Marlins Get Robertson and Other Moves
The Florida Marlins have acquired LHP Nate Robertson from the Tigers in exchange for minor league lefty Jay Voss. The Tigers will pick up all but $400K of Robertson’s $10M salary. Nice deal for the Fish, if you ask me, since Robertson slots right into the #3 spot of the rotation and costs them the MLB minimum.
If the Mets were to get Robertson, he’d probably step right in to the #2 spot. Scary.
The Athletics picked up Chad Gaudin, who had been released by the Yankees earlier in the week. Gaudin is fairly inconsistent, but like Nate Robertson, might have stepped right in as the #2 starter had the Mets signed him. Did I say “scary” ?
In other news, Ryan Garko was waived by the Mariners. I imagine that will send all the Garko-loving Mets fans into a frenzy, particularly with Daniel Murphy injuring his ankle. Personally I don’t get the excitement surrounding Garko, who is below-average in the field, slothlike on the bases, and has below-average power for a first baseman. In other words, he’s the righthanded-hitting version of Murphy. But he had that one year where he hit 21 HR, and has posted a career .350 OBP, so some people get giddy. Whatever.
Veteran clubhouse clown and sometime slugger Kevin Millar has been released by the Cubs. I would’ve like to have seen Millar as a Met three years ago, two years ago, and possibly last year. Now? Not so much … may be time for the original “idiot” to call it a career.
As for the Mets, the following transactions have taken place in the last 48 hours:
Pat Misch has been waived; he’s likely to go unclaimed and report to AAA. He gave up only 2 runs in 13 innings this spring, but stats don’t mean anything in spring training. See Perez, Oliver.
Chris Coste was waived and claimed by the Nationals. I suppose the Mets will remain the last team he’d ever thought he’d play for.
Manny Acosta has been claimed off waivers from the Braves and assigned to the Buffalo Bisons. I like this move, as Acosta throws hard, has some closing experience, and gives the Mets some legitimate bullpen depth in AAA.
Alex Cintron has appeared, presumably from under a rock somewhere in Port St. Lucie. Is there time for him to beat out Russ Adams for a temporary backup infielder spot until Jose Reyes is ready?
Re: Garko – I suppose I’m one of the “Garko-loving Mets fans” you refer to, and so I feel compelled to respond. You are right that he is a subpar fielder with lead feet and underwhelming power. However, you are also right that he has had a 21 HR season, as well as a 90 RBI season, and holds a career .350 OBP. Dan Murphy has not accomplished those feats and is a longshot to do so anytime in the near future, so to say Garko is the right handed version of Murphy is, to me, a little inaccurate. However, my desire to sign Garko was predicated on him sharing the job with Murph and not stealing it altogether. A platoon of Murph vs RHP and Garko vs LHP would have suited me just fine. Garko’s career stats versus LHP (.479 SLG/.870 OPS) means he would supply enough power to justify playing 1B part-time, while also providing a solid pinch hitting presence and a fresh face. Instead, we got another year of the human double play machine in Fernando Tatis. I love Tatis’ versatility, but even the harshest Garko critic would pick him over Tatis. I’m over campaigning for Garko now – simply because there’s no room left at the inn for him due to Tatis’ contract – but I still stand by my prediction that Garko winds up with stronger overall numbers than Tatis in 2010, and would have provided Murphy with a better tag team partner in NY.
Re: Cintron – I’m in his corner and have been since the SS position became a revolving door after Reyes got hurt last year. I’d be willing to wager, if given equal opportunity, Cintron would provide more production than Alex Cora over the course of a season. Of course, Cora’s leadership skills could coerce the rats from CitiField down the LIE with nothing but a piccolo, so his value is probably greater than Albert Pujols if you look at things from that perspective.
I wouldn’t expect him to be pursued at this point, however…especially since the Mets had become hell-bent prior to this winter on securing LH sticks that can’t play a position very well [Murphy and Carter, they had — but Jacobs was brought in around the time they struck out on Garko].
Garko may specialize only in the handling of LHP — but in looking at that bench, I don’t see who they’d be turning to in that dep’t.
Actually I do, but his name will be Tatis — and be spread very thin, provided he’s expected to be much more than he really is.
Overall, I liked Garko as an alternative to some of the guys we stock-piled; if Murphy’s actually “hurt” in terms of his knee, then I’d definitely look into his services again (don’t expect that to be the case, at all).
Whoever’s there this year, there are going to be struggles coming from that spot vs. LHP.
What I do expect to hear is:
“This is why we re-signed Fernando Tatis!!”
Similar to Alex Cora, I could see this becoming Minaya’s rallying cry. In fairness, there is something to be said for “versatility” — Tatis is a few notches above “mediocre” in that department; a jack of all trades, master of none.
It’s funny, though — there really is never a dull moment in St. Lucie/Flushing…..and it really makes you wonder how they’d go about things, provided Murph isn’t ready.
With all the “options”, you figure that this would be the perfect time to give a guy like Carter a shot [in having him as the “big fish” return, passing up draft picks for Billy Wagner] — but at the same time, no one knows what kind of agreement they had with Jacobs, in bringing him in.
Then, there’ll be the typical call for Ike Davis — who should be playing everyday at Triple-A.
As always, there’s no shortage of drama with these guys.
I admit I may have been a little harsh re: Garko. That’s mainly because I’ve seen so many people on other blogs go hog-wild over the guy, as if he were the next Travis Hafner or something. The mix of those who simply want to see someone different and the statheads who get stuck on OBP as the end-all, be-all seem to overvalue Ryan Garko. I agree he is probably a little better than Murphy overall, probably a decent platoon partner, but I also think fans would grow tired of him very quickly once they saw his shortcomings on a daily basis.
But as has been mentioned, it doesn’t matter — the Mets don’t have room for him with Tatis on the roster. And as much as I love Tatis, you really have to wonder whether he can hit enough to justify a roster spot. Yes he can stand in a number of positions but so can Frank Catalanotto; it’s not like he’s a defensive wizard at any (in fact the only position where he’s at least MLB average is 3B, and he ain’t getting many reps there).
Some people belittle the importance of bench spots, but I really believe the Mets have significantly hamstrung the roster by cementing Tatis, Cora, and Henry Blanco to the 25-man … it leaves little room for flexibility.
– In the case of Daniel Murphy, I think this may be one of the few injuries in the past two years that Mets fans are actually happy about.
– I do not think Roberton or Guaudin are any better or worse than what the Mets have now, so no worries on letting those guys pass.
– the only thing Garko has going for him is that he bats right-handed, which would be in contrast to Murphy, Carter & Jacobs. Nice balance there, Mr. Minaya.
– Coste: buh-bye!