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

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ace for Sale?

To trade Rich Harden or not to trade Rich Harden....that would be the question for Billy Beane. The thing I like about Billy Beane is no one is off limits at any point in time. Playoff chances be damned, he keeps his eye on both the long term as well as the short term. One of the reasons he has been so successful is he knows his team's place in the market and operates accordingly. He will acquire players for a playoff push as long as he does not compromise his team's future and he will be more than happy to deal from a position of strength even if it reduces his team's chances at the playoffs that season. He will do that as long as the trade will bring more chances at winning it all in the future, which they generally do.

Harden would normally be a talent that is regarded as untradeable. He is one of the few guys that can be classified as a tier one ace in the mold of Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, and a select few others. However, given his unpredictable future and his past history, this may be one of the few times that an arm of his ilk is available prior to hitting free agency. Beane would certainly be risking missing out on a few Cy Young seasons of Harden, but he certainly would be extracting a handsome bounty for him. This is one of those classic cases where Beane would have to put value on the upside and downside of keeping Harden vs. upside and downside of trading him.

In the end, Beane might consider the downside of keeping him much worse than the downside of trading him. If he trades him and Harden gets healthy, he still has a premium outfielder (most likely) plus some other players/prospects contributing and he would be dealing from a relative position of strength and bolstering a weaker area. Conversely, a team like the Dodgers, Devil Rays, Angels, and Mets might feel like the risk of him not working out is far less than dealing a top prospect from a position of strength. For instance, Houston dealing Hunter Pence is probably not a great move considering their dearth of position/outfield prospects considering the risk whereas a team like the Mets could put a package together around a blue chip outfielder and not blink twice.

If he gets traded, there won't be much of a discount. Figure on an A prospect being coupled with a B/B+ and more being what it takes. It will certainly be enticing enough to assume that type of risk because this guy is one of the few players out there with true ace ability and one of the fewer ones locked up at his age for that type of money. This is going to be an interesting one to monitor.

* * *

  • Mark Prior had season ending surgery and it seems like things are never going to get better for him. If ever I thought anyone was a sure fire hall of famer from the start, I thought it was him. Crazy stuff happens and especially to young pitchers, which is why Billy Beane might ultimately try and trade Harden for someone who does not make their living off their arm.

  • How not to talk trash...

    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I'm addicted to drugs.'

    For one, you should have some more couth than to even attack Josh in that area. Second, it is probably a dumb idea to start yelling out true things.

    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I have tattoos on my arm.'
    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I have two eyes, two ears, and a mouth.'

    Umm...yeah. He does.

    "Funny story," he said. "When I went to right, a guy yelled, 'My name is Josh Hamilton and I'm addicted to drugs.' I looked at him, smiled, nodded my head and said, 'Yes, tell me something I don't know, dude.' The guy said, 'That's awesome. You're my new favorite player.'"

    Having someone heckle that is really bad at heckling certainly rivals someone who is a bad dirty talker in bed. It reminds of the Seinfeld dirty talk episode when he asks his girlfriend if her mom laid her panties out for her.

  • I wish I was creative enough to make this this up. Of course, the guy had to be from Jersey.

    "It was just a group of doctors that were traveling throughout the city going from bar to bar," a Melbourne police spokeswoman told a local TV station.

    The red-white-and-blue-clad "captain" allegedly staggered up to a woman, pointed out the Mexican delicacy in his spandex pants and grabbed her in a private place.

  • While we are on non-baseball topics (stemming from yesterday's swellicious commenting as well), there are two types of men in this world in my opinion. Guys who powder their balls and guys who do not power their balls. Now, there are people who swear by Gold Bond for the tingly sensation it provides, but I have to highly recommend the Johnson & Johnson Vanilla and Jasmine. Your significant other will be like, "Hmmm...is that vanilla...no wait...is that jasmine?". To which you can respond, "that's vanilla and jasmine.". Really, it's a well orchestrated symphony of smells when the J&J Vanilla and Jasmine is in the mix.

  • Link courtesy of DG...

    Lastings has done some growing up and knows his place in the universe.

    "Eventually, you know I'm going to be there (the majors)," he said. "I don't know when. That's good. They talked to me a lot. They know what the future holds for me here.

    "A lot of organizations don't tell you anything. You just have to wait for something to happen. The only thing you can control is your numbers and what you do on the field and off the field. I control my game and what I do on the field. Everybody else does their job."

    Not only does he get it, it seems like the organization is handling it's prospects will with an open line of communication.

    "More than anything, we're entertainers," Milledge said. "More than anything, people watch this game because of the entertainment. That's what I am. I'm an entertainer. That's how I see myself.

    "Some people have problems with that, but that's how I see myself."

    He also seems to get the grand scheme of baseball, which is essentially a form of entertainment.

  • Cole Hamels appears to be human.

  • "I want to stay in New York, no matter what."

    I wonder if he is probably pretty sure he wants to stay in New York. Why A-Rod would say such a thing is beyond me and precisely why he irritates people. Why even touch the topic? Boras is going to make him opt out and really, it makes sense for him. He'll get to sign a contract into his late 30's. It is a slight risk for him and he cannot overestimate the market, but it is safe to say he would do pretty well for himself and the Angels have long been rumored as possible suitors despite the fact they have an extreme strength in the area of infield depth.

  • David Wright is not the only guy who is starting slow. It happens...

  • Gary Thorne says the bloody sock was staged. I cannot believe that it was as the Red Sox were too busy trying to win games. Could they have done it for PR reasons or even a distraction? I suppose so, but I highly doubt it. This story is a HUGE non-story.

  • Phil Hughes had a rough outing as the Yankees dropped their sixth straight.

  • Minor League Update:



    Anonymous benny from Berlin said...

    If I'm Billy Beane I would almost have to trade Harden, but I would do it in the offseason. If I'm the Mets I would back off and not even bother. And my reasoning for both of those is the same. I just don't like injury prone guys on my team. Depending on them sucks, it hurts the team.
    Of course this coming from the guy who has him on all his fantasy team, haha. He'll be back this weekend though, so watch out kids.

    I feel the Cubs fucked up Mark Prior big time. MIs-diagnosing him, Pushing him to come back faster. People can say Prior is injury prone all they want but I disagree. Alot of injuries stemmed from either freak accidents or mis-handeling the situation, including Dusty Baker fucking up his arm. I think they messed up a career and that sucks cause I really like Prior. He could have been REAL good...

    I have no idea why I'm saying this but if your ever broke as hell and want to get really drunk, buy some Red Wine and some Sprite, mix it together and you've got alchohol that tastes like Welch's Grape Juice. Learned that in Greece, I was getting really messy for only $4.

    8:39 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    harden will cost us an arm and a leg. and he'll get hurt.

    no way arod stays here. just shut up and hit hr on ur way outta town bro.

    something about milledge irks me. the guy is a rookie. give 3 word answers and keep it moving. on p diddy can walk around nyc calling himself an entertainer

    8:41 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    u trade pitchers midseason, hitters in the offseason. thats when u'll get more bang for your buck.

    8:43 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    But the thing about Harden on the Mets and why I would think about it, the Mets rotation would be good without him. I think the downside is small compared with the immense upside. Besides, one of professor Rick’s best assets is keeping pitchers healthy. Not for nothing and this could have been coincidence, but Hudson and Mulder did much worse after leaving him. Would he be able to keep him on track? This trade would not be Kazmir for Victor Z.

    For a team like the A’s that is going to practically depend on him, it’s bad. If he goes down and they are paying him some cash, they will not have the resources to go pay him, fill in his spot, AND fill in other needs. If they trade for young players, they lose the ace but they get more certainty that will not be paying someone not to pay. Some teams can absorb that risk more and the Mets should be able to use their financial muscle to gamble a bit.

    Of course, this all depends on how high Beane’s asking price is. I would be willing to pay up and rightfully so, but he could go crazy and ask for Joe Smith, Milledge, and Humber or something.

    Their will always be rumblings that Dusty did him in. How many 120+ pitch games did him and Wood have? Guys just cannot do that these days for whatever reason.

    Drinking red wine spritzers in Greece? SEXY TIME!

    Ossy, so they why wouldn’t you consider moving Milledge in a package for Harden?

    8:51 AM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    Gary Thorne backed off his comments, big time last night. There were rumors of paint, not blood, on his sock from as far back as 2004, probably because Schilling is such a PR machine. In any event, I doubt the doctors are in on the scheme. I'm sure it was blood. Schilling goes off on his blog today.


    I feel bad for Mark Prior. But it's amazing to me that when he was coming out of college, his delivery and mechanics were described as no less than impeccable. Everyone agreed on that. Now.....not so much. Gammons was on the radio this morning saying, "everyone said Prior's delivery was perfect, but it really wasn't." Oh, it wasn't? Why didn't I hear that 6 years ago.

    If not for Steve Bartman, everything could have turned out differently for Prior and the Cubs...

    8:56 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That's bull honkey. You can have great mechanics and still get injured. Good mechanics doesn't = throwing 130 pitches and 230+ innings.

    He probably threw too much too young without ramping up. He never really was on track after that first stellar season.

    9:04 AM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    I would love to have Harden on the Mets.

    We are talking about an ace here. If you look at his numbers and stuff, he is in the company of Santana, Halladay and Oswalt. His avg and slg against are even better than Santana's since 05, and that's when he is battling injuries.

    The only risk here is his health. I don't think the kind of injuries he had will cripple his entire career. He was never overused like Prior was.

    If the Mets can keep him healthy which Peterson is really good at, you are looking at an instant Cy Young candidate who will dramatically improve the Mets' chances of winning multiple WS championships at a very economical price. So the upside, like Mike said, is HUGE.

    Even if he continues to be injury-prone after he comes here, with the Mets offense, you can bet that they will win 80-90% of his starts. That's about 12 wins in 15 starts. Imagine what will happen if he can stay healthy in the post season for us.

    I think it's a risk worth taking. I agree with you on this, Mike. I think the Mets are the perfect team to absorb this type of risks and the A's are not. This should be a win-win trade for both teams. I just hope Beane won't be too greedy on this one. I would trade Milledge and Heilman for him in a heart beat.

    My question for you, Mike, is that if you want to trade for a pitcher who would you part with at this point: Milledge or Gomez and why.

    11:19 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Gomez because I like Milledge better, but Milledge has much more value. Sometimes when you have two players you have to trade the better one to extract the most value. In this case I'm ok with trading Milledge because Gomez is still going to be pretty good and F-Mart is behind him.

    Factor in Alou's option and I think it will work out. You just are not getting Harden by giving up your 2nd best ML ready outfielder and maybe injured reliever. I wonder if Milledge, Heilman, and Mulvey/Niese /Guerra gets it done?

    11:40 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    im not saying that i wouldnt make the trade. im all for trading positional players for acelike pitchers. im just saying that its gonna cost alot and he'll prolly get hurt.

    i like milledge but nobody is untradeable in my eyes. i root for the jersey, not the name on the back.

    peterson does know how to keep pitchers healthy. so id factor that in

    11:52 AM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    I heard that Beane really likes Gomez. I personally would prefer to keep Milledge.

    I am really disappointed by the rest of the AL west. The Rangers and the Mariners suck so much, which allows Beane to have so much success with that tiny budget of his. As long as the A's are in the playoff hunt, we will never get anything good from them for reasonable prices.


    12:02 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Milledge, Heilman, Mike Carp, and Niese/Guerra.
    Do you do it?
    I dunno, I might. I just don't like injury-type players. The Mets keep him until 2009 which is the year attached to an option.

    12:06 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That's if he's healthy. You just tossed carp into there and he's no slouch.

    1:12 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I don't think the Mets would trade Guerra. I don't even think you would really want to trade Guerra. He's 18, maxing out at 96 mph and has a plus change up already. He has the same potential impact of a Pelfrey or Humber.

    Niese or Mulvey, that's another more reasonable kind of pitcher.

    I cannot see the Mets parting with Humber for an injury prone player, but I can for someone like Jake Peavy. But Jake Peavy isn't going anywhere, and Phil Humber will be pitching at Shea this summer.

    1:12 PM

    Anonymous dg said...

    anonymous was as DG is. forgot to identify myself.

    1:13 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Every time I see an anonymous poster, I get frightened. I think a good ripping is going to be next...I feel like a beaten dog that flinches when someone goes to pet it.

    Yes, Guerra is the one I'd want to keep out of that trio...but conversely, it's the one Beane would want!

    1:26 PM

    Anonymous brian b said...

    oh man, that beaten dog comment made me laugh like hell.

    2:02 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    3 for Harden is a bit much, and 4 for Harden is WAY too much.

    I can see giving up L-Mill and Heilman, but if you want me to include another player then you gotta throw one more person back. That sorta evens out the whole 'Harden-getting-hurt-all-the-time' thing a bit.

    L-Mill, Heilman and Niese for Harden and a SP or RP.

    - Nokes

    3:26 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Nokes, I'll buy into that, but the other guy the Mets are getting back will be a middle of the roader.

    3:48 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    holy shit! i'm out of the loop for 36 hours, meanwhile work lets out early, i check the blog and i'm here an hour late reading a million comments about obscure bands i have to print out and hope to get around to listening to them someday. where can i download free music without viruses?

    two long posts with lots of cool links and no mention of willie -- completely redeemed yourself not even counting the insane commenting.

    pelfrey: i haven't been impressed since i read an article quoting his college coach just after he was drafted. anwyay, i read all the hits were off fastballs and he said he just kept throwing them and they were up and they got hit. probably a mental thing. dude needs to tighten up.

    i bet willie pulls a killer double switch tonight.

    4:10 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    i bet willie pulls a killer double switch tonight.

    That made me laugh. We know that won’t happen.

    But really, Willie doesn’t get mentioned daily here my man.

    If you want anything that I have, I’ll be more than happy to shoot you a few albums via mailbigfile.com. My friends and I have a big music sharing ring. It’s swellicious.

    4:49 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    Am I crazy or are you guys crazy? I understand it's a slow day, but the Mets are not getting Rich Harden.

    Jake: As far as downloading music, it's too difficult for me to explain but "from what I hear" you want to explore Bit Torrent. If you google "Bit Torrent" you will find what you need.

    4:53 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Hey man...even Jerry Crasnick mentioned it as a possibility. We live in a fantastical world of possibilities!

    5:10 PM

    Anonymous dang G said...

    As per pitch counts: Ollie Perez threw 120 of them tonight, and only one bad one, to Austin Kearns - three run homer in the first inning. The other two runners were on a broken bat blooper and a successful hit and run that pulled Valentin out of position. Oh, and 9 K's & 0 BB's.

    Plus, Wright hit a nice double into the right field corner, but we should have come away with this one and we didn't

    9:55 PM

    Anonymous the brooklyn bum said...

    After watching tonight's debacle, I propose a new stat to be tracked: Willie Loses.

    Every game like tonight where Willie makes the wrong move and we lose because of it is counted as a Willie Lose. The standings will look as such: W/L/WL

    We are never winning a world series while he's in charge.

    9:56 PM

    Anonymous Gehoff said...

    Willie could have made some moves, probably should have, but I put this one on the offense. An offense as good as the Mets should be able to beat the Nats without any finessing by the manager. They had opportunities and didn't come through.

    11:25 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    8th inning....guy on second...no outs. You have to get him home. Bottom line. They failed to move him over and get him in. Slow runner, yes, but no execution and that happens.

    Ollie had NO walks for the 3rd start of 4 and that is good. As DG said, he had one bad pitch. You have to feel good about that.

    11:47 PM

    Anonymous Dang G said...

    I didn't think of it until this morning, but then again, it was 3:30 a.m. here in Europe when I saw it, but where was Endy once Alou doubled? Each of the next three batters hit relatively deep fly balls to the outfield - Green to center should have put Endy on third, Valentin then flew out to Kearns - and although you got to wonder what would happen with Kearns's arm in right, I wish we would have found out.

    But as I wrote before bed, this one was on the offense. And I give kudos to Willie & Peterson for allowing Perez to go to 120 pitches and spare the pen. He struck out the side in the 7th.

    7:59 AM

    Blogger Coop said...

    I've been saying all along that the Mets get an A's starter this season. Whether that's Har(d)en is too soon to tell. Wouldn't be surprised if it was Haren (not wi the 'd')

    11:41 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    endy shouldve been out there. i know this guy is raking now and u may need him if it go extra innings but you gotta get to it first.


    11:57 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    nice to see willie put in endy to pinch run for his old ass corner outfielder tonight

    9:43 PM


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