Mets in Three-way for Overbay?

lyle-overbayThe latest column from Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets, Cubs, and Blue Jays are engaged in talks that would send Luis Castillo to Chicago, Milton Bradley to Toronto, and Lyle Overbay to New York.

Hat tip to loyal MetsToday reader “isuzudude” for the link.

Before you get too excited, though, Rosenthal also reports,

The three-team possibility, according to one source, has “some legs, but not much.” The Jays are opposed to the deal, one source says — perhaps because new GM Alex Anthopolous does not want a trade for Bradley to be his first major move.

If such a deal did happen, Overbay would presumably take over at 1B, Dan Murphy would go to the bench, and a hole would be created at second base. The next popular move would be to sign Orlando Hudson to fill in the vacancy at 2B. This would definitely create a different look on the right side of the Mets’ infield — but is “different” necessarily “better”?

Personally, I like Hudson’s energy, attitude, and leadership skills — in regard to intangibles, I see him as an upgrade over Castillo. But the statheads will point out that, like Castillo, his glove is no longer gold — though, it is still better than what we saw from Luis this past season. Let’s look at the 2009 offensive comparison:


As you can see, Castillo had the edge in OBP and steals, while Hudson had more power. You may also point out that Hudson had 22 more RBI, but — ironically — he drove in exactly 22 runs while hitting in the #3 spot in the lineup, while Castillo spent most of his season hitting #2, #8, #9, or leadoff. It could be argued that if Castillo had the opportunity to bat third in the lineup 40 times, he may also have had an extra 20 or so RBI — especially since he hit .325 with RISP (Hudson hit .264 with RISP).

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not necessarily making a case for Castillo. Given a choice, I’d prefer Hudson. But don’t get the idea that Hudson is a remarkable upgrade — especially if he will be spending most of his time in the second spot in the lineup, where OBP and taking pitches has more value than in other spots. In addition, chances are that Hudson will cost about as much as Castillo over the next two years. Most likely, his price will go up if the Mets have a big gaping hole at 2B.

As far as Overbay, he probably will be an upgrade over Murphy at 1B. But again, how much? There was a point in Overbay’s career when he appeared to be on the verge of All-Star status — ironically, that time coincided with the signing of a 4-year, $24M contract. He was locked up with that deal immediately after a season in which he hit .313 with 22 HR and 92-RBI. What was glazed over was the fact he was 29 years old during that career year — an age when many, many players reach their peak. His numbers have slid ever since, particularly in regard to power — his 16 HR last year were the most he’s hit since 2006.

Our favorite stathead Matt Himelfarb recently wrote an intriguing article suggesting an Overbay – Nick Evans platoon. Considering the sudden souring on Evans within the organization, that’s an unlikely scenario, but Matt does bring up good points about Overbay — namely, his ability to terrorize righthanded pitching. He also has been consistent in his ability to get on base, posting .372 and .358 OBPs the last two years. But, the Dan Murphy supporters believe that Murphy will revert to being a better on-base guy, and if that’s true, he and Overbay would be pretty much the same player (though Overbay would probably look a bit smoother on defense).

In the end, such a trade (and signing) would result in new faces, more money spent, but similar on-field results. However, many would argue, the Mets are in need of a change for the sake of change and nothing further.

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. Walnutz15 November 10, 2009 at 11:08 am
    I have to admit — I’m liking the idea that the Mets are (at least publicly) hinting that they’re trying to move Castillo.

    Believe me, there are bigger problems in Met-Land than shedding ourselves of Castillo…but I wouldn’t mind the rumored “long-shot” 3-way deal that was floated yesterday.

    Castillo to Cubs for Bradley

    Bradley on to Toronto for Overbay

    Supposedly, Toronto wants no part of Bradley – who could blame them – but if something like this materialized, I’d be happy.

    If the Mets can move Castillo’s remaining 2 years (2 seasons that will provide him with ample opportunity to break-down on the Mets; with very little in the way of back-up option), then by all means….go right ahead.

    As stated, there are other options on the market right now; in Polanco and Hudson…..and if the Mets ever decided to get creative, then who knows what they might decide upon. They could also move Murphy in a package; since Overbay would be manning 1st base for 2010 (and presuming Ike Davis continues to develop).

    My thing with Castillo is: I don’t seem him as reliable in terms of long-term health. It was my issue with him when he was acquired, and has continued on through each time I see him gimping along on the basepaths.

    If the Mets can move him, then why not? It’s not like his “Met-MVP caliber” 2009 season was anything to gush over. The Mets were no more than a bad Triple-A squad last season.

    If Lyle Overbay came our way, while moving Castillo in the process — I’d be elated as a Met fan.

    Ideally, I’d hope to swing a deal like the Overbay/Halladay one that was discussed on Metstoday a couple of weeks back.

    All pipe-dreamy for this franchise, really – but you figure that after a disastrous 1st season in their new digs – that maybe someone in the front office wakes up to smell the Shake-Shack.

  2. isuzudude November 10, 2009 at 11:53 am
    Thanks for bringing up the rumor for discussion, Joe.

    More than likely, this will just be a rumor and nothing from it will ever materialize. But at least the wheels are starting to get into motion.

    Even if it’s not Overbay, if the Mets can swing a Castillo-for-short term solution at 1B, I’d be very much for it. Because that opens the door for a trade of Dan Murphy, and I would be tempted to offer him up to Florida in a package for Dan Uggla, who could then take over as the new 2B. And those of us clamoring for more power in the lineup would be appeased, all without spending $100M+ on Bay or Holliday, or without trading the farm for Adrian Gonzalez.

    ‘nutz: speaking of Halladay, rumor has it the Phillies are going to make a significant push for the Jays’ ace this winter, and seemingly have the expendable pieces to make it happen. Let’s hope someone else steps up to the plate this offseason and outbids the Phils, because a rotation headed by Halladay-Lee-Hamels is not one I want to mess with 18 times per season.

  3. Frank Quinn November 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm
    Murph ‘to the bench’ pretty much sums up the stupidity on this wretched site. I for one would now like to see him released if everybody thinks he sucks. I am through defending him to you folks. Enjoy Lyle ‘over the hill’ Overbay and Orlando ‘I’m on the disabled list AGAIN’ Hudson. Francour will be plenty busy in rightfield chasing their errors. Fix the problems Mets not go get bandaids.
  4. Walnutz15 November 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm
    ^ Just another guy who overrates Daniel Murphy.

    That’s basically what your posts boils down to for me.

    Funny you talk about errors on the right side of the infield, since by the end of the 2009 season — Met official scorers had either gone blind, or were throwing pity-parties for Murph at first base.

    I remember 3 specific instances where I’d seen an obvious “E-3” — yet errors were not charged to Young Daniel.

    Let’s not go crazy with the hyperbole. That more or less defines the stupidity that we see at certain points on this “wretched” site.

    Don’t let the door hit ya.

  5. Mike November 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm
    You know speaking of Halladay to the Phils, anyone else get the sense that the Phillies have soured on Cole Hammels after this post-season? They have a capable and younger option in JA Happ that isn’t due money as soon as Hammels is, so if the Phillies trade Hammels and prospects to the Blue Jays there is really no reason Halladay-Lee-Happ isn’t as good or better than H-L-Hammels. Considering the contract Hammels will get soon and how much better Happ was this past season, and the money Halladay will demand, if I’m the Phillies I seriously consider this.
  6. isuzudude November 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm
    Apparently Frank thinks it’s the offseason prior to 2009 and not 2010 because he still views Murphy as the next Wade Boggs.
  7. Mic November 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    ‘I have to admit — I’m liking the idea that the Mets are (at least publicly) hinting that they’re trying to move Castillo…..’

    Exactly my sentiment. I really dont care for what. Its not a castillo issue, mine is that the 2009 Mets had decent hitting…statistically but drove in no runs…Castillo represents that output.

    also i agree some faces need to change. BUT more than anything the rotation needs an exorcism.

  8. gary s. November 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm
    sign hudson for 2 years at murphy for uggla at first..big upgrade for the team and we don’t have to waste 80 mill on holliday or bay to hit a lot of flyballs that get caught on the warning track at rotunda field..the 80 mill we save can be used to sign lackey and possibly a randy wolf type..
  9. Harry Chiti November 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    Its utterly amazing that so many of you clamor for Orlando Hudson to replace Castillo. The grass is not always greener on the other side and in his case the grass is brown. Orlando Hudson regularly injured second basemen, Orlando Hudson he of the great start in 09 then went downhill so fast that the Dodgers went out and got the awesome second basemen Raphael Belliard to replace him down the stretch. Yes, the Raphael Belliard who was so bad that he couldn’t even beat out Anderson hernandez last Spring for the second basemen job in DC. That same washed up player is better than Orlando Hudson is today, and so many of you desperately want that same finished ballplayer on the Mets.
    And now yopu all want the great Lyle Overbay to play first so you can complain about his inability to hit the ball further than Luis does? Yes, he can field better than Daniel can, but no he can’t hit better, and he can’t drive in arun and he can’t steal as much as the Luis you all so ably despise. By all mean make this bad team worse by bringing in more has beens and never were’s to replace what we have now.
  10. Mike November 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm
    I’m jumping over to the Harry and Frank here I think. I was all for Hudson last year, and considering his hot start I thought I was right about him being significantly better than Castillo, but really considering how he finished and how injured he has been and how much he has regressed defensively, he really is not that significant an upgrade over Castillo. I do not think that paying more for Hudson and Overbay over Castillo and Murphy is the answer to the right side of the infield. I’m fine with both of them at reasonable terms to try and shake things up, but in no way do I believe he they are significant upgrades worth paying more for or giving prospects up for, as Joe points out.
  11. joejanish November 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm
    I agree with Harry and Mike — different is not necessarily better, and the Overbay/Hudson combo likely won’t be THAT much an upgrade over Murphy/Castillo.

    At the same time, as I alluded to in the post, most fans are tired of Castillo and nearly all fans want to see a change for the sake of change. And I can’t argue with that, after seeing this team disappoint us three years running.

  12. Walnutz15 November 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm
    For the record, I prefer Placido Polanco over either of the other two guys.

    Never been too high on Orlando Hudson — who I’ve always felt was overrated by many fans….but just comparing the 2 players:

    Castillo and Polanco

    Polanco is a month older, and still has both of his legs.

    I’d prefer to move Castillo before he really becomes a broken-down old gray mare.

  13. Walnutz15 November 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm
    Polanco’s a month younger than Castillo, excuse me.

    And for the record, the Dodgers actually acquired Ronnie Belliard (who raked in his short stint), for those of us thinking they went out and got Rafael — who played for the Pirates and Braves in the 80’s/90’s.

    Who knows…maybe he’s in Omar’s next bag of tricks to back Castillo up next year.

  14. joejanish November 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm
    Rafael Belliard had a great glove. But no hit. Not unlike Wilson Delgado or AHern.

    I’ve always been a big fan of Placido Polanco, but isn’t he Luis Castillo with a little more power, a lot less OBP, and not much of an SB threat? Oh, and he provides more in terms of leadership.

    Hmm … in other words, he’s Orlando Hudson. Or vice-versa.

    I’d like to see Castillo and his contract jettisoned for someone of value, and replaced with O-Hud or Polanco on a reasonable 1-year deal.

  15. Timo November 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm
    Better late than never. i agree with Joe. Polanco would be a better fit to the Mets. i would love to see him in the number 2 hole. Also, i think Overbay is a better fit at 1st base (defensively). Getting rid of Luis makes sense since he had a good year. his stock only goes down from now. If we could swing a Halladay/Overbay trade that would be fantastic but we would probably have to give up Jose Reyes because other clubs love to over charge the Mets (only the Mets).