Friday, May 13, 2005

Maximizing Value

Interesting talk from FOX's Ken Rosenthal, about a potential Mike Cameron trade. Seems as if the Padres has emerged as the latest interested party in Cameron's services.

As with most trades, a trade of Cameron is tricky. He's on fire in his first few weeks back from injury, but he's also known as a streaky hitter, and he may be better served to be flipped for some much needed help in the bullpen. The Padres are looking for a thoroughbred to roam the vast acres of Petco Park. So, since I'm all about predicting the future, here are some possible scenarios involving Cameron and the Padres...

Mike Cameron for Scott Linebrink: Linebrink had a fantastic 2004, with a 7-3 record, a 2.14 ERA, 83 K's in 84 innings pitched. He's slipped a little in 2005, but would immediately become the 8th inning set-up guy. The one problem with this deal is that the Padres would have too many outfielders, and they would never take on the extra salary. So, if the Mets aren't willing to eat Cameron's salary, it's on to scenario number two:

Mike Cameron for Brian Giles and Dennys Reyes: This makes the salaries a bit more even, and Giles immediately becomes the Mets' right fielder, with Victor Diaz remaining the fourth outfielder. The Padres will have to trade an outfielder anyway, and Giles would be the obvious choice with Ryan Klesko playing well and Xavier Nady moving into the regular right fielder role. The only concern with Giles would be his ability to hit lefties. Reyes immediately replaces Koo as the go to lefty out of the bullpen. It works for the Padres salary wise and they don't lose a main cog out of the pen...although would the Pods be comfortable with Chris Hammond as their go to left-hander? Well Hammond has an ERA of 1.89 this season, a WHIP of 0.63, and opponents are batting .156 against him in 19 innings this year, so they might. But would the Padres be comfortable with Nady as their everyday right fielder? If that's the main concern, then we'll move to scenario number three:

Mike Cameron and Jae Seo for Xavier Nady, Linebrink and Reyes: Another scenario that requires the Mets to pick up salary. The Mets have rotation depth, especially with Kaz Ishii and even Steve Trachsel coming back at certain points. The Pods are thin right now in the rotation with Woody Williams and Tim Redding on the DL. It's unknown when Williams is coming back, and the Padres may not be completely trusting of Redding's abilities. Seo could probably pitch out of the rotation or out of the 'pen. Nady would be the fourth outfielder to preserve depth in that position, but a lot would of pressure falls on Diaz's shoulders.

Mike Cameron for...nobody: Nobody says that Mike Cameron has to go anywhere. Would his value be maximized if he were traded for middle reliever(s)? It's the same mistake that the last regime made with Scott Kazmir, and it's a road the Mets don't want to go down again. Omar Minaya could choose to go with what he has, and use the farm for bullpen help (Royce Ring). For the first time in years, the Mets lineup on the field is matching the expectations provided on paper. Why mess with it? Any of the three above scenarios or a combination of any or all of them would leave a hole somewhere, whether it be in the lineup, or your outfield defense. So if you're Omar, why not roll with what you have for now, and if you must trade Cameron, wait until the last minute of the deadline before you do so?

However one would think that where there's smoke there's fire, and a trade will eventually happen since there is a lot of interest to drive the price up. There may be a deal out there that surpasses all of the ones listed above. That's for Minaya and his staff to ponder. If a trade were to happen with the Padres, the one for Giles, with maybe Jae Seo thrown in, would make the most sense for both sides.


Richard B. Wade said...

Nady, Linebrink & Reyes for anyone is a pipe dream.

Metstradamus said...

I think you're right, two relievers from the Padres in one trade probably would be a pipe dream. I think it would be hard enough to get one since they don't want to give anyone up from the 'pen. The Mets are probably hoping that Cameron stays hot and they catch a team in a moment of weakness. The Mets have been caught in many moments of weakness so it's possible. Not probable though. I'd love to have Linebrink or Otsuka, but when push comes to shove, I don't think Cameron's going anywhere anyway.