Mets Get PTBNL from Red Sox

eddie-loraAnyone else out there not paying attention to Mets news over this past weekend?

In case you missed it:

On Saturday, the Red Sox sent to the Mets one of the two players to be named later in the Billy Wagner deal: minor league first baseman Eddie Lora. I wonder if this announcement was made on the Saturday before Labor Day specifically to get it buried in the media, and to avoid backlash in the blogosphere — since most fans were too busy at barbecues to care what was going on in Metsland.

But then, I’m a conspiracy theorist.

In any case, there you have it: the Mets get Lora now and most likely Chris Carter after the season.

Lora is a 20-year-old born in New York City but officially Dominican who stands 6’2″, weighs 230 lbs., hits from both sides of the plate, throws left, and plays first base. He’s hitting .222 through 34 games in rookie ball for the GCL Red Sox. He batted .300 last year with 5 HR in 120 at-bats for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox in 2008. The scouting report says he has a “great frame” with “high power potential” but that “he strikes out far too much”.

Before you get all crazy over his .222 batting average, remember it’s a very small sample and he’s only 20 years old. The key thing here is to compare Lora to what the Mets might have obtained had they offered Wagner arbitration, he signed elsewhere, and thereby netted the Mets two picks in next year’s June draft.

It’s possible they would have drafted a raw kid with power potential out of high school or junior college in the first two rounds. Who is a comp, I have no idea because I’m not up on the amateur prospects. What is almost a certainty is that they would not have drafted both a raw 20-year-old AND a replacement-level player who could step in and compete for first base and/or left field in 2010 — and that is essentially what they will get out of Chris Carter (assuming he is the other PTBNL). So in the end is it a good deal for the Mets? Hard to say.

On the one hand, two draft picks might have more bottled potential for the future. On the other hand, the Mets will have an MLB-ready player competing in spring training, and have a strapping slugger, in their organization right now. Considering the dearth of power hitters in the Mets’ farm system, Lora is a welcome addition.

We won’t know how “good” this deal turns out for the Mets for at least a year, likely more. In the meantime we can only put our trust in the scouts who saw and recommended these two first basemen.

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. Barry Duchan September 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm
    Lora seems to be one of those guys that “looks like a ballplayer” but hasn’t had much success. Presumably, the Mets scouted Lora in the Dominican and liked him there because there isn’t much to like based on his performance in the low rookie level GCL. I would assume unless he looks awful in spring training, he’d play in Savannah or Brooklyn next year and see how it goes. Carter is a legitimate fringe major-leaguer who swings a good bat, moderate power, no speed, poor defensively. It would have been nice to see Carter up for the final month, but the Yankees spoiled that with their waiver claim. You would think that the Mets could have done better with 2 compensation picks, but for every David Wright, there are a bunch of guys who never make it past A ball, so I’d say it’s a wash.
  2. Walnutz15 September 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm
    So basically, we’ve seen that this trade was (now very officially) a salary-dump.

    Chris Carter
    Eddie Lora; and
    The remainder of Wagner’s contract.

    I don’t expect to see either of these 2 players with the Major League club for more than a combined total of 3 months, when all’s said and done…..especially if Ike Davis develops at all in the next couple of years.

    – Carter’s a terrible fielder, without a true defense position — read “Danny Murphy with more pop”.

    – Lora “looks” like a Major League ball-player; but we’ve been fooled on this angle many times before… did guys like Ryan Thompson and Ben Johnson in past trades.

    A great big “meh” to this deal….and I don’t expect that to change very much as time goes by.