Yankees Block Carter – So What?

Yesterday I thought we’d reached a low point when the DFA of a career minor leaguer caused excitement in the Mets blogosphere. Today, I’m seeing we fans sink even lower in this steep abyss of failure and mediocrity we’re calling the 2009 season — because now, we’re mad at the Yankees for preventing the Mets from auditioning another career minor leaguer.

Don’t get me wrong — I was excited as the next guy at the possibility of seeing some new (and healthy) blood come into Flushing, and wow us with his homerun hitting skills. But now, various sources are reporting that Chris Carter will be staying in Boston, because the Yankees claimed him on waivers as a handcuffing strategy (it forced the Red Sox to pull Carter back and keep him on their 40-man roster). Disappointing, yes, the news will hardly ruin my September.

First of all, the Yankees could care less about who the Mets want to audition in meaningless September games, and that consideration likely never entered their minds. The Yankees, after all, are focused on “meaningful games in September” (as Fred Wilpon so aptly describes them). And I can’t blame them — why should the Yankees do the Mets any favors, particularly in the heat of a pennant race? Did the Mets do the Yankees a favor by giving Billy Wagner to the Red Sox? And in return for peanuts, no less? Along with the potentiality of the Bosox getting two extra picks in next year’s June draft? Hmm … LHP who throws mid-90s and has closing experience … draft picks … in return for two non-prospects … yeah, we should be ticked at Brian Cashman for screwing up the Mets’ September, since Omar Minaya was so kind in helping out the Yankees!

Second, the blame is misplaced if it’s on the big bad Yankees. You want to blame someone for screwing up Chris Carter’s audition? How about blaming the Red Sox, who should have pushed Carter through waivers a month ago. It’s standard routine to send all your players through waivers after the trading deadline — no doubt the Bosox passed through people like Mike Lowell, Rocco Baldelli, Takashi Saito, etc. — so why not Carter?

Third, consider the silver lining. The fact that Carter won’t be in New York means there will be opportunities for others. For example, maybe without Carter around, the Mets will consider claiming Matt Murton to try out in left field. Perhaps not having Carter’s means Josh Thole will get some reps at first base. Or it could mean someone like Lucas Duda or Ike Davis gets a surprise promotion. At the very least, it should mean more at-bats for Angel Pagan and Cory Sullivan, and more first base experience for Dan Murphy. Seeing those three players for another 25-30 games will be helpful in determining where (or whether) they fit into the plans for 2010.

But hey, if you want to project your anger toward the Bronx, that’s your prerogative — and if it helps you cope with this sorry excuse for an organization, then go ahead and let it all out. Personally, I’d rather be “mad” at the Yankees for something more worthwhile.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Andrew Vazzano August 28, 2009 at 10:20 am
    I just think it’s a bushleague move by the Yankees.

    Though it would be nice to see Carter in September just for the sake of something (anything) to watch for, I have no intention of him ever helping the Mets in any way.

    Ya know?

  2. joejanish August 28, 2009 at 10:28 am
    Nah. It’s bush league for Mets fans to believe that the Yankees even CONSIDERED that the Mets might want to audition Carter. Really now.

    Hmm … Omar Minaya hands Billy Wagner and two potential draft picks to the Bosox for peanuts. Brian Cashman doesn’t let the Mets get a look at a AAAA OF/1B. Yeah, I see where Cashman was looking to the screw the Mets’ September.


  3. Dave Singer August 28, 2009 at 10:39 am
    Spot on Joe!
  4. isuzudude August 28, 2009 at 11:19 am
    Yes, Omar’s intention when dealing Wagner to the Red Sox was to sabotage the Yankees season. Now I’ve heard it all.

    Since when did Met fans start SYMPATHIZING with the Yankees? To me, that’s the new low worth mentioning.

    Andrew is right – this is a bushleague move. When have you ever heard of a team blocking a trade from going through to prevent one of their rivals from OPENING UP ONE SPOT ON THEIR 40-MAN ROSTER? Um, never. I’ve heard of blocking trades so a rival doesn’t get a big player (a la Jose Canseco in 2000), but never a 40-man roster spot. And why have we never heard of it happening before? Because it’s a bushleague move!

    The point isn’t that the Mets desperately need Chris Carter as of yesterday. Nor is it that the Yankees were well within their rights to block the trade. The point is that only a douchebag organization like the Yankees would make a move like this. And you just know they were more than happy to do it because of the two teams that were involved. I have to imagine that if this were a trade going down between the Rangers and Pirates they would care less about blocking the roster flexibilty, even though Texas may very well be one of their competitors in winning the AL wildcard spot down the line. But with it being the Red Sox and Mets, you just know the Yankees were salivating at the chance to mess up the plans. That’s the way I see it and there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

  5. joejanish August 28, 2009 at 11:38 am
    ‘dude, really? You really didn’t get the sarcasm re: Minaya “sabotaging” the Yankees?

    My point is that it very self-centered of Mets fans to believe that other teams make moves to screw them — because, obviously, the Mets are not making moves to screw other teams.

    You can see this block any way you want, I’m not going to try to change your mind. But to think that the Yankees honestly give a crap about whether the Mets are able to audition a AAAA player is delusional. Their enemy is the Red Sox, and the fact the Mets are in the middle of this move is circumstantial — it easily could’ve been another team. Do a little homework on the inflexibility of the Red Sox 40-man roster — they’re the ones to blame in this situation.

    Believe it or not, the universe doesn’t revolve around Flushing.

  6. Mike August 28, 2009 at 11:40 am
    Joe just to go off topic here for a moment.

    Can you honestly tell me you expect a team to sign Billy Wagner for more than the money he’d get to accept arbitration with the Red Sox (his incentive to leave)? Or that another team will be willing to part with a draft pick and all that cash for an aged broken closer in a flooded market? I honestly don’t. I’m sorry but he will accept the arbitration from whoever offers it to him. Moreover the Mets clearly did not want that scenario. Therefore trading him for ANYTHING was the correct move. I disagree with your assumptions that Carter + random non-prospect is worse than nothing at all.

    As for the Yankees. Since I move to Houston I could care less about the Yankees. In fact I tend to root for them now since I never meet fans in my day-to-day life and would prefer my beloved city to win, regardless of who it is. I don’t care if that makes me an albatross with other Mets fans, but honestly leaving has put things into perspective. I tend to agree with Joe on this one that the Yankees could not care less about the Mets and that they most assuredly did not do this to spite them.

  7. joejanish August 28, 2009 at 11:51 am
    Mike – in the post I said “potentiality” of draft picks.

    As for what Wagner gets this winter, it’s hard to say. I doubt he’ll get as much from a team on the open market as he will through arbitration — which seems he’ll decline nonetheless.

    At this point in his career, it appears Wags is more intent on chasing John Franco than chasing $$$. That said he could be willing to take a fairly cheap deal for a shot at getting saves.

    And I do believe it’s possible there’s a team out there who will take a chance on Wagner to be a closer, despite the Type A status. First of all, if it’s a bottom-15 team, they don’t surrender their #1 pick — instead they’d surrender their #2. Surely a few teams would consider that.

    Secondly, a team that has a pick toward the end of the first round, and a stable farm system, might be inclined to give up their #1 if they believe Wagner is the missing piece in the short term.

    Finally, some teams will be OK with losing a #1 pick because they’ll pick up a #1 pick by losing one of their own Type A players. The Yankees and Red Sox have done this consistently over the years. (Example: the Angels could lose Vlad Guerrero, Bobby Abreu, Chone Figgins, and John Lackey — all Type A’s. Do you think they’ll be in the market for a closer this winter?).

    So yes, I do believe there’s a decent chance the Red Sox get some picks out of this. No guarantee, but certainly not impossible.

  8. mic August 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    Bravo Joe Janish!!!

    1. Its not the fans. ITS THE MEDIA.
    This is a new low for the media in their daily thrashing of all thing Mets related.

    2. Chris Carter: This is rumor anyway and perhaps the Mets DONT get him now, since their reasons for getting him is that he was a warm healthy near ML level player. Heck now just get Murton.

    3. Pulling him back was not what i think theo should have done. Instead give him to the yanks and congest their roster.

  9. Big Bad Tandy August 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm
    Shut up and take the cash that’s coming to you, Metsies. A few hundred large can buy you some talent of the org’s own choosing. Yanks are doing you favors. Thank them later.
  10. Barry Duchan August 29, 2009 at 10:55 am
    I’ve seen Chris Carter play a few times against the Durham Bulls and I’ve always been impressed with his hitting. As a lefty part-timer, pinch-hitter, he should do OK. Still, I would have liked to see how he would have done in September because otherwise we might hear how the Mets are expecting him to win a spot on the team and we will have still another “maybe he can do the job” type to pencil in at left field or first base along with Murphy/Pagan/Sullivan instead of going out and getting the slugger the team desperately needs.
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