Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Carousel Continues


"... the Mets offered different packages of prospects that included either outfielder Carlos Gomez or outfield prospect Fernando Martinez but not both, declining to include the one extra prospect the Twins requested to clinch the deal according to people familiar with those talks." -Jon Heyman/SI.com, on a potential Johan Santana deal
Of course, the Mets aren't willing to but both players in the deal. They're holding them back for five years from now when they make that inevitable Martinez for Mark Mulder (after his fifth rotator cuff surgery) deal to fill a hole in the bullpen, after trading Carlos Gomez for Jose Molina deal to fill that back-up catcher hole. That's called forward thinking, my friends.

There's going to be a large contingent of you that will say that after trading Lastings Milledge, to trade the other two outfield prospects in any deal ... whether it be for Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano or Sandy Koufax stepping out of the time machine ... is insane, especially when you still have to sign Santana to a seven year, $800 gazillion deal. There will be others that say that the price for Santana is going to come down with each passing day. And there will be still more of you that will preach the virtue of patience. If you are in this large group, your reasoning is sound.

But let me ask you this:

If the Mets have a history of "over-hyping" their prospects, rushing them up the ladder too quickly or what have you, and you have an opportunity to turn these prospects into the best pitcher in baseball, then doesn't history teach you that you should do it? Have the Mets forgotten this quickly that Lastings Milledge was once a major chip to get Manny Ramirez or Roy Oswalt, and wound up getting them Brian Schneider and Ryan Church? Are we all going to be on this space five years from now sighing "you know, we could have had Johan Santana for Gomez and Martinez, and all we got in a trade was John Patterson, Ronnie Belliard, and Paul Lo Duca?" History tells us that this is exactly the predicament that we'll be in come 2013. So when will the Mets learn from history rather than be eternally doomed to repeat it?

Trading the two remaining outfield prospects would be a huge risk. Sure, the Mets can play it safe as they always do, and be that team that stands in the corner at the party eating chips all night, afraid to ask the homecoming queen to dance. Or, they can show their fans that they're interested being the mouthwash that rinses out the taste of disaster and bringing in (and paying for) the best pitcher of his time frame, while willing to take a big risk to improve the here and now...while actually making an effort to change the fortunes of the future by changing the way they draft and develop players (another rant for another time)? When will this franchise step off the carousel of safety and mediocrity and actually walk in a straight line towards that brass ring?

Food for thought. Disagree at will.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would try to keep the prospects,and offer $$, but if it took the 2 and not much pitching, then it should be done- you cannot operate out of fear-any trade has risks- demand a minor league pitcher back in return - how many prospects never make it?While i am a proponent of youth, I also understand that Snatana like players are verrrry hard to find!! Of course I am fine with entering the season wi what we have, knowing that if everyine is healthy we will be the best team in the East(LA may be the best talent overall, but they will probably play the old guys and not be too good). Bullpen help would be nice, but if they are smart, Pelfry could become a long man out of the pen-but that would require magination on Willie's part....another story for another day

Adenzeno@yahoo.com

Luis

Demitri said...

I agree with anon, if you didn't have to part with pitching (Both Pelfrey and Humber) then yeah - I'd do it. Of course we don't really know what the real deal was that was supposedly in place.

On Lo Duca- ok theres another hothead out there now that hates the Mets. Big deal- theres been no shortage of those. Maybe he'll lose it and get thrown out of a key game for arguing balls and strikes.

I would have preferred the Mets had signed him for a year (no way for 4). It seems that wasn't a sticking point as it looks like the Mets and LoDuca had no dialog whatsoever.

At least Dontrelle is in the AL now.

Anonymous said...

So do this and have nobody in reserve. Alou gets hurt and replace him with Ricky Ledee? Leave nothing in the farm? Get to the trading deadline needing one more piece and have no chips whatsoever to get anybody? And of course we can always draft players of the caliper of Martinez and Guerra, who I should add are only 19 and 18. Guys with their potential are a dime a dozen and easily replacable. (hope you catch the sarcasm there)

Metman said...

Offer Gomez,Martinez,Pelfrey,and Mulvey. If they offer any less, the Yanks will end up with Santana...I don't see the Mets getting Santana cuz Fred Coupon will never spend that kind of money over that many years.

MP said...

It's actually a tough decision....I think Santana's worth one of Gomez/F-Mart and Pelfrey, Humber, and one of Mulvey/Guerra. That makes a package comparable to an Ellsbury/Lester Masterson, and Lowrie or Hughes, Cabrera, and a Horne/Tabata deal.

The Mets need to throw the extra player in there because Ellsbury/Lester or Hughes has a much better upside than anyone we could offer. You could argue F-Mart was as high as Ellsbury, but he disappointed this season power-wise.

If it comes down to throwing in one more player I think you still have to do it - conditioned on the fact that the Wilpon clan is willing to reach down deep and give Johan what he wants.

This wouldn't quite be the same as losing Dotel and Rickey Henderson's first apprentice (Cedeno...just in case someone missed that) for Hampton and then losing him the next offseason...we're talking about 4 or 5 solid prospects here - The Mets would HAVE to lock Santana up.

Metstradamus said...

God bless sarcasm.

And God bless Ricky Ledee.

Anonymous said...

F-Mart disappointed power wise? Well how many high school players do you know can grab a wooden bat and hit at the AA level? Remember he is still only 18 years old. He was not as high as Ellsbury since Ellsbury had reached the majors already and F-Mart is still 3 to 4 years away. F-Mart is also suppose to be a big time power hitter when he reaches his prime and way better then Ellsbury, but thats all speculation. Guerra is 18 and is 6'6" with a 95 mph fastball already and a high grade curveball. He's projected as a number 1 starter, where Pelfrey, Humber, and Mulvey, 3 or lower. They're kids, but with huge upsides that aren't easy to replace in the draft. I dont blame Omar for not wanting to give them away. I too would like to have Santana, but do I want to give up guys that could be stars down the line. Those two are the only ones that have that star potential on them from people around the league in the Mets system. All I know is if Omar keeps them now and because of it cant get Santana, he better not give them away in some crappy deal a few years from now when they're on the verge of being what they could be.

MP said...

That's the whole problem anon...Does F-Mart have potential? Of course...I'd put him in the same hype category as Alex Escobar - and we know how that turned out. The point is that prospects are still prospects and it's not everyday a chance comes along to get a pitcher like Santana.

Guerra could be the next Santana from the right side...but he could also be the next Dotel who was another young power arm with a nasty breaking pitch who projected as a front of the rotation starter.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that since the Mets have sold low on Milledge why dick around now with the Santana deal? Martinez and/or Gomez could be the next Beltran or they could be the next Escobar. Santana, on the other hand is friggin Santana. You know what he is and you know what you're getting.

It's a roll of the dice either way - I'm just tired of seeing them hold on to prospects and then sell low, that's all.

Unser said...

I'm gonna go with Omar on this one, assuming the Heyman story is true. That's a lot to give up. And the fact that the Twins have not accepted any package of players from any other team tells me Omar has properly gauged the market and is not willing to give a king's ransom.

What's surprising is that neither the A's or the Orioles are interested in trading Haren or Bedard for a package of Gomez, Pelfrey, Humber and Heilman. Not really sure what they think they can get for those guys.

The Metmaster said...

Do the deal Omar. There is a school of thought that if you have the dough you trade prospects and let them develop (or not develop)with another team and then wait the six years for them to become free agents. (see Carlos Beltran). Let the other guys take the risk and spend the time and money to make them stars. Yeah, it's nice to see homegrown talents like Reyes and Wright, but lefthanded pitching like Santana doesn't happen very often. The Mets have center and right covered for a while. They'll need a leftfielder soon. Do the deal Omar. Make everyone forget about 2007. If the Mets stink up Shea in its last year on earth, there will be hell to pay.

gbaked said...

I think if you include both, along with the pitchers they will want... it will be the best package they can get and santana would be a met. because I dont think the red sox have the motivation to put together a better package.

however, with just one... it may be the best package they can get. If the redsox up their offer and omar feels this slipping away, then you throw both in. But not at this stage.


It would be a shame to lose all 3 of our outfield prospects in one offseason. While I would accept the fact that it may have to happen to get Santana, I hope that Omar waits until the 11th hour to put that on the table.

katherine said...

Why would we need to replace Moises Alou with Ricky Ledee? Don't we still have Endy? I will be very embarrassed to hear something bad happened to him, too, and I didn't know about it. But if he's still on the team, we probably have the best back-up outfielder in the major leagues, in my opinion.

MP said...

Katherine...you are the voice of reason. Everyone seems to have forgotten about Endy...including me. Thanks for the reminder.

Most people's problem would be dealing the prospects with all the upside though.

katherine said...

Thank you mp

I wanted to prove to Choo Choo I could do something other than go waah waah waah

Demitri said...

Ok here's an optimistic note - and since today's my birthday, I'm going to leave this happy note. Though our team had the biggest collapse in the history of the sport, had such moments as: Dykstra/McDowell for Juan Samuel, Kenny Rogers walking in the winning run, etc etc etc.

The Mets, while infuriating at times, pathetic at others, more often than not have proven to be competitive in their history (4 world series appearances, 7 Post season appearances) They did win a NL pennant this decade. See the following to feel a tiny bit better:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_franchise_post-season_droughts#MLB_franchises_with_the_longest_current_post-season_drought

Well thats it. Tomorrow its back to wahh waaaaah for me.

katherine said...

YAAY!! Demitri! Happy Birthday!

that list really puts things into perspective - I wish we could send it to the boys on the team.

Metstradamus said...

Demitri, beware of gifts shaped like trojan horses. Happy Birthday.

Geoff said...

so a couple of thoughts:
-The Mets really are damned if they do, damned if they don't here because they don't have a crystal ball. I mean who knows, Jose Reyes may have peaked already, and 3 years from now we're going to be saying how stupid we were for not trading him. Don't think that's the case, but I'm just saying.

-How about taking a chance on Mark Prior. Seems like what's coming out of Chicago is that the Cubs are growing weary of his injury problems. Maybe a little Petersen TLC would do wonders for him like it did with Ollie.

-Endy Chavez needs some PT. In fact, I would like to see him starting. I like this kid a lot. Plays hard, has fun, a pleasure to watch.

-I wouldn't be surprised to see us overpay for Silva or Lohse. While waiting to see if any of the kids pan out, we need to add a starter. Who knows, one of them could come out of nowhere like Lackey did for the Angels last year.

-I'm REALLY hoping that Filthy comes back strong. I also wouldn't be surprised by the news if Country Time just up and retired. His heart and head weren't in it at the end of the season, and I could see him just deciding to go away if we don't make any significant moves.

sorry... rambling on random things my dad and I talk about

Metstradamus said...

Geoff,

Your first paragraph really says it all.

On Prior: I'm personally sick of projects. The Mets think that since they have the genius, that means they don't need to get talent on the front line. It was probably part of the reason they didn't go so hard after a Barry Zito, because they figure "hey, we can take a hard line in getting these sure things, because Rick Peterson can take anyone that's borderline and make him a star. It's dangerous thinking, and in some ways it's not fair to Peterson.

Re Endy: Nobody doubts that Endy's our national treasure. But his numbers dip significantly when he plays regularly. It's just not his bag.

I hope the Mets don't overpay for Silva or Lohse (blecch!) I see them going after a guy that Omar is more familiar with, like Livan or Colon (again, blecch!)

Country Time retire? That's an interesting theory. I don't see him walking away from that cash but you never know.

MetFanMac said...

Good news! We just signed Gustavo Molina! Now you know who'll be our backup when Castro gets injured next year!

Demitri said...

I know he's yet another project, but (and this is key) If healthy. Prior is no Victor Zambrano. What would the Mets have to cough up to take a rider on him in spring training?

Surely if Omar's comments about him being happy about the current staff indicates that we won't be getting another starter, then why not?

If they are going to pursue Livan or Colon, thats another matter entirely.

katherine said...

I considered signing in as "anonymous" to ask this question, because I feel there is something potentially embarrassing about the answer, or the fact that I don't know the answer, but, anyway, who is "filthy"?

Demitri said...

Yeah- I don't know who filthy is either. Should we guess?

Ambiorix Burgos?

Pedro Feliciano?

Demitri said...

Get your highlighters out! Paul Lo Duca is mentioned a lot in the Mitchell report.

I also love that a Mets employee seems to be the main connection just about everyone implicated in the report used.

katherine said...

mentioned? mentioned?

there is a copy of a handwritten note from Paul to Radomski in the report.....

katherine said...

here is the best quote so far:

"Gagné then came onto the phone and asked Radomski a question about how to get air out of a syringe."

the mental image of these steroid-addled muscle heads using medical equipment on each other....

TheCyclone said...

Demitri
Prior is not only injury prone but still injured right now. He wouldnt be available until mid-summer, so there's no seeing what he can do in ST. The again since so many people think some of our players are definetly going to get injured, why not take one who already is injured and save us the expense of waiting for it to happen (lol).

katherine said...

the punishment for the physicians listed, who made made hundreds of thousands of dollars writing prescriptions for patients they never saw should be:

having injections (with the air bubbles) administered in sensitive places by Paul Lo Duca and Eric Gagne.

Demitri said...

Cyclone -

Didn't realize that. But still, maybe grab some spare parts for when Duque gets injured again.

Katherine -

This looks real bad for loduca - and the Dodgers who, knowing about the HGH, did their best to move him. Interesting that Mota was traded in the same deal.

MP said...

My thoughts were the same on the Mota thing.....I just put a post up about it too....Todd Pratt? Josias Manzanillo? Gary Bennett? You would think steroids actually AIDED careers.

I was shocked to see Captain Red Ass on that list though...I guess you need HGH to recover from going out with all those 18 yo girls.

And Katherine..."Filthy" would be Duaner "Let's go find some ethnic food at 3AM in Miami" Sanchez

katherine said...

In retrospect - not AT ALL surprising about Paul - so competitive, sort of scrabbling always to stay in the upper tier of catchers,here is the scouting report on him from the dodgers in oct 2003 when they were considering signnig him:

"Steroids aren’t being used anymore on him. Big part of this.
Might have some value to trade . . . Florida might have interest.
. . . Got off the steroids . . . Took away a lot of hard line drives.
. . . Can get comparable value back would consider trading. . . . If
you do trade him, will get back on the stuff and try to show you he
can have a good year. That’s his makeup. Comes to play. Last
year of contract, playing for 05"

they were right because he subsequently did purchase more

katherine said...

I'm sorry, am I writing too much? This is just so interesting.

2002 SI article, quoted in the report, Paul said, “If you’re battling for a job, and the guy you’re battling with is using steroids, then maybe you say, ‘Hey, to compete, I need to use steroids because he’s using them . . . Don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone it. But it’s a very tough situation. It’s really all about survival for some guys"

MP said...

And I absolutely see where he's coming from.

katherine said...

There is an amazing "six degrees of separation” aspect to Paul's involvement in this. I count him as either having been referred to Radomski by, or having referred to Radomski, or having participated in mutual injections with all of the following players:
Todd Hundley, Eric Gagne, Adam Riggs, Kevin Brown, Matt Herges, Jeff Williams, Mike Judd, and Ricky Stone. Some of these were minor leaguers prior to being called up to the Dodgers.

Demitri said...

I think Hundley would have had to be his Met connection though right? Hundley was a met during the time Radomski was an employee.

If so, Paul really took it and ran with it. Hooked up all the guys who figured on being September callups while they were in the minors. real nice.

All this "captain red ass" stuff makes so much more sense now.

katherine said...

Yes, Hundley referred paul to radomski when paul played for the dodgers. but paul and several other minor league players for the albuquerque dukes had already been using steroids in 1999, before being called up, having mass injection parties (the mental image of this is too disgusting to even contemplate). These steroids were obtained "from a source in florida"
so paul was doing it pre-radomski

Demitri said...

I guess my eyes had glazed over at that point. Seeing "Todd Pratt" in there was pretty stunning.

This is all pretty damning evidence that ownership knew. There is written evidence that both the Dodgers GM and Theo Epstein knew about specific players. Now circumstantial evidence would lead you to believe Omar knew about Lo Duca.

katherine said...

and I thought Lastings was traded because he was on the list!

Anonymous said...

katherine -- lastings needed at bats.

one thing he assuredly did not need was testosterone injections!

Geoff said...

More of my thoughts(I'm really getting into this whole posting as not-anonymous thing:

I thought the same thing about Lastings at first too, but then remembered how young he was, and how minor league testing has actually been light years ahead of the majors.

Funny I feel like the report was like going through the Mets 1998-99 yearbook. The only people missing were Bernard Gilkey and Benny Agbyani. (years may be wrong but around the right time)

This adds another layer to the Clemens-Piazza thing - He threw that bat because he was all roided up!! I'm glad to see Piazza's name not come out, especially with other Mets and Dodgers being implicated. That would have crushed me.

Also good to see that the one current player that cooperated was Frank Thomas, my favorite player in the whole world when I was a kid. I think I had every single one of his rookie cards, and it's nice to see that I made the right choice.

One last question - does anyone think that Omar may have gotten a whiff of Paulie Lo's involvement, and that it played a part of him being shown the door? I remember Omar being the GM of the MLB Expos, I wonder if he got a tip, and was trying to save face.

inourfarmwetrust said...

Talking about history, I think the Mets have done well recently. Reyes, Wright, Heilman and young inports like Beltran, Maine, Perez and Gotay. I don't think most Mets fan are giving credit to management for producing the talent that we have in the minor leagues. Young players that were recently traded like Lindstrom, Owens, Bannister, Jacobs, Bell and many others that we as Mets fans were not willing to give chances in past seasons are making great contributions to their team. So don't be too quick to look for help somewhere else when we probably have some of the answers within our organization.

inourprospectswetrust said...

Talking about history, I think the Mets have done well recently. Reyes, Wright, Heilman and young inports like Beltran, Maine, Perez and Gotay. I don't think most Mets fan are giving credit to management for producing the talent that we have in the minor leagues. Young players that were recently traded like Lindstrom, Owens, Bannister, Jacobs, Bell and many others that we as Mets fans were not willing to give chances in past seasons are making great contributions to their team. So don't be too quick to look for help somewhere else when we probably have some of the answers within our organization.