Friday, July 29, 2005

I'm Sori...So Sori

First inning. Bases loaded. Nobody out. A 150 lb. rookie with an 8.24 ERA coming into the game. Good teams lick their chops at the situation.

The Mets? Their collective mouths run dry.

Of course, they waste that opportunity against a pitcher they're not familiar with (an excuse that is getting older by the game), and the Astros come back and win 3-2 on a walk off double by Brad Ausmus. So let's review...they've scored a total of 8 runs in three games which were started by Jose Acevedo, Jeff Francis, and tonight, Ezequiel Astacio. This Mets lineup is practically holding Omar Minaya at gunpoint...forcing him to trade more of the future for Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano is a good hitter, no doubt about it. But is he the type of hitter that is less prone to slumps than any hitter that's in the Mets lineup right now? Well, Soriano has been consistent, never going more than two games without a hit, which he's done 4 times. Compare that to Cliff Floyd, who has gone four games without a hit once, and that slump was in a stretch where he went eleven out of fourteen games without a hit. Carlos Beltran went three games without a hit, and went two games without a hit four times. He has struck out 79 times in 397 AB's, an average of .19899 K's per at bat, slightly more than Floyd's .18786, and Beltran's .18256 K's per at bat (all slightly less than 1 K per 5 ab's). Comparable numbers, not drop dead head and shoulders above everyone, however.

The question now becomes, is he worth the risk for this season? Well, the deal seems to have a lot of questions about the prospects coming back. I think this is only worth Lastings Milledge if Adrian Gonzalez comes back as well. If the deal is expanded to say, Gonzalez and Soriano for Milledge, Heilman/Zambrano (preferably the older Zambrano), and perhaps Yousmeiro Petit, that might be something to consider. Perhaps the Mets are hoping to replace one of the minor leaguers with Mike Cameron, unless Cameron is wheeled to Baltimore for Jorge Julio and Larry Bigbie. Then you have Aubrey Huff's name creeping up as well. It really is enough to make your head spin.

And if the loss to Houston with Pettite and Oswalt on the docket is any indication, the Mets may not be doing themselves any favors by trading away their prospects to go for it this season. I just hope that if Soriano is on his way in, that the farm isn't on it's way out. Tim Hudson went to Atlanta for basically nothing, so there must be better deals out there for a guy like Soriano, who at 29 fits Minaya's creed for help now and in the future, so it seems increasingly likely that this trade is an inevitablity.

To me, Soriano would be an improvement, but not at the expense of the farm. It's just too bad that the current Mets lineup, which should be good enough, is forcing Omar Minaya's hand.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Soriano is a player that can help us now and in the future with his bat. However, what about the infield defense? Soriano makes a lot of errors (15 errors in 93 games) at second base. With Wright still learning at 3B and first base still an issue (problems catching the ball), the infield defense will give back even more runs.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about Omar: He has been the victim of making a foolish move at the deadline before. As he mentioned on the radio the other day, when he was the GM of Montreal that team was in the same position the Mets are in now, and he traded for Floyd and Colon, then the Expos promptly fell apart right after and he had to turn around and try and trade guys he just aquired. So he seems aware that there's a good chance the Mets won't make a run at the Wild Card this year, and won't bankrupt the future in some lame-ass hope of October baseball in '05.

Metstradamus said...

Defense is an issue...He couldn't be any worse than Matsui...could he?

Also, the Cubs seem to be in the mix now for Soriano. This can only drive the price up for the Mets. I wonder if the Rangers would try to hold them up for Felix Pie or whether they'll give the Cubs the "not the Mets" discount.

And just for reference, Minaya gave up Carl Pavano, Grady Sizemore, and Cliff Lee (among others) to get Floyd and Colon. When he traded the two, he got Sunny Kim, Seung Song, Rocky Biddle, Jeff Liefer, and Orlando Hernandez. Think of the Nationals now with Sizemore, Lee, and Pavano.