Trades to Ponder

Metsmerized Online came up with two realistic trades that would benefit the Mets in 2008. I doubt highly that either of them will happen, but I like the thought put into them and can see either as actually happening — unlike many high-paid columnists and pundits who come up with nonsensical conjecture such as, “the Mets should trade Jose Reyes for Johan Santana …”.

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 October 11, 2007 at 2:50 pm
    I’m not fond of either trade, Joe.

    1. Bradford is strictly a ROOGY (I believe is the term). Heilman gets lefties and righties out. It would be like adding an older and more expensive Joe Smith. It would be another hit to our already beleaguered bullpen. Additionally, Bradford will be a FA by the end of ’09, Heilman not until 2011. I also think trading Delgado would be giving up on him too quickly. His poor ’07 year has significantly decreased his value, which is not the right time to trade him. Obviously Roberts would be a great pickup, but I’d rather keep Delgado and Heilman and sign Eckstein or Castillo and get similar results.

    2. No way. Firstly, I don’t think it’s realistic at all. Haren is locked up with the A’s thru 2010 at a chinsy $16.25-mil. Perez, on the other hand, is arbitration eligible this offseason, and is due for a very pricey raise considering his 2007 performance. And then there’s Dan Johnson. You really want a career .249 hitter batting 5th for the Mets? If you thought Delgado was a mess this season, Johnson would be a train wreck. And for essentially a wash at pitching and a crappy hitting 1B, we’d have to also give up Pelfrey and Milledge on top of that. Um, no.

    If there is a reason why those trades are “realistic,” it’s because the Mets are significantly overpaying in each one. I agree that the Mets need to make some changes leading up to 2008, but I don’t think shipping Delgado and Perez off are the right ideas.

  2. joe October 11, 2007 at 3:06 pm
    1. ChadBrad wasn’t limited to ROOGY duty in ’06 and did just fine. I think the Mets need him or someone like him, and will be publishing a post about it tomorrow. And I’m not waiting around to find out if Delgado is completely finished if I can pick up an all-around (and youthful) star such as Roberts. The Mets can sign Teixeira next year if they want a slugging first baseman.

    2. I don’t think it’s crazy to think Billy Beane would send away Haren if he gets Milledge, Pelf, and Ollie. Johnson I would not bat 5th (more like 6th or 7th), and I strongly believe he will blossom with a change of scenery, wherever that may be. Of course, that’s only my opinion from watching him over the past four years — I could be way off. But hey, part of making trades is gambling on the future and thinking a guy has potential (i.e. Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio; Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan; Walt Terrell for Howard Johnson). I’ll take Haren over Perez and Pelfrey any day of the week — IMHO it’s not a wash but an opportunity to get a young, rock-solid ace.

    We’ll see what happens this winter, and I’m sure if the Mets do make a major trade, some Mets fans will believe that Omar “overpaid” no matter who is in the deal.

    As I said I think these deals are much more realistic than the Reyes for Santana nonsense.

  3. isuzudude October 11, 2007 at 4:03 pm
    1. Bradford over his career: .238 vs righties, .311 vs lefties. ‘Nuff said.

    2. I still don’t see Beane dealing an ace when he’s making no money. Trading Hudson and Mulder when they were due to make big raises, yes. But Haren isn’t ready to make big bucks until after 2010, and Beane will build his club around him. If Perez was in the same boat and was only going to make chump change for the next 4 years, I can see the trade going down. But Perez is more than likely going to start earning $6-8 mil a year, which is too high a price tag for Beane. And I’m sorry, but the thought of Johnson at 1B does not sit well with me.

  4. joe October 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm
    1. Yeah, well, show me a few relievers who have strong and equal splits vs. RH and LHs … and aren’t closers.

    2. Perhaps you’re right about Beane, but we know he’s been superhot on LMillz for years. Also you neglect to consider that Beane could turn Ollie around to another team for more prospects — he does have value as a young lefty.

    You’re not the only one who wouldn’t be happy with Dan Johnson. I have a strange fascination with his skills that most others don’t share. I’ve had similar, anti-popular feelings about Grant Roberts, Scott Strickland, Ruben Gotay, Ty Wigginton, Aaron Heilman and Vance Wilson over the years (before any of them did much) … so my scouting skills won’t allow me to quit my full-time job.

  5. sincekindergarten October 11, 2007 at 5:52 pm
    Joe, one thing that ID didn’t add (I’m surprised at you for not noticing this!) is this: Where the Hell are you going to find a lefty starting pitcher to fill the rotation, assuming that Glavine’s as good as gone (which I’m not convinced he is)? Um, aren’t Chase Utley and Ryan Howard still in the NL East?

    You’re right, Ollie does have value as a young lefty–to us!

  6. isuzudude October 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm
    Good point, SK! I did think about the fact that a Perez trade would leave the Mets lefty-less in the rotation, but figured it wouldn’t be deemed as a big deal, seeing how other teams, like the Red Sox and Angels, won a lot of games this season without a big lefty in the rotation. But bringing up Howard and Utley, great job by you.

    “Yeah, well, show me a few relievers who have strong and equal splits vs. RH and LHs … and aren’t closers.”

    Easy Joe – HEILMAN. Career vs righties: .245. Career vs lefties: .238. How about in 2007? Vs righties: .218. Vs lefties: .234. I know he has the tendency to give up the HR ball sometimes, but I don’t think we truly appreciate how important Heilman is to this team (when he isn’t pitching in 80 games a year). To lose him in the bullpen and replace him with a ROOGY in Bradford just further depletes an area of the Mets than needs the most attention.

  7. joe October 11, 2007 at 7:56 pm
    Bringing up Heilman is preaching to the choir. Please give me a reliever outside the Mets organization.

    I didn’t say that I was 100% for these trade ideas, only trying to point out that they were more realistic than what we get from Rosenthals / Gammonses / Olneys and the rest of the “professionals”. And also expanding the ideas beyond my narrow mind.

    Agreed SK, good point on needing a lefty in the rotation.

    And stop calling ChadBrad a ROOGY! I did that almost two years ago here:

    and what did he do after that genius announcement? Only hold righties and lefties to nearly identical averages in the .250s!

    I have other motives for wanting to bring ChadBrad back … I’ll get to them tomorrow. Stay tuned !

  8. isuzudude October 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm
    Joe: why bring up any other pitchers than Heilman? The trade has the Mets losing Heilman, who has a proven track record of getting lefties and righties out. And if it’s so hard to find a relief pitcher of that caliber, why would the Mets give up one of the few for an aging submariner?

    And I’m sorry to break it to you, but Bradford is a ROOGY. Believing Bradford can get both lefties and righties out based on one season with the Mets is like saying Reyes is always going to hit .200 in September over the course of his career. IT’S A FLUKE! Look at 2007, Bradford vs lefties: .321 (not to mention .282 vs righties). 2005 vs lefties: .409. 2004 vs lefties: .298. 2003 vs lefties: .326. How much further do I have to go?

    Now, don’t get me wrong, Bradford definitely has his unique value. But instead of exchanging him for Heilman, I’d say Joe Smith is the better option.

    And if you say you’re not totally in favor of the trades, why are you continuing to defend them? I’m on your team, Joe. I dislike the ridiculous trade rumors as much as the next guy. But that doesn’t mean any trades that have the Mets overpaying for talent are good decisions either.

  9. joe October 11, 2007 at 9:01 pm
    You know, the minute after I posted my retort, I thought … “what the hell am I doing defending a post that I linked to for the distinct purpose of beginning argument and exchange of ideas”

    Really! I DID think that! (i’m a little weird)

    Heilman’s one of my guys (hey, if Willie can have his guys, I can have my guys) and if I had anything to do with it, he’d be a Met forever (and a starter, BTW).

    Joe Smith and ChadBrad are not the same, and I’ll explain tomorrow.

    But you are correct in that he is a ROOGY — did you follow that link?

  10. sincekindergarten October 12, 2007 at 4:51 am
    Also, guys, the fact that the Mets face Utley and Howard 18-19 times a year is a good argument for retaining Glavine, as well. Maybe going out and getting Mike Maroth. I seem to remember hearing something about the Baltimore Orioles teams of the early 70s, and one of the reasons they won a lot back then was the presence of lefty starters (obviously not Palmer, even though he could pitch with the best of them) . . .
  11. isuzudude October 12, 2007 at 6:16 am
    I read the article on the link. Joe, you should have stuck with your initial opinion. But since you are now in agreement with me, I’ll drop the argument (and I also won’t bring up the subject of how you posted in that article to drop Feliciano and Oliver).

    I’m glad you like Heilman, as I do too. Whether he starts or relieves is up to the Mets. I think he’s successful in either role, and right now the Mets need him more as a reliever.

    SK – don’t fall into the trap of believing all left hand pitchers get left hand batters out. This past season, lefties hit .326 against Glavine, while righties were .266. Compare that to Perez, who was .206 vs lefties and .235 vs righties.

    Maroth I wouldn’t touch with a 50 foot pole after how he embarassed the Cardinals for giving up anything more than a stick of gum to obtain him from the Tigers. If there are any lefties out there this offseason I’d take a chance on, they’d be:

    1. Randy Wolf – he has a $9-mil option with the Dodgers I expect they’ll decline after he made it thru just 102.2 innings this past season. I know he hasn’t pitched in upwards of 200 innings since 2003 due to injuries. But I view him as a left handed AJ Burnett…someone you acquire knowing he’s likely to get hurt if you allow him to. And even though only 160 IP should be expected from him, those 160 IP will be top quality. He has a good strikeout rate, a fair WHIP between 1.3-1.4, and a knack for getting lefties out (.223 lifetime). Would he not be worth $5-6 mil for a year to see if he pans out? (Hmm…you know, it sounds like if I like Wolf I should like El Duque, too. It’s not as though I don’t like El Duque, I just don’t trust him to stay healthy, whereas Wolf is more of an unknown. And at least El Duque would demand some pretty good value in return for a trade. Sorry, just thinking out loud.)

    2. Ron Villone – he’d come cheap, although I realize he’s not a candidate to start. Plus he has a great reputation of getting lefties out, even if that knowledge isn’t very widespread. He’s held lefties to averages under .240 each of the last 4 seasons. And against the key lefties in our division, Villone has held Utley/Howard 1 for 7 lifetime, Chipper 1 for 9. I guess the big question is, do we want 4 lefty relievers in the bullpen? Maybe see if Villone agrees to a minor league deal and take it from there.

    3. Eddie Guardado – yes, again, another reliever, but this one comes with a pretty good resume. He’s struggled with injury since ’06, put appeared to be on his way back when he threw 7 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts throughout September. Ok, I know we recently signed another lefty from Cincinnati who had a brief stint of success and was incorrectly awarded with a 3 year deal. But I’m saying this gamble shouldn’t be more than $1.5-mil for one year. And at 37, he’s still capable of throwing some pretty good innings (look up John Franco). Imagine if he’s able to regain the form he had just a few short years ago of WHIPS under 1 and averaging strikeouts once per inning on the Mets.

  12. joe October 12, 2007 at 10:48 am
    1. I don’t like Randy Wolf, not sure why. Maybe because I picture him in a Phillies uniform. But I can be open to seeing him as a 5th starter.

    2. I had a .950 slugging percentage vs. Villone in high school. But I was a righthanded hitter, and it was almost 20 years ago. I’ll take him, and I’ll stock the bullpen with 6 lefties if they’re the best we can find.

    3. I like the idea of a flyer on Guardado.

    J.C. Romero.

    Why the Mets didn’t jump on him when the Bosox dumped him we’ll never know. Oh, that’s right … because there were specific individuals cemented into roles.

    There are a number of LOOGYs available via free agency this winter … I say we bring in a bunch of them.

  13. sincekindergarten October 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm
    I forgot about Romero.

    Randy Wolf? Yeah, I have this bugaboo about him being with the Phillthies, too.

    After I posted that about Glavine, I remembered that lefties hit better against him, than righties did.

    Guardado? Sure. Put as many lefties into the mix in ST and let them duel it out.