Thursday, November 17, 2005

If You Believe In A Higher Power...

...then he or she must have a sick sense of humor. Why else would Mike Cameron be traded so that he could play 81 games in the same stadium where he broke 7,103 bones in his face?

Mental scars indeed.

But with talk of Cameron being traded for Akinori Otsuka, Mark Loretta, or even being part of a bigger deal for Manny Ramirez, is Xavier Nady the ultimate punchline? Would the Mets have been better off trading Mike Cameron's lookalike?

Perhaps not.

Here's what the Mets gain in this trade: about 5 years and $6 million. Here's what they lose: Cliff Floyd's best friend, and constant questions about where Mike Cameron is being traded to, questions that started when Cammy came back from his wrist injury in May of '05. Those are questions that did neither the Mets, nor Mike Cameron any good. And as you know, Cammy didn't prove to be the coolest under pressure, and let it get to him when the trade talk intensified near the deadline. While it never got ugly, there always seemed to be a simmering disappointment that came with Cameron, between losing his natural position and all of the injuries he suffered. And if that's true, it's hard to blame him. The more laid back atmosphere of California combined with the chance to return to his old position will do wonders for Cameron, who I think is a more complete hitter now than he was when he first came to Flushing. He goes to right field more often and gives you a more level stroke at the plate which will help in Petco. He still strikes out a ton...always will. But if put in the right slot in the lineup by Bruce Bochy, the Pods will be happy with him. I wish him luck, glad tidings, and slow corner outfielders to play with next season.

On the surface, it may seem silly to trade an everyday player for a spare part, but if Cameron has a dog-like spring caused by lingering effects of his injury, then you couldn't get Xavier Cugat for him, let alone Xavier Nady. And the extra payroll will give them more flexibility to get a major cog (Wagner? Giles? Konerko?) In Nady, you have a player who can platoon with Mike Jacobs, and spell Cliff Floyd and whomever your right fielder is without losing much power in the lineup. The play now is, along with Country Boy Billy Wagner, to get Giles to play right field and get your high OBP man to set up Carlos Beltran for more RBI opportunities.

Or at least trade for a new best friend for Cliff Floyd.


Anonymous said...

Nice Mambo King reference.

I think the Mets are still chasing Delgado and will probably trade Diaz for him. If the Mets agree to pay all of Delgado's contract, which was ridiculously backloaded but which the Mets can now probably afford (having Cammy's salary off the books), the Fish will probably take the deal - they may try to hold out for Seo or Heilman (I bet the Mets could foist off Zambrano instead, the Marlins aren't that well-run). But we shall see.


Metstradamus said...


I'm surprised someone hasn't bitten on a Zambrano trade. With all the teams out there that need cheap pitching, it's a wonder that Zambrano hasn't been wheeled. You won't get a Kazmir back for him but at this point, I think he still has a little trade value.

With Delgado, I can't see the Marlins trading him in the division. Aubrey Huff may be a more realistic possibility for first base.

Anonymous said...

Mestra -

I agree, I think someone will take Zambrano this offseason. I hope the Mets don't retain him as part of their starting rotation, but he still must have some value. He's a servicable 5 on most teams, if nothing else.

As for Delgado, you're probably right, but the Marlins seem pretty desperate to unload him, with their financial issues. There are only a couple of teams that could afford to take on his salary whole-hog, which must be what the Marlins want, and the Mets are one of them, especially after the Cameron trade. The problem is that Delgado would have the right to demand a trade after 2006 (like Vasquez did this year) and he might very well do so.

I don't mind Huff, but his last season is worrisome. He's always been a slow starter, but last year he took forever to get going. It is nice that he can play RF as well as first.

I hate the trade rumor of Petit-Seo-Heilman for Huff and Baez. They're both good players, but do we really need to give Tampa an entire rotation of young, inexpensive pitchers that we went to the trouble of cultivating? I mean, I want the Yankees and Sox to lose as much as anybody, but....


Metstradamus said...

That is an awful lot. I don't mind trading Seo while his value is high, but I think Heilman is going to be a star...and they already have Kazmir, they don't need Petit as well.