Cesear Carillo? Tim Stauffer? Scott Linebrink? What do all those names have in common? What some delusional Yankee fan thought the Padres would give up to get a 43 year old pitcher that has injury and anger issues. I get why the Diamondbacks and the Padres wanted the guy. His peripherals were not bad at all and moving from the AL East to the NL West could actually make him a top ten Cy Young candidate in '07. However, the fact is the going rate for him was simply not very high. The argument against why the price should not be so low has been that the Yankees are not broke and are not looking to dump salary, but the Yankees were looking to cut payroll. They had no leverage and they had a guy who will really not be able to prove his health until the season starts after coming off his second back surgery.
The Yankees are operating in an extremely different manner than they have in the last five or so off-seasons and Johnson is not exactly a joy to have around. If Randy was not happy and wanted to go home, he certainly limited the Yankees ability to deal him as he limited them to trading him to one of three or so teams. In the end, a bounty of Luis Vizcaino, Steven Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf, and Alberto Gonzalez with the D-Backs eating all of his salary is not a bad deal really. If Humberto Sanchez can be effective out of the bullpen, the Yankees could very well have a dominating bullpen. Throw on top of that the idea of Roger Clemens making a return to the Yankees and you could certainly say that Brian Cashman had a pretty good game plan followed by great execution this off-season.
What is even funnier than people thinking Johnson is really worth several top players is how the same people who wanted the Padres to give up that much for Johnson are probably the ones that say that Milledge for Blanton is not enough for the A's. NOT ENOUGH! A batting average against of over .300 for batters on each side of the plate and an ERA cresting 5.00 is pretty bad. He had a nice '05 season, but if you watched him, he looked eminently hittable. I do not care what is written, he features an 88 mph fastball that has to be spotted. It does not have great movement and he is nothing more than a mid to back end starter that might be able to eat innings if he can manage to not get knocked out of the game.
He has value, but mostly to the team that has him right now in the A's. He'll give you cheap and consistent innings behind your ace and nothing more. Worth a top prospect? Certainly not. Especially not one of the best prospects in the game. Just a silly, silly assertion that such a straight up deal could even been bandied about. My favorite comment of the day was on MLBTradeRumors.com, which provides literally minutes and minutes of fun for me between insane rumors quoted by blogs and even more insane comments about those rumors.
more like 90-91, with the occasional venture into 92.
i love how white pitchers scouting reports get a mph or 2 added to their velocity, and have the luxury of being able to "touch" 94 becuz some gun in Alabama clocked them there once 5 years ago.
i have a flaming monkey that is waiting to burst out of my ass the day blanton throws 94.
4 ERA my ass.
his stuff is flat and it has no life. he doesn't have the height to get enough downward plane on his pitches to be anything more than a solid innings eater right now.
his only chance at being above average is to add a cutter. something tells me they would have given him one already if it was possible.
you're looking at a slightly below average fat righty who will need to get by on command. it doesn't get more mediocre.
heck, we could get yusmeiro petit back for half price, and petit will probably be better within a few years.
petit has better command and the same "stuff".
I do not think many people believed this rumored deal was good on any planet. It is entirely possible that Humber and Pelfrey could put up a performance on par with Blanton and not come at the cost of Lastings Milledge. I'm not even sold Dave Williams could not do the same. Would it be nice to have more certainty in Joe Blanton in the rotation? Of course. However, Joe Blanton is not worth enough in a trade for it to make sense for Billy Beane to trade him with the price of mediocre pitchers at an astronomical level. In fact, it makes more sense for him to deal one of his front end guys in Haren or Harden because he can most likely get an arm with ace potential and a solid position player for one of the two. This rumor never made sense from the start and Joe Blanton will not have to worry about changing his address and will be free to eat all the Ghirardelli chocolate he wants. I will admit this though, I was fooled for a moment. I thought Omar had gone crazy. That will be the last time my faith in Omar waivers and I apologize to the master of all that is baseball.
New York Mets GM Omar Minaya has already established himself as one of the most effective execs in the game today, and this winter has done nothing to change that.
Since the Mets came up short in the NLCS, Minaya has re-upped with Tom Glavine for less money than Gil Meche will make in 2008, inked Moises Alou, who can still rake, to a modest one-year contract, and re-signed Jose Valentin for another season.
Some ridiculously handsome blogger asked a great question and got the answer he was looking for from Mr. Callis.
Mike (NY): If Milledge was still rookie eligible, where would he rank overall and in the Mets system. Lots of people are down on him but forget he?s 21 with only 1100 minor league at-bats.
SportsNation Jim Callis: I'd still rank him No. 1 in the Mets system and he'd be one of the better prospects in baseball.
...Lastings was a hot topic in chats of late...
Roger, IL: Where would you rate the Mets Farm System? Do you think Milledge will get better with more ABs in the Minors?
SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) I put the Mets at No. 14 on my own personal list, more for their star power than for depth. I still think Milledge will be very good and a few more Triple-A AB won't hurt.
Joe (Philadelphia): Do you not consider Milledge a prospect anymore, or is he really not in your top 20 as far as outfielders go?
SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) He has exceeded the rookie maximum for AB, so Milledge doesn't count as a prospect any longer. He'd definitely be in the middle of that mix if he did.
Everyone needs to back off Lastings. Even if the kid took two more years at AAA, he would only 24 years old on opening day of 2009. Do we want to see him quicker? Yes, but toolsy guys sometimes need more time and just like Reyes was brought up too quickly, I wouldn't mind letting Milledge sit in AAA until he forces the issue.
Jack Bauer (unknown): What are your top ten farm systems?
SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) Fine question. My Top 10 in order is: Devil Rays, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Angels, Yankees, Brewers, Royals (almost solely for the big three of Gordon, Hochevear, Butler), Tigers, Reds (again for the star power at the top).
The obvious thing is that Jack Bauer is asking baseball questions. The other reason is that the Yankees system has cracked the top ten in a non-Yankee fan's eye. My mind has officially been blown....
Matt (NYC): Does Fernando Martinez have the potential to be a top 5 prospect in 2 years?
SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Yes.