This has been the most ho-hum wind-down to July 31st in a long time. In fact, I don’t remember this little talk a week before the trading deadline since … hmmm … 1981? And the only reason it was quiet in ’81 was because MLB was on strike.
Since there have barely been whispers about any deals going down — and the ones regarding the Mets involve insignificant names such as Jose Castillo and Jon Rauch — let’s pretend that Omar Minaya is working on a monstrous blockbuster of a deal that will adversely alter the face of the 2007 Mets.
None of these deals will EVER happen, but it’s fun to dream. You’ll notice that many of the same Mets are peddled in each scenario :
Scenario 1: Carlos Delgado, Aaron Heilman, Mike Pelfrey, Anderson Hernandez, and Lastings Milledge to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada, Danys Baez, Jay Payton, and Kevin Millar.
The Mets give up part of the future to guarantee the present, but the veterans coming from Baltimore fill key gaps. Delgado is highly valued by the O’s, whose franchise has been built on the strategy of stockpiling DH / 1B types whose best days are behind them. This deal underscores their decision to rebuild for 2008, and they immediately insert AHern as the everyday shortstop, LMillz in the outfield, and Pelfrey into their starting rotation. Jim Duquette had been after Heilman for quite some time — one of the only “Duquette guys” left on the Mets’ roster — and announces he’ll report to AAA Norfolk to begin stretching out in preparation to join the starting rotation as well, in September.
Tejada — who has long wanted out of Baltimore — quickly agrees to move to second base and is eager to begin practicing the double-play turn with Jose Reyes. He displaces Carlos Beltran as the team’s #3 hitter (Beltran drops to #5, behind David Wright). Millar steps into a first base platoon with Shawn Green, and Jay Payton becomes the everyday rightfielder and eighth-place hitter as the Mets’ lineup is suddenly changed from lefty-heavy to righty-heavy. Baez takes over the eighth-inning bridge to Billy Wagner.
Scenario Two: Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and Aaron Heilman to the Astros for Brad Lidge and Jason Jennings.
The ‘stros are hot and heavy for Milledge, but won’t give up Oswalt. Drayton McLane, however, is OK with dealing Lidge, despite his pronoucement a week ago that he was untouchable, because he thinks that highly of LMillz and Pelfrey. McLane is also eager to rid himself of Jennings, who is a constant reminder of one of the worst deals of the winter. Lidge is happy to reunite with Billy Wagner and set up for him again, and though Jennings is underachieving, the Mets have obtained him mainly for his bat. On his first day with the Mets, he’s sent to first base to take ground balls.
Scenario 3: Carlos Delgado, Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and Aaron Heilman to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira, Eric Gagne, and Chris Stewart.
The Mets’ package is similar to the one in the Orioles deal, and mortgages some of the future. However, you have to give up something to get something, and getting a guy who can rake like Teixeira and a reliever like Gagne are worth the gamble — even if they both will be gone within two years. Chris Stewart gives the Mets a AAA catcher under the age of 38. The Rangers are giddy to be getting Milledge and Pelfrey and are only too happy to take on Delgado as a consequence.
Scenario 4: Three-Way deal with Reds and Pirates — Mets send Mike Pelfrey and Aaron Heilman to the Reds, Lastings Milledge and Jason Vargas to the Pirates, the Pirates send Xavier Nady and Salomon Torres to the Reds, and in return the Mets get Ken Griffey Jr. and David Weathers from the Reds, and Ian Snell and Jose Castillo from the Bucs (Pittsburgh also gets Edwin Encarnacion and Todd Coffey from Cincinnati).
Did you get all that? It’s a crazy deal, but somehow it works and makes everyone happy. With the 25-year-old Snell on board, the Mets don’t feel so bad parting with Pelfrey, and getting Junior through 2009 may be expensive but his bat is worth it. Weathers steps into the setup role and Castillo is insurance for Ruben Gotay.
Back to Reality
OK, none of those deals are going to happen in a million years — much less the next ten days. Most likely, the biggest deal the Mets make will involve the acquisition of a so-so second baseman or a situational reliever.
Do you have a crazy deal in mind? Post it in the comments!
About the Author
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.