Friday, December 30, 2005


Waiting for the other shoe to drop with Omar Minaya has been almost as excruciating as water torture...not quite, but close.

So when rumors abound regarding Danys Baez for either Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman, I almost want to scream "just freakin' do it already so I can get on with my life and we can have the winter caravan already."

But as we all know, haste makes waste. And wasting another talent like Aaron Heilman is going to be eerily reminiscent of the Mets' last trade with the Never Rays.

There are many advantages to trading Jae Seo rather than Heilman. Not the least of which is that I will no longer be tempted to pen a hacky blog title with a play on his name such as "Seo Deep", or "Seo Good", or "Take Jae Out Already Seo I Can Get Some Sleep". It's always tempting to me to take that cheap route, Seo I need to have that option taken away from me for my own good.

Now you may agree with me, or you may not. But with Jae Seo, as great as he was in 2005 under strange circumstances, his trade value may never be as great as it is right now...being a year and a half older than Heilman, I don't expect Seo's ceiling to be too much higher than where he is right now. Heilman, on the other hand, has the advantage of being able to fill many roles, whether it be 7th inning set-up or starting. And Heilman could be leaps and bounds more valuable than he is right now at 27.

But the quandry for Omar is this: If it is going to be a package deal, he'll have to give up more in a deal with Seo than a deal with Heilman. After trades involving Gaby Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit...who's left? For no other reason this may force Minaya's hand. But in any event, kudos to Minaya if this trade goes through with Seo and co. for Baez. It will ensure that the bullpen becomes a strength and not a weakness...and that is a priority for a team that has the offensive firepower that the Mets have right now, and a priority for a team that has championship aspirations. And it's the right priority (with Manny Ramirez being the wrong priority).

Your move, Omar.


ajsmith said...

I have a very queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach about this team.

Pedro's toe... and aging arm. Yusmero putting up pre ROY-type numbers in winter league. A 1B/cleanup guy who is 33 and didn't want to be here last season (with a 47 yr-old backup). A 37 yr old closer. An injury-plagued LF. A 33 yr-old catcher. A 41 yr-old #2 starter. The newly-crowned thinnest farm system in baseball. The wife of our #3 starter (who himself is no bargain) a raving loon who wants to behead progressives. A manager who doesn't understand the concept of double switch (or batting order, for that matter). No identifiable 2B. And a GM who can't seem to wait to rid himself of anyone under 30... and a looming 36 yr-old malcontent up in Boston who has repeatedly declined to come here...

I dunno. Maybe its just me. But I'm just saying...

Metstradamus said...


You're not off base. Believe me, I'm not who you call Mr. Optimist here either.

But far and beyond the other concerns you bring up is Pedro's toe and aging arm...thin farm/getting rid of under 30 guys a close second, and that's what Omar needs to work on next. The rest I can live with considering the alternative is hovering around .500 the rest of our natural lives.

Bottom line, if/when Pedro goes down, the Mets are toast...and him pitching in this World Baseball Exhibition is ponderous...f'ing ponderous.

Patrick Burke said...

I'd be happy to get Baez, but not at the cost of Heilman. Omar would have to be an absolute F'ing moron to do that trade. In my opinion these are comperable pitchers. Heilman is on the way, while Baez is more expensive, doesn't want to set-up, and is in his walk year.


adenzeno said...


The Metmaster said...


Don't get me wrong. I love when the Mets, or any team, produce their own stars. But we must accept the fact that Omar has embraced the policy of the Evil Empire. Accept it, because part of it makes sense. About 10-years ago the Yankees determined that they were no longer willing to risk their future on prospects who weren't deemed "absolute, sure fire, can't miss". It was the age of Drew Henson. They got burned and embarrased with him. Their braintrust reasoned it was silly to put the resources and money into developing talent. Trade them and let them prove themselves in the bigs, and when available via trade or free agency, get them back in the Bronx was their mantra. It made perfect sense, and only a very few teams in baseball could play that game. The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. Yankee playoff teams for the last 10 years. The Mets have spent lavishly during that period, but foolishly. That has now changed. The secret to success at this elite poker table is to have an established culture of excellence that players want to be part of. That is Omar's game right now. He needs to establish a place where players really want to come to. Once that is done, it becomes a money game. Yeah, yeah, I know that the White Sox and Angels, and Marlins, and Diamondbacks spent less that the Evil Ones, but the name of the game is consistency, and like it or not, nobody has exhibited that better than our obnoxious Bronx cousins. It's the world we live in now. The secret is to spend big wisely, stay under the cap, and avoid the taxes and penalties. God knows the people in my town who work on Wall Street, who drive Mercedes and Lexus, whose kids are in private schools, and who own eye-popping McMansions can admit to that plan of action. Lay the foundation now. The future is bright. We have a core of young, talented, athletic players. We have a new stadium on the drawing board. We have a motivated and fearless GM. (and don't think that doesn't mean something to players. Ask the Red Sox) We have deeper pockets than most of the other teams at the trough. Exploit that advantage now. It's the smart play.
I'm never going to hear the end of this from Darth Marc, but Omar needs to get less emotional and more bloodless like Cashman. That's how the game is played. Forget your unrequited loves (Sosa, Manny, etc.) and disembowel your enemy (Damon).

Metstradamus said...

I agree whole heartedly with you metmaster, as I usually do. After all, the Mets play in a big market...they should act like it.

I just wouldn't classify Aaron Heilman in the Drew Henson class...Heilman has proven he can get batters out in the majors, and I think it would be shrewd and not emotional to try to pry Baez from Tampa for Seo instead of Heilman.

I do agree 200% that Manny is an emotional acquisition and that he should steer clear. Pitching wins championships. And anyone...not just the Mets...anyone who signs Sosa should have their head examined.

Anonymous said...

Why are folks so down on Seo? He really seemed to experience a renaissance last year and while not a whole season, he looked like a 3 starter at worst.

Metstradamus said...

Not down on Seo at all.

But you have to give up quality to get quality. And Danys Baez is a quality reliever. He had 41 saves in 2005 for a bottom feeding team, and more than his share of those saves coming in situations where there was more than one inning, and coming in a few times with runners on base...and some of those against the mighty Yankees, and escaping. And he's done it consistantly...not a one year wonder.

My only point is that I'm down on giving up Heilman for Baez, because IMHO, he has more potential upside than Jae Seo. Seo hasn't proven it year after year...and at 29, all you can reasonably expect from him is to keep pitching at that level. If Seo was to drop off this season (which is certainly possible given he's only been successful for one season), and you don't trade him, then that's a chance missed to maximize his value and shore up the bullpen.

The Mets rotation is solid 1-5, but not spectacular. And these days, if you don't have the starting rotation of the Chicago White Sox, you need a strong bullpen to win a championship. And even the White Sox had to go to the pen at certain times in the playoffs, and those hard throwers came through. If Seo and a minor leaguer can get Baez (and if Baez is willing to set up for a winner rather than get forty saves with Tampa), it's a trade the Mets have to make.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean Heilman's proved it year after year? He proved it at college and in the minors?

Wasnt Seo also a highly regarded prospect before his TJ surgery?

Seems to me both heilman and seo had their first good years last year, really.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...


Do not get worked up by ANYTHING you read in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Trust me on ths, the beat writers who are working have to produce copy, even when there is no news.

So you get one off-the-record source to say something like "The Mets are talking to the Devil Rays" and you have something to build a story around.

And that unidentified source could be anyone or anything. There's no accountability there.

Now, the beat writers at the other papers can see the story in the first one, and write their own stories, citing the possible trade quoted in other publications.

The writer is happy because he can turn something in, the editor is happy because he can fill space in the slowest week iof the year and fans get worked up over nothing.

Trust me.

Metstradamus said...

Dave, I trust you whole heartedly. That's why I say just do it or get off the pot. Wake me up when something happens. (But it's still good to chat about).

And anonymous: Never did I type the words: "Heilman has done it year after year". What I said was that Heilman has more upside than Seo at both points in their respective careers. Seo has been in the majors longer and is a year and a half older than Heilman. I think Heilman has a significant amount more potential than Jae Seo has.

Anonymous said...

Apologies Metstra - " Seo hasn't proven it year after year." Agreed. I think pretty highly of both Heilman and Seo, and hate to give up starting pitching for a reliever in a walk year who wants to close, that's all.

Metstradamus said...

No sweat, and your concern is valid about giving up starting. But the Mets do have an excess there, and for one of the few times in their history, the Mets have an opportunity to deal from that strength. If they play it right (and as you know that's always a huge "if"), they can make a major improvment for this year.

And if Baez is just a one year set-up man, all the more reason for the Mets not to be expected to give up Heilman.

jdon said...

Heilman has only two pitches and only one of them is special. He has a super changeup. that does not make him a guaranteed success at starter after he goes through the league a few times. He has never had command of his fastball and his breaking ball is average. Also, he has NEVER pitched under presure. They handled him with kid gloves this year. I admit he has improved but I still think he is a softie. For crying our loud--Baez saved 41 games last year, 7 for 7 against the vaunted yankee lineup. Why are we debating this?

jdon said...

P.S. I have always felt that Heilman has a little Cal Schiraldi in him. I hope I am wrong. I would not like to wish that on anybody

Metstradamus said...

jdon to further your point,

I think Heilman's pitched in pressure situations, but his numbers were a lot better last year in mop-up situations.

I agree with you that Baez is a stud. I would be disappointed if Heilman goes for him, but as long as Baez is on board for setting up (and why wouldn't he be to go to a potential winner), then it's a move worth making.

The Metmaster said...

Good God, this potential deal that the Daily News reports is terrifying. The 4-way deal with the Mets, Red Sox, O's, and Devil Rays for Manny and Baez means giving up 3 starters! (Benson/Seo/Heilman) Metstra, what kind of stuff does that Shea peanut vendor you always talk about have????

Metstradamus said...

This Manny talk needs to die...whether it's beat writers struggling to produce copy as Dave says or not, the talk just needs to die. This is starting to concern me a wee bit.

Tommy_Calzone said...

tapping my foot axiously awaiting the metsra perspective on the dirty sanchez......

slide some of that shea peanut vendor stuff my way....time to celebrate being on the good end of a smart trade by Omar....not the flashy easy fantasy baseball kind but the slick upcoming power reliever with a sick changeup trade.