Was Sean Green Worth All That?
A sickening feeling came over me after again looking at this December, 2008 trade:
Mets trade Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, and Maikel Cleto in return for J.J. Putz, Jeremy Reed, and Sean Green.
Here’s part one of the analysis:
– Heilman and Smith were somewhere between so-so and mediocre this year, so no big loss on the surface. Though, I bet Heilman would be an interesting option to consider right now in the starting rotation — I’d certainly prefer to see him rather than Tim Redding every five days — and Smith is still only 25.
– Carrera, Carp, and Cleto spent the season in the minors. Cleto took a step back, spending most of the season on the DL. The 21-year-old Carrera is having a nice year in high-A ball, hitting .340 with 25 SBs. Carp wasn’t outstanding, but solid in his first year in AAA — he’s hitting .274 with 15 HR and an .824 OPS. One would assume that Carp would be getting a look at 1B right now if he were still a Met, but there’s no reason to believe he’d be any better than Dan Murphy or Nick Evans.
– Endy Chavez started the year strong, then injured his knee and is out for the year. It’s doubtful he would’ve had any more impact on the team than Jeremy Reed, Angel Pagan, or Cory Sullivan.
– Jason Vargas, healthy for the first time in two years, had a short stint of success in Seattle as a starting pitcher. He’s since been sent down, but considering his age (27), his lefthandedness, and the fact he enjoyed some success in the American League, you could safely say the Mets wouldn’t be unhappy if he was still with the organization.
You can look at that list of seven players and decide for yourself whether any would have made a difference this year, and/or could have an impact in the future. That’s not what bugs me. Rather, the issue to me is that, in the end, it could turn out that those seven players were what the Mets gave up for Sean Green.
After this season, the Mets will have to decide whether to pick up J.J. Putz’s $8.6M option for 2010 or cut him a check for $1M to walk away. Considering that they couldn’t get rid of Billy Wagner fast enough, I’m guessing Putz is a goner. After all, Wags proved to be healthy, and would’ve been $600K cheaper to keep, whereas Putz remains disabled.
In addition, the Mets will have to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to Jeremy Reed. Reed’s current salarly is $925,000, and almost no one ever comes out of arbitration with a lower salary. That said, the Mets will likely cut Reed loose and hang on to Angel Pagan and/or Cory Sullivan, both of whom are paid in the $600K area.
So, two of the players acquired in that December deal are as good as gone, leaving Sean Green.
But this isn’t the only deal that has quickly become a washout. Consider the trade of Lastings Milledge for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church. Schneider is a free agent this winter and Church, of course, was traded for Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur is another arbitration-eligible player who may be non-tendered by the Mets.
Looking over the past few years, too many trades have gone this way — where the Mets eventually wind up with nothing. Sure, the Johan Santana deal looks like it’s going to work out, and they did pick up Angel Pagan for next to nothing, but overall, Mets trades are like dead-end streets.
In my next post, we’ll review the vast number of dead-end deals made by the Mets over the past four years.