Where To Shop Jason Isringhausen

K-Rod is gone and we’ve covered Carlos Beltran. Next on the trading block is Jason Isringhausen, who has proven to be healthy and effective in a setup role for the Mets. Do you know how many teams can use an effective middle- / late-inning reliever? About 29.

The fact the Mets picked up Izzy for virtually nothing and have turned him into a trading chip is to be commended — but it’s also time to trade in that chip. Considering the dearth of decent relief pitching available, I truly believe that a postseason-contending team would be willing to give up a decent prospect for a reliable setup man such as Isringhausen. Maybe not a top-ten prospect, but possibly a top-15, and at worst a top-20. And a top-20 prospect would be welcome indeed in return for a 38-year-old reliever whose contract expires at the end of the year.

So where might the Mets shop Izzy? Here are a few possibilities:

The addition of K-Rod was only the beginning of what should be a bullpen reconstruction in Milwaukee. With an injury to Carlos Gomez, the Brew Crew is also in the market for a centerfielder. Might they be interested in a package consisting of Izzy and Angel Pagan?

How desperate are the Phillies to improve their bullpen? They just signed Aaron Heilman to a minor-league contract. As everyone knows, they also need a big bat in the outfield. The Mets can help them in both areas with Izzy and Carlos Beltran. The Mets might have to send some cash along, but if they do, it could result in them obtaining two or possibly three near-ready youngsters. Do I care if the Mets help the Phillies win a pennant? Not really — especially considering that both Izzy and Beltran would likely be on another team next year. It would be similar to the Turk Wendell / Dennis Cook deal of ten years ago, in that it wouldn’t cause nightmares for years to come.

The D’Backs bullpen is the weakest link on team with a valid shot to overtake the Giants and win the NL West. They’re so desperate that Yhency Brazoban was in their ‘pen recently. Also, J.J. Putz is returning from the DL with — guess what? — an elbow injury. But what if that elbow keeps barking? Izzy would provide excellent insurance and fit right in as a 7th/8th inning man.

It would be ironic to see Isringhausen return to St. Louis, but it certainly would make sense. After releasing Ryan Franklin, the Cards found a gem of a replacement in Fernando Salas, and the hard-throwing combo of Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte has fared well in bridging the gap. However, the rest of the ‘pen has been inconsistent and a revolving door, and manager Tony LaRussa likes to have as many options as possible. He and pitching coach Dave Duncan know Izzy as well as anyone, and would welcome him back to St. Louis.

The Rangers’ starting pitching is good enough, and they have a lights-out closer in Neftali Feliz. However, the bridge in between is shaky, and could be the vulnerability that allows the Angels to sneak past them. Texas might also be in the market for a power-hitting outfielder, so one might wonder if they’d be interested in a package deal that also included Carlos Beltran.

It’s hard to figure whether the Rays are buyers or sellers; some suggest that they could be both. If they choose to upgrade, it most likely will be in the bullpen. Izzy has a contract that fits their tiny budget and there’s no commitment beyond this season, so they could be interested. However, it may be tough to extract anything of value from their farm system, which is deep but highly protected.

Surely there are other teams that might be interested in Jason Isringhausen’s services. Provide your examples in the comments.

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. Mike T July 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm
    First off, I believe the Mets have said that they are keeping Izzy.

    Second, Izzy has said he wants to stay in NY.

    Third, I will in Stl, and I know someone who works for the Cardinals, he works in the “truck”/video processing room for the broadcasts. The well known word concerning Izzy is that he really stresses over pitching for the Cardinals because they are his home town team. The quote was “his wife is praying he stays in NY”. So sounds to me like he is a Met.

    That said I would trade him.

    • Mike T July 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm
      wish I could edit my posts….

      I live* in Saint Louis.

      • Joe Janish July 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm
        FYI if you register yourself with the site and sign in to comment, you should be able to edit your posts.

        Who cares what the Mets say about him staying? They be foolish to say he’s on the block, because all that does is lower their leverage in negotiations. And why should the Mets care if Izzy wants to stay in NY? He has more value to the team’s future by being traded than by staying.

        And all the talk about Izzy being a mentor to Parnell is nonsense. If Parnell hasn’t learned anything from Izzy — or K-
        Rod — by now, he never will. I do believe in mentorship but there’s a point where the young buck has to go off and learn on his own.

        • Mike T July 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm
          Not to be “that guy” but I don’t see anywhere to register with the site.

          Look I hope I made it clear that I would trade Izzy in a heartbeat. But all signs point to him staying from my perspective. Hope I am wrong…

        • Joe Janish July 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm
          Ha … I guess that would explain why few people have registered here! Thanks for pointing that out, the glitch has been fixed. If you want to, you can go to the right sidebar, all the way at the bottom, below the WWWBD ad, and register / login.
        • MikeT July 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm
          Awesome, registered. I work in software and know that occasionally, because you see behind the curtain, you don’t realize when something important is missing or not obvious to the user.

          Speaking of, I don’t see the option to edit a post…

        • Joe Janish July 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm
          Hmm … apparently you need to be at a user level above “subscriber” to edit your own comments; seems to be a limitation in WordPress. My bad. However I’m going to do some tweaking and see if we can’t make this work. Thanks for the feedback.
        • Izzy July 23, 2011 at 6:50 am
          Agree about Parnell “learning”. They guy isn’;t a 21 year old kid. He’s 26, He should know how to do this closer job by now.
  2. This Justin July 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    They have to trade Izzy.

    Taking a commodity you picked up for nothing and trading it for something of value is exactly the kind of smart business decision this team has not been making for years. This is what well run teams do; we are just so used to this opposite, we feel this is a novel concept. At this point, the only true value with him lies as a trade chip.

    It would be fantastic to get a prospect for him. All the more to pump the system up with.

    That being said, watching him perform as well as he has was a great storyline throughout this season, and as a former homegrown product, I wish him the best.

    As far as where to trade, Boston may be interested in the Beltran/Izzy combo. They have been linked to Beltran for some time, and every contending team could use a solid middle man…although what Boston really needs is a solid SP, what with all their injury problems.

  3. hart July 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    With due deference to Mrs. Izzy and her devotion to NY, the Mets should follow Janish’s blueprint, put together a video montage of Izzy striking out the heart of the Cardinal lineup, and try to get a deal done this weekend.
  4. Timo July 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm
    Joe, I hope you are right about Sandy BS-ing and saying he will be a mentor. You are right, if Parnell hasn’t learned yet he will never learn. It’s sink or swim time for Bobby. WE HAVE TO TRADE IZZY. he is worth something. Our minor leagues are not good. We have NO top prospects. Actually, the people we get in this years trade deadline will probably become our top prospects because we have nothing. You can’t rebuild without good prospects. We’ve been living that dream for the past few years. I sound like a broken record
    BUT we need to trade will people are on a high NOT a low. If we would have traded our 2000 WS outfield that played above their heads we would have maybe won a WS series in 2001 or 2002. We keep our guys too long when they hit there peaks (but they are not superstars). Pagan…TRADE now
    Izzy … TRADE NOW
    ANY relief pitching (except Parnell & Beano) … TRADE now
    Beltran…. TRADE now
    Paulino …. TRADE NOW
    ***This guys are not part of our future so lets get whatever we can for them NOW.
    • Joe Janish July 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm
      Agreed on all, Timo.

      As for the mentor thing, if the Mets really think that is something Parnell needs, they can always hire John Franco to be the assistant bullpen coach or something. It would be a lot cheaper than keeping Izzy around.

      Considering the demand for middle, setup, and closing relief, it would be absolute insanity if the Mets didn’t at least make an effort to trade Isringhausen. The team is going to be rebuilding for at least the next 2-3 years, so it doesn’t make sense to hold on to a 38-year-old reliever if he can be flipped for youth.

      • MikeT July 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm
        Joe to that point, the bullpen is the easiest thing to construct on a major league roster. The Rays consistently retool their bullpen every year. New faces and yet somehow still production. I think as a policy very few plays in a bullpen should be untouchable and every year if the team is not contending all of the useful pieces from that team’s bullpen and bench should be moved for ideally the pieces that will go into the following year’s bullpen and bench. Occasionally you will find a diamond in the rough and make out overall better than you were before the trade.

        A bench is pretty easy as well, but less important overall.

  5. Joe July 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    I don’t really want to help the Phillies get to the playoffs (and it would be a bigger help and there is more water under the bridge than when Turk/Cook was involved) and doubt the team will “wow” them more than other teams if we are talking top 20 prospects. But, yeah, mind over heart.

    If they can get something, sure, trade away Iggy et. al. The lot, even Hairston/Harris after a fashion, did better than some thought they did. If they will get a bit more from trades, all the better.

  6. Izzy fan July 31, 2011 at 3:53 am
    I love watching the comeback kid! He’s pitching light out, and I think he’s got a lot of gas in the tank. The mets should hang with him for a couple years -if they are smart.