Thursday, November 02, 2006

Let The Healing Begin: Part Two

And yes, we need another round of healing after today's transpirations.

When we last left our season preview, we were buried in names on the free agent market (Zito, Soriano, Spiezio, something else-o), but you know that the Mets are going to be prudent in their approach to this season and not necessarily dive into the free agent market. Hence, there will more than likely be a trade. And I know what it should be.

Except that after Guillermo Mota's 50 game suspension for an unidentified substance, my master plan might be buried deep into the Shea Stadium bullpen grounds before it ever gets off the ground.

"To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me. To baseball fans everywhere, I understand that you are disappointed in me, and I don't blame you. I feel terrible and I promise this is the first and last time that this will happen. I am determined to prove to you that this was one mistake." -Guillermo Mota, on giving up the game tying triple to Scott, on his drug suspension
After much consideration, I have decided that the show must go on. Even with this latest development, the trade I have cooked up, while most likely affected greatly, still must happen...especially if all free agent opportunities go bust (mainly because I worked so hard thinking this up that I nearly pulled a brain time to turn back now).

So as promised, the trade so blockbuster, so out of this world, that it gets it's own post.

It's that big.

It's that blockbuster.

It's that stupid.


Padres get: SP Oliver Perez
White Sox get: RP Scott Linebrink, RP/SP Aaron Heilman, and CF Andruw Jones
Braves get: SP Freddy Garcia, and OF Lastings Milledge
Mets get: SP Mark Buehrle, and SP Tadahito Iguchi

Got all that?

Trust me, it's not as confusing as I'm making it out to be. Let's start from the beginning and go step by step:

Let's remember something about Ollie much as Omar Minaya is pumping him up as having a bright future with the Mets, and he still might, don't forget that Minaya might also be pumping him up for a possible trade. We know that Ollie Perez for Scott Linebrink almost happened in July, and that Ollie has made no secret of his recessed desire to play in San Diego. Besides, the Mets are plentiful in fourth and fifth starters, between John Maine, Dave Williams, and Brian Bannister. So let's make this one for one deal right away.

Now, the Mets add Linebrink to a bullpen that includes Billy Wagner, Filthy Sanchez, Guillermo Mota (assuming he re-signs), Chad Bradford (assuming he re-signs as well), and Pedro Feliciano (and let's throw in Juan "The Fly" Padilla, who's coming off of injury just for fun). Mighty crowded 'pen, no? So now, the Mets are dealing from as much strength with their bullpen as the White Sox will be from their starting rotation.

And what else do we know about the White Sox other than they're looking to make room for Brandon McCarthy (and eventually, a kid named Lance Broadway)? Well, we know that they have to rebuild their bullpen, which was much better during their World Championship season of 2005 than it was in 2006. For all of the bluster going around about starting pitching, the Mets got to Game 7 of the NLCS with almost no starting pitching, while the White Sox, who went five deep, didn't even make it to October. I would be willing to lay money down that Ken Williams looked at Omar Minaya's plan of building a better bullpen and would like to emulate that plan by dealing from their strength.

On the Mets side, I agree with Joel Sherman. Mota suspension or no Mota suspension, it's time to trade Aaron Heilman.

Aaron Heilman will never hold as much value to the Mets as he does right now. With Filthy poised to take the eighth inning back, and the Mets refusing to put Heilman in the starting rotation, Heilman's value would only go down if he remained in New York since he would be pitching in less important spots. And not only would his value go down, his morale would go down since he wants to start. Aaron Heilman wants his innings to mean more, not less. If he stays, his innings will mean less. So why do that to Heilman when it's clearly in the best interests of the Mets to maximize his value?

Heilman, along with Linebrink, immediately improve the White Sox bullpen ten-fold...if that's how the Sox want to use Heilman. They could also choose to use him to plug Buehrle's vacant spot in the rotation if they wish.

Now I challenge you, the astute baseball fan that you are, to argue to me that it isn't necessary to include Milledge in a deal for Buehrle, who has a team option for 2007 at $9.5 million that the Pale Hose will surely pick up. If you told me that since Buehrle is coming off a down year, and he's admitted to having lower back issues which have only hampered him on off days, that Linebrink and Heilman would be quite enough to get this deal done, I would absolutely believe you. I would believe you because you probably know more than me. Your line of thinking would leave Milledge free to trade (along with Phil Humber) for Carl Crawford. I would be completely on board with that...partly because I've been going back and forth on that subject in my fragile mind.

I just don't think this line of thinking would fly with White Sox GM Kenny Williams.

So this is why I make sure the deal gets done by including Milledge, and getting an answer for second base in return also, provided the White Sox pick up their team option on him as well (for a shade over $3 million).

Those who would argue the other extreme might ask this: Buehrle's a stud. Does Lastings Milledge hold enough value to bring this ace back? The answer is yes for one simple reason: The Mets run the risk of having Buehrle, or Iguchi, or both becoming the next Mike Hampton. With both players on their option season, they could decide that the "school systems" are better in Denver or St. Louis or the Bronx after 2007. So there's decided risk on the Mets part here (unless they work out a long-term deal with Buehrle at the very least, which would be mandatory).

So there you have it. Outside of perhaps some extra minor leaguers to flesh this bad boy out, that's my idea in a nutshell (key word: "nut"). The Mets get their top of the rotation starter who pitches so fast that you can go to a Mets game and be home in time to watch his highlights on Baseball Tonight. The Mets also solve their second base problem as well. (And as for left field, don't forget about Scott Podsednik, who might be non-tendered by the Sox.)

The White Sox have room for McCarthy and Broadway in their rotation, improve their bullpen, and for entertainment purposes only, turn around and trade Freddy Garcia and Lastings Milledge for Andruw Jones and get the Curacao Curator the heck out of the National League East (it's the only incentive for the White Sox to enter into a deal that involves Milledge rather than a starting pitching prospect). The Sox would then probably attempt to fill their hole at second base by pursuing Chone Figgins, possibly by dangling Brian Anderson...who if this deal goes through would be rendered defunct as a White Sock.

The Padres get a starter with upside who wants to be there.

The Braves get a pitcher, and cut payroll at the same time. They also get a young replacement for Andruw Jones. And while it might be difficult to see Lastings Milledge as a Brave, consider that Jones wouldn't be around to murder the Mets anymore, and that the Mets would still have some outfield futures in their lineup such as Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez.

Everybody wins.

Now you may be wondering what happens if Buehrle comes on board, and the Mets also sign Zito. Wouldn't the Mets rotation be a little crowded if Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez return as expected?

Good question. And the answer is "not necessarily". Remember that Petey is gone until June. Also remember that a post-rotator cuff Petey will probably not be at full strength until the start of 2008, when he'll be 36. Although it's certainly possible that Petey has one more great run in him at the age of 36, it would behoove the hierarchy to make any and all moves under the assumption that Pedro Martinez will be a non-entity moving forward.

(Don't be mad at me Petey, I got the term from Macha.)

If Zito and Buehrle are your 1-2 punch, Glavine is three, John Maine is four and Orlando Hernandez is five. Simple, right? And you know as well as I do that there will be opportunities for Mike Pelfrey or Dave Williams or Brian Bannister to get work due to the fact that two of the Mets starters would be pulling forty years old (once you get to the other side, you're no longer pushing're pulling it) and will probably have calf issues.

Even if Petey comes back and is Petey, guess who Orlando Hernandez becomes...very good. He becomes the new Darren Oliver, as Oliver will no doubt look for riches (well deserved riches, I might add) elsewhere.

But most likely, the Mets will get one ace and not two, which would mean that your pitching staff for '07 would look something like this:
  • Zito/Buehrle
  • Glavine
  • Hernandez (Orlando, not Roberto)
  • John Maine
  • Pelfrey/Bannister/Williams/Petey in July
Buehrle's $9 million option plus Iguchi's $3 million and change option adds about $12 million in payroll...but considering that Cliff Floyd's $6.5 million, Kaz Matsui's $8 million, and Steve Trachsel's $2.5 million are gone, the Mets come out of this exchange ahead by a small bit, which allows them to consider adding one big free agent with the money they've made from playoff gates, their new network, and playoff merchandise (much of that provided by yours truly, which I feel gives me a say in where my share goes, thank you very much.) Perhaps Zito, giving them some of the best lefties in the league? Perhaps Soriano, ensuring that the Mets lineup remains as special as it was last season if not more so?

After Mota's suspension (killing any chance that the Mets bring him back), maybe it's imperative to table this trade and put all of their efforts into signing Barry Zito. But remember, there are free agents out there for the bullpen too. None of them are under 30 but hey, there are plenty of good ones out there (think Jamie Walker, Cliff Politte, or Joe Borowski for starters), as opposed to the lack of starters available. And hey, if Milledge is gone, they could bring in Steve Kline for the express purpose of beaning him 19 games a year!

So that, my friends, is my attempt to become part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


Anonymous said...

One problem with your trade idea: Buehrle's just not that good. To be honest, I think Oliver Perez has more upside, is younger, is cheaper, and doesn't have back problems. I'd rather keep Perez and try to ship LM and Heilman (and whoever else it would take) for Crawford/Willis/whomever else Omar deems fit....

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so blunt, Metstra, but this is a horrible trade idea, in that Mets give up good players and get back worse players.

The Mets top outfield prospect not only goes, but goes to the BRAVES?! Have you lost your mind, man?

And with one reliever going on the suspension list and the other coming back from a shoulder injury, you decide the best move is to trade the best remaining reliever???

And finally, in return for this largesse, the Mets get the very definition of an average outfielder, plus a pitcher who looks to be coming off an undisclosed-injury season?

Look closely at Buehrle. By age 26, he'd thrown an astonishing amount of innings, including a ton more in the '05 post-season. Then last year his Ks were down badly, his hits-allowed up commensurately, his HRs through the roof, and even his IPs the lowest in years.

Add to that the fact that for the first 3 years of his career his K rate was barely adequate, and you've got a very dangerous situtaion on your hands. He may recover. But he may not. Not great odds when you're moving a coveted prospect.

I've gotta say "No Way" to this proposal. Back to the drawing board, Metstra. Even the great ones have their off days.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mestra, but that idea blows.

What is it about Milledge, that he MUST be traded?

The Braves werent good all those years cause they made dumb trades like this.

You think maybe we can KEEP our good prospects for once?

Milledge and Ollie have tremendous upsiide, way more than older, mediocre players like Buehrle and Tad Iguchi.

Ed in Westchester said...

um, I'm not quite sure what to say. You could knock me over with a feather I am so stunned.
My response - No thanks.

A trade with the Yanks, I could accept. One with the Filets, ditto. But involving the Braves (however peripherally)? NOT GOOD. If Milledge is traded, it has to be in a package (I know his value is lower now) for a #2 starter at the least.

Oh, and you have Iguchi listed as a SP, not a 2nd baseman. I thought I needed new contacts for a second there.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. This trade hurts. I agree with the sentiments above. Burhle just doesn't do it for me.

beezermess said...

You made me wait until today for this? You made me wait for you to say "Mark Buehrle"?
You are on crack...
So you give the White Sox the championship next year too by them adding Andrew Jones?
You give the Braves a potential "5-tool" player?
You trade away a 25 year old pitcher with major potential and can be an ace?
You make a trade for a pitcher that wasn't even the ace of his own staff last season. You trade for a pitcher who has back issues. You trade for a pitcher that can become a free agent after 2007.
Congrats, have just crowned the White Sox as champs...Let's try this again...this time think a little harder...I know you had too many issues going on with Jagr's OT goal and Mota's stupidity. But c'mon, man...

The Metmaster said...


I'm Sorry my friend. You know we love you. Has the season taken such a frightful toll on you? With all the hype and fanfare I got up early this AM to read Part II, and when I read it all that came to mind was that you had turned into Carlos Beltran's last at-bat of 2006. Your knees buckled and the bat never moved from your shoulder.

Metstradamus said...

Wow. Perhaps I picked the wrong time to go off my meds?

Well, I did say it was stupid. Hey, this is why Omar does this and I don't...I guess. How else can I respond to a response so swift and unanimous? Except to say, back to the drawing board?

Screw that, I'm burning the drawing board.

I will say this: Realizing that Mota is no longer an option, I still believe it's time to trade Aaron Heilman if he's only going to be the seventh inning guy. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

And I still believe it's a possibility that Perez is traded if the Mets get a good enough deal.

Maybe this isn't quite the deal that brings it home, but don't expect Milledge and Heilman alone to get a Dontrelle Willis or a Roy Oswalt...not anymore. And like I said, if there's a way to get Buehrle WITHOUT giving up Milledge I can be convinced of that. But I just don't see Milledge having the same trade value as he had before he came up.

Metstradamus said...

You may now commence with throwing your rocks, your garbage, and your rotten fruit. I suppose I deserve it.

Anonymous said...

You're a good sport, man!

Seriously though, the wisdom we've come to expect is all there in your comment:

I still believe it's a possibility that Perez is traded if the Mets get a good enough deal.

if there's a way to get Buehrle WITHOUT giving up Milledge I can be convinced of that.

If we could somehow get Buehrle and Taguchi (to play 2B, not OF. Sorry on my first comment) for Heilman, Perez and maybe Pelfrey, it's not ideal, but maybe worth a roll of the dice.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Don't think I'm with ya on this one. Why would the Braves do that? Seems like they'd be giving up a lot and getting not much in return. Plus, Buehrle isn't what I'd call top flight. Giving up Heilman, Milledge AND Ollie for those two seems a tad pricey. If I'm giving up those three, I want someone like C. Zambrano, or Justin Verlander or Dontrelle.

Maybe I'd consider Ollie and Feliciano straight up for Buehrle, and use Ring as our left-handed specialist. I'm hesitant to trade Heilman now.

Anonymous said...

I hereby inform you of the restraining order that I'm putting on you. You are forbidden to come within 100 yards of myself, my office, my home, or my stadium...not with a trade proposal like that.

Oh yeah, and you suck!

Anonymous said...

You have been banned from blogging for 50 games for violating my drug policy. Nobody comes up with that while sober.

Anonymous said...

mayne? as in kenny mayne?

we're not geting soriano, and if we do, his 2B days are over.

i like zito, glavine, maine, duque, bannister/pefrey for a rotation until pedro gets back, tho im not sure he ever will.

whats sucks for the mets line up is green is a DH now since he is useless in the field. But I'm sure Minaya will expertly plug all the holes in the lineup like he has done before.

As for your trade idea, Metsra, not the worst thing if it were to happen but the actual mechanics of the deal are so far off in fantasy land i hardly see the point of debate. nice effort tho.

Anonymous said...

$(*^$^# you, Metstradamus!

No WAY!!!!!!!