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

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Roster Chemotherapy

Most people try and rid themselves of cancer, and I guess other people seek it out. Gary Sheffield for Mike Cameron and Miguel Cairo? Other rumors have the Mets adding in a pitcher as well, which would be borderline insane. Sheffield may be a tremendous offensive upgrade, but the guy comes with a lot of baggage and any interested team should approach him with caution. Gary Sheffield is a borderline hall of famer that will come close to 500 homers and has a career .298/.400/.527 line. He has been in the Major Leagues for seventeen years and if he is traded, he will be with his seventh team. A guy with immense talent will have the dubious distinction of never having a team wanting to lock him up long term.

Every stop he has been at, he has caused trouble. Whether he is complaining about racism, his contract, or being mistreated, he is rocking the boat. He signed a contract after the 2003 season with the Yankees for three years, and a year into the contract, he was already complaining about the terms that he agreed to. He has a nasty case of bursitis that practically pushed him to consider early retirement and is not exactly a model citizen in terms of health. With the collective nation of Met fans holding their breath every time Cliff Floyd runs, having another injury risk at the other corner outfield spot is large concern.

Gary Sheffield's deal with the Yankees was a three year deal worth $39,000,000. The deal includes a 2007 option worth $13,000,000 with him making $13,000,000 in 2004, 2005, and 2006. $4,500,000 of each year of the deal is deferred without interest and if the option was exercised, $4,500,000 of his option will be deferred as well. The deferred money without interest is what Gary got his panties in a bundle for after he agreed to it and lobbied for interest to be added to the deferred money. It is a mystery to whether or not it was added or not, but that is still a substantial amount of money.

Sheffield's run producing ability is enticing, but his asshole demeanor is a put off. If not for his disposition, this would have been a no brainer. The Mets seem to have a great vibe on the team this year and they would be subtracting a great locker room guy and adding a player who is guaranteed to makes waves. Sheffield does not seem like the 'team first' player the Mets need and could detract from the team once he arrives. He is clubhouse distraction that is not needed around a team that projects a rather cohesive clubhouse. They may not have sleep overs and try on each others bras, but there are certainly no malcontents to rock the boat right now. There are reasons why a player of Sheffield's caliber has never found a permanent home and the Mets could be playing with fire. I guess it boils down to how desperate they are for a run producer. Willie's job may get a lot harder in the coming weeks and as strangely interesting this deal is, it scares me.

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  • Victor Zambrano looks like he is so close to turning a corner and being a dominant starter. One of the things that he has going for him is that he is not afraid to go inside....or outside...or up...or down. When he can cut his walks down and be effectively wild like he has been for the last month, no player ever really gets comfortable. He is one pitcher that plunks a guy and nobody in the house thinks it was intentional. Zambrano could look un-hittable some innings and he always seems to have one inning that is his undoing. Lately, he has been cutting down on those bad innings, but still gets himself into trouble.

    In his last inning of work, he danced around a jam to leave the bases loaded and preserve the Met lead. He can still be frustrating at times, but as Jeremy pointed out, this Victor seems to be different from the Victor of the past. He is a guy that is not the ace of the staff, but has the stuff to beat another team's ace on their best night. He has the ability and talent to best any other pitcher, and though he lacks the consistency and control to be a bonafide ace, he is an extremely valuable commodity to slot in the #3, #4, or #5 spot.

    "Victor is still a work in progress, but you can't help but be encouraged by his earned-run average which is half a run better than it was in Tampa Bay last year," said Rick Peterson. "To me, his problem is not his control but rather focus. He needs to focus on one pitch at a time. I think it's helping his maturity that he's not the No. 1 guy here as he was in Tampa and what does it say about your club when your No. 4 guy has an ERA of 3.84?"

  • Minor update:
    • The St. Lucie Mets beat Palm Beach 9-6. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with two runs scored, two walks, and got caught stealing once. Shawn Bowman hit his thirteenth homerun of the year. Kole Strayhorn took the win in relief and went 1.2 innings giving up one hit and one walk.
    • In the Sally League, the North lost to the South 7-5 in the All-Star game. Gabby Hernandez went one inning and gave up one run. Dante Brinkely went 1 for 4 with a homer, Mike Carp went 0 - 4, and Grant Psomas went 1 for 3.
    • Kingsport beat Greeneville 5-4 in eleven innings. Sean Henry went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a walk while Riky Oliveros went 3 for 5 with one run scored, a homer, and two RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets topped the GCL Marlins 3-2. Brahiam Maldonado went 0-2, but walked three times on the night.
    • Brooklyn lost to New Jersey 9-1. Johathan Malo went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
    • Norfolk beat Toledo 6-4. Anderson Hernandez keeps going nuts and went 2 for 4 with one run scored to up his average to .364. Eric Valent continues his awakening at AAA and went 1 for 4 with two runs scored, a homer, and two RBIs. Prentice Redman continues to play like a guy who does not want to go back to AA and went 2 for 4 with one run scored, a double, a triple, a walk, and two RBIs.
    • Binghamton lost to New Britain 12-6. Brian Bannister took his second loss of the year and went 4.1 innings, gave up eight hits, six earned runs, three walks, one homer, and only struck out one. He is now 9-2 with a 2.20 ERA.
  • "I think it can start now ... I think it's started already, really," Cliff Floyd said. "If we're going to be in this, make a run, it's going to be now. We have a lot of things working finally."

  • From Newsday:

    Steve Trachsel expects to make his return from back surgery by Aug. 1, and the potential for an overcrowded rotation means another starter is likely to be moved by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Trachsel plans to throw off the mound for the first time on Saturday and then report to Port St. Lucie to continue his rehab.

  • The Mets attendance last night was 39,898 at Shea. Not bad for a non-Pedro start on a Tuesday.

  • Carlos Beltran motoring around the bases was an amazing sign of things to come. I think he is teetering on the brink of an explosion.

  • Danny Graves has an 8.10 ERA in 6.2 innings. The good news is that he has not walked a batter yet. I'm not done with the Graves experiment just yet, but it is getting late early with Danny.

  • The ESPN Page 2 staff lays out a plan to fix the Yankees. Here are the highlights:

    June 29th: Order third-base coach Luis Sojo to steal Jason Giambi's first-base glove from his locker, dip it in Alex Rodriguez's hair gel, set fire to it and drop it into the Hudson River.

    July 2nd: Give Joe Torre a copy of the Yankee stat sheet with Tony Womack's batting average (.239), on-base percentage (.273) and slugging percentage (.263) circled in red ink. Give Torre subtle reminder that those numbers make Womack the 790th best hitter in the majors leagues (out of 792), according to Baseball Prospectus.

    July 4th: Add a chin-strap to Gary Sheffield's helmet so he'll no longer rip it off his head in fits of anger and get thrown out of games.

    July 6th: Put life-size cardboard cutout of Anna Benson in team clubhouse. Remove "clothing" piece by piece until Yankees clinch wild card.

    July 12th: Watch All-Star Game with Theo Epstein. Ply him with unused champagne from 2004 ALCS celebration. Ask him if he'd be willing to trade David Ortiz for Jason Giambi. Tell him you'll even throw in Tony Womack to be nice.

    July 20th: Cancel Sean Henn bobblehead night.

    July 30th: If team is still out of the playoff picture, unveil the Yankee Death Star superstructure. And if that doesn't work ...

    July 31: Swap entire roster for plucky, team-first Washington Nationals, agree to pick up $190 million of former Yankees' salaries.


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