to the A's

    Beane is always in the tough position of winning today but being mindful of the future. He never wants to do a typical rebuilding and is always in the hunt and wants to keep it that way.

    4. OF Alfonso Soriano to the Angels

    The Angels need a Soriano like Balls Deep needs a legitimate closer and a complete game.

    5. SP Paul Byrd to the Mets

    Interesting, but Byrd is not putting this team over the hump.

  • BroDuca is playing through some pain.

    "It doesn't matter if I rest," Lo Duca said. "It's not going to do me any good. That's not an issue. I'll get it taken care of at the end of the year."

    It sounds like he is alluding to surgery to correct the problem, but I'm sure playing less will help alleviate the pain, no?

  • Brian Bannister might actually start again in 2006. However, I will believe it when I see the box score.

    Brian Bannister, who hurt his right hamstring on April 26, threw a side session yesterday in Florida. The rookie righty is expected to start a rehab assignment tomorrow with Class A St. Lucie.

  • Carlos Beltran is good.

    Carlos Beltran drove in his 80th run, setting a franchise record for center fielders. Lee Mazzilli and Brian McRae had 79 RBI.

  • Norfolk got destroyed by Ottawa 15-5. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 5 with a run socred, a double, and two RBIs and Ruben Gotay went 2 for 4 with a run scored.

    Binghamton beat New Hampshire 7-5 and Carlos Gomez remains on fire. Gomez now has his average up to .274 after a 3 for 5 game with two runs scored, a double, a triple, and three RBIs. I wonder if his July surge has raised his value? Michel Abreu continues to just rake and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and an RBI.

    St. Lucie beat Sarasota 3-2 behind a seven inning performance by Phil Humber. Humber gave up two hits, one earned run on one homer, two walks, and struck out four as he lowered his ERA to 2.73 and raised his record to 3-1 with St. Lucie. Mike Carp was 1 for 3 with his ninth homerun of the year.

    Hagerstown beat Kannapolis 13-1 behind another great outing by Delois Guerra. Deolis went six innings and gave up five hits, one run, and no walks while striking out two to lower his ERA to 2.69 and up his record to 4-6.

    John Holdzkom finally pitched a shut out inning and picked up his second save of the year in the GCL Mets win over the GCL Marlins.

  • 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.