Millwood Traded and Other News

More news in what’s becoming a somewhat busy day in Indianapolis …

The Rangers have swapped veteran righthander Kevin Millwood to the Orioles for Chris Ray. The 34-year-old Millwood won 13 games, threw 198 innings, and posted a 3.67 ERA with Texas as his home park in 2009. Ray was Baltimore’s closer in ’06 and ’07 before blowing out his elbow; he missed all of 2008 and was awful in 43 games in 2009. I guess the Rangers made this deal to shed payroll, since Millwood is due $12M (one sources reports that Texas will eat $3M of it as part of the deal). I wonder if they would have been interested in Bobby Parnell? Millwood would instantly step in as the second-best starter on the Mets, and a one-year commitment is easy to stomach.

In other news, the Astros are close to a deal to acquire Matt Lindstrom from the Marlins, the Braves may unload Rafael Soriano on the Rays, Rich Harden is about to sign with a mystery team, and J.J. Putz may be close to joining the White Sox.

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. isuzudude December 9, 2009 at 8:06 pm
    Harden’s going to the Rangers for a reported $7.5M. Not too shabby for Texas, replacing Millwood for a less expensive Harden with a higher upside.

    I don’t think trading Parnell for Millwood would have been wise. You’d get one year of a 35 year old Millwood on what’s shaping up to be a bad team and giving away a 100mph reliever with a lot of upside. If Parnell is to be traded, it’s in a package for a major contributor who can help now and in the future. Millwood does not fit that billing.

  2. joejanish December 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm
    The Mets don’t do anything wise. Clearly they think they can compete in 2010, as evidenced by the nonsensical offer to Bengie Molina. To contend next year, they need AT LEAST 3 quality starting pitchers — which they can’t find nor afford on the FA market — and you have to give up something to get something.

    Parnell may turn into something, maybe even a setup man, but the Mets need people who can actually hold a lead beyond the 5th inning.

    Which was their backward stupidity in signing K-Rod last winter — no point in having a high-priced closer when there are few games to close!

  3. Mic December 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm
    I flat out disagree Joe, They CAN be competitive. BUT you WILL be right if the front office does not change their thought process.

    A. As dude says KEEP BP. He is a key part of that pen.
    B. AND you are right we need 3/5 of the rotation to turnover. I’d keep the 1st and 5th starters…the 5th starter being Niese/Nieve and any of the 19 spring training invites to follow. As such that means (as the mill seems to indicate…) sign lackey and trade for an OF, or sign the OF and trade for a starter.

    c. The Mets tho need to part with Delgado. Its just too big a risk, a risk they took (knowingly) and paid dearly for.

  4. joejanish December 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm
    Mic – we’ll agree to disagree. As currently constituted, the Mets have little chance to compete for the NL East crown without bad things happening to the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves. Their pitching staff is deplorable, they’re counting on several players to come back 100% from major injuries, their offense resembles a bad hitting club from the 1970s, and their leadership — the manager and coaching staff — is completely ineffectual.

    The fifth starter and Bobby Parnell’s role are the last things they need to be concerned about. With their offense, they need BOTH Lackey AND Halladay to be a postseason club in 2010. If you don’t believe that then you’re not paying attention to what’s going on with teams outside Flushing.

  5. Mike December 10, 2009 at 10:34 am
    That’s why I think they need to bite the bullet like the Yankees did 2 seasons ago and not do anything stupid. Next year’s class is much better looking and by then the pieces they have will be more developed and either ready to contribute or attractive trade bait.
  6. gary s. December 10, 2009 at 11:19 am
    dream on met fans.when the head of the fish is rotten, u have to throw out the entire fish.we need new ownership to bring in a new gm and manager and coaches.i agree with joe’s statment.this organization does one dumb thing after another.to me it all starts with an ownership that spends 850 million on a park that neuters their best hitters (TOO BIG!!) and pays homage to a team that left nyc 50 years ago.every move since has been reactive, rathet than proactive.u cannot win championships this way.THE YANKEES ARE WORLD CHAMPS AND GET ANN ALLSTAR IN C. GRANDERSON WHILE WE ARE SIGNING HENRY BLANCO AND CHRIS COSTE.sorry met fans, but the white flag of surrender and incompetence should be raised in that stupid rotunda that the wilnots have built..
  7. Mike December 10, 2009 at 11:29 am
    gary s. you are not even a Mets fan. Well you certainly are not a fan of grammar and punctuation. TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS ONLY ANNOYING AND NOT EFFECTIVE.

    We all know Omar and co are incompetent. We are debating the best strategy for the Mets this off season which is our right as fans, we don’t need to be constantly reminded they are too futile to actually do anything right.

  8. Harry Chiti December 10, 2009 at 11:43 am
    I don’t see the benefit in getting Millwood for Parnell either. The O’s wanted a vet to eat innings while their kids develop and they gave up a bad releiver who never recovered from arm surgery.. The Mets would just have to go fishing again next Winter. If they could have traded a Stokes for Millwood, ok, but Parnell could still amount to something. It may take until the next pitching coach comes on board someday, but he still can get better.
  9. gary s. December 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm
    mike, stick to posting, not deciding who’s a met fan.that said, since u only want to talk about strategy, what about a strategy of us trading for grnaderson and filling the hole in left field.he was just what the front office should have zeroed in on.he’s young, under a reasonable contract, and is a 30-30 player.he would have been perfect for lf and the fans would have loved the deal.than we add lackey and marquis via f.a. and all of a sudden the 2010 season looks promising.instead we have zilch.when we improve the team i’ll be excited.i’m not holding my breath.
  10. Mike December 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm
    gary, so your point is go for a player that is neither young nor a 30-30 player? Any scout will tell you Granderson hits so poorly against lefties that his status as an everyday player should be brought into question. Lifetime less than .220 hitter against southpaws will only make him worse as an everyday player as he ages. His value is best when he is playing CF and with his age his defense will decline by the end of his contract. In Detroit he never had anyone on base in front of him meaning that he tried to hit for power more than for average. That means on a better team he likely would hit for less power and more average. Does that sound like a true LFer to you? Maybe as his defense declines he can play the position but his offense losses much of its worth in LF. As you may know we kinda already have a top 5 CFer in Beltran, and whether you support moving him or not he is not going anywhere this off season. Even if he was moved the gain would be minimal if anything it would be a drop off.

    So yes I disagree that your fantasy scenario is a bad idea, thank god you are not the GM of the Mets, or we would have a team of Jason Marquis and Cfers in LF.

    I maintain the strategy is sit on your hands Omar, if the minors develop and the team competes you will have all of your job, a stocked farm, and a much better FA class ahead of you in 2011.

  11. joejanish December 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm
    Harry – OK then make it Stokes, though good luck with that. Ray has at least had previous success as a closer and still has youth / upside.

    The Mets offer of a deal to Bengie Molina means they want to win NOW, not in two years when Parnell may or may not be a decent setup man. A middle-rotation starter with a proven track record and in a motivational walk year is much more valuable, on paper, than a questionable flamethrower who belongs in AAA. Even if Parnell was already a decent setup man, a #3-type starter has more value. You need to have leads going into the late innings before worrying about who is finishing the games.

    And yeah, the Mets would “have to go fishing again next year” when Millwood becomes a FA. But I’d prefer that as opposed to getting locked into a 3-year / $30M deal with a schlub like Jason Marquis.

  12. isuzudude December 10, 2009 at 10:31 pm
    I don’t know, Joe, I’m with Harry on this one. Five years ago, would it have been a good idea to trade Aaron Heilman for a Kevin Millwood type pitcher with only a year left on his contract? How about 10 years ago, would it have been wise to trade Octavio Dotel for Millwood? Or 15 years ago, would it have been wise to trade Jason Isringhausen for Millwood? I would think you’d say no to all of the above, yet all 3 pitchers compare very similarly to Parnell.

    All it took for the Birds to land Millwood was a guy coming off major arm surgery and was last a successful closer 4 seasons ago. Parnell is coming off a breakout season in which he showcased a 100 MPH heater and the ability to pitch well in relief or as a starter, though admittedly in inconsistent fashion. Still, his value right now is much higher than Ray’s, and it doesn’t seem right that the Mets would have to give up such a high ranking prospect of their system when the Orioles only had to surrender a reliever who’s been hurt for the bulk of the past 2 years.

    And at the heart of the matter is that Millwood is no messiah. He had a very good 2009, but has been anything but consistent for the past 6 seasons, posting ERAs between 2.86 to 5.16 during that span. Parnell’s future may very well be a question mark right now, but having a young, fresh arm who is under team control for many years to come has got to trump a 35 year old who’s going to make $12M in 2010 and then depart via free agency, especially for a team needing to hold on to as many young talents as possible.

    And though I’m not putting one ounce of faith in the Mets’ decision making abilities, the option isn’t trade for Millwood or sign Jason Marquis. They can pass on both. I don’t know if they will, but I’d prefer to keep Parnell and find a Millwood-like pitcher (Jon Garland? Gil Meche? Vicente Padilla?) through some other method that won’t be as costly to the payroll or the farm system.

  13. mic December 11, 2009 at 12:04 am
    This dialog is too much abut BP. Sorry Joe, but BP is one of the best young arms the Mets have AND has had (a taste of) ML success.

    The Milwood issue is more aptly covered on other blogs (did i link the right one?) in which the Millwood trade characterizes a trade the METS need to do. IN FACT the Mets were rumored to be in talks to swap millwood for Castillo..(which i liked). If the Mets traded Castillo for Millwood then they could trade Pelfrey and/or Maine. And get a quality return. As dude also says there are several of these deals lingering….Castillo for Nate Robertson/Jeremy Bonderman, or the LOoooong rumored Castillo for Juan Pierre.

    Does todays trade give a clue that the Dodgers and Mets are brewing another trade.