Someone Wake Up Omar

On the heels of reading that the Washington Nationals are targeting Carlos Gomez and Mike Pelfrey in a deal for Chad Cordero, the Phillies send a fourth (or fifth) outfielder and a bad middle reliever to the Astros in return for Brad Lidge … and the ‘stros threw in Eric Bruntlett as well!

Am I missing something here?

Let’s examine the deal again, in case I missed something.

Phillies give up: Geoff Geary, Michael Bourn, Mike Costanzo.

Astros give up: Brad Lidge, Eric Bruntlett.

Bourn is 25 years old and speedy. That’s about it. He projects to be an Endy Chavez, at best. Geary had one decent year out of the bullpen, hasn’t done much at all since. Reminds me a lot of Jon Adkins — or Guillermo Mota, for that matter. Costanzo is considered a “power hitting third base prospect” but as a 24-year-old spent 2007 in AA. He hit 27 HRs against inexperienced pitching, but he also struck out nearly 160 times. Most scouts project him as a first baseman, and wonder if he’ll struggle at AAA.

You’re telling me the Mets couldn’t have put together a similar, or more attractive package for Lidge, who despite hitting some bumps in the road remains potentially one of the most dominating relievers in the NL? And in this market, where everyone is begging for bullpen help, the Astros give him away this early and for this crappy a package? Unbelievable.

In comparison to what the Phillies gave up, a similar Mets package would have been Guillermo Mota, Endy Chavez, and Brett Harper. Harper is a free agent so I suppose the Mets would give up Mike Carp. Yes, no one wants to see Endy go but we’d get over it, I’m sure, especially if Carlos Gomez stays with the organization. Or maybe the Astros would be silly enough to take Ben Johnson off our hands — heck, we wouldn’t even ask for Bruntlett in the deal.

Lidge was perhaps THE most dominant closer in baseball in 2005. He had a really awful 2006, and was looking just as bad in the beginning of 2007. However, his pitching coach finally found a flaw in his mechanics and he began to “get it back”, though with some inconsistencies. The talent is there, the velocity is there, and the stuff is there. Before we compare him to Mota — who also has stuff and velocity — remember that Mota never dominated the way Lidge did. It’s in Lidge, he’s done it before, and if he could have been had for such a paltry package, I think you have to make it happen.

Meantime, Omar Minaya will talk to the Nats about getting a similar closer with setting up in his future — one also on the way down — in return for the Mets’ brightest prospects. You tell me which deal makes more sense.

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. RockStar78 November 8, 2007 at 10:38 am
    For what it’s worth, Lidge had a 2.34 ERA before the all star break, and 4.45 afterwards. But still, I agree in that he would have been well worth it if all it took was what you mentioned. It might be time to put either Duque or Pelfrey in the pen come spring training, especially if Omar can’t get anyone. It would suit Pelfrey in that he could just reach back and throw his 97MPH heat and not worry about secondary pitches. It would also suit Duque in that it would rest his arm and keep him from throwing 100 pitches per game, and if needed, he could take days off. Because relying on him in the rotation always comes back to bite us (see Brian Lawrence).
  2. Micalpalyn November 8, 2007 at 11:50 am
    Joe: this is a good example, (along with the trade for Castillo) the proves a Mets trade does not necessarily have to include lastings milledge and Omar’s eldest child.
  3. Micalpalyn November 8, 2007 at 11:55 am
    BTW: I was crying for Lidge last yr, but the Astros would not trade him, probably because they saw they saw the old Brad Lidge not the new easy to melt version. I think the wanted to just move on at this point. He is waay too much of a risk for me to be comfortable with him in a clutch situation. Frankly, Myers was a hit as a closer. I would not move him.
  4. isuzudude November 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm
    That’s not a bad comment, Mic. The deal for Lidge by the Phils has the possibility of bending either way. On one hand, Lidge can revert back to his 2005 form with the change in scenery, and Myers can give the Phils as good a 1-2 starting pitching punch as any team in the NL East. The move can then also free up dollars to re-sign Rowand, sign Lowell, or go after more pitching. However, on the other hand, Lidge could absolutely blow as a closer in a big pressure town on a team who plays their ballpark in an easier place to hit home runs than Minute Maid, if you can believe that. And although injury played a role, Myers was MUCH better in relief than as a starter last season, so why fix what’s not broken? Certainly, it’s a possibility that Myers could get hurt again or provide just mediocre starting pitching, and Lidge could be a huge bust as their closer. It’s a risk for Pat Gillick, but for what they gave up, it’s one definitely worth taking.

    As far as waking up Omar…
    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, here. It’s possible he WAS in on the Lidge sweepstakes and just lost out. Maybe the Astros value Bourn/Geary/Constanzo over Johnson/Muniz/Carp. Also, Omar’s last good trade was for Castillo, which wasn’t that long ago. There were trades he could have made (like for Dotel, Gagne, Linebrink) but they all would have cost us too much, and in hindsight those pitchers would not have helped much in 2007 and would have been free to walk this winter. And again, although we are hearing rumors of Pelfrey/Gomez for Chad Cordero and Gomez for Matt Garza, they are ONLY rumors at this point. No substance. Just hearsay. Created by God knows who. So I’m not attributing any weight to it whatsoever, and have confidence Omar IS awake and just hasn’t found the right trading partner yet. But odds are he will make a low-profile trade, using our unimportant prospects, to land a player who is more than likely to help out in 2008, whether it be Ramon Hernandez, or Cliff Lee, or Chad Cordero, or who ever. They say patience is a virtue. And being Met fans, we’ve learned that patience is the only way to stay sane.

  5. skibolton November 8, 2007 at 12:42 pm
    If the mets wouldn’t give up more than just humber for cordero at the deadline this year, I don’t see any possibility of gomez or pelfrey, much less both of them for him. I don’t see any of our top prospects ending up in washington, who do the nats have to give up in return? I wouldn’t put too much stock in to that report, it sounds about as credible as the kazmir rumor.
  6. joe November 8, 2007 at 10:02 pm
    All of you are making a lot of sense here. Looking back at the post 8 hours later, I think I was writing with more emotion and ranting than logic … I am just stunned that the Phillies were able to land a guy with Lidge’s ceiling for what amounts to crapola, while the “rumors” — which I agree are likely nonsensical conjecture — are that the Mets need to send two of their top prospects for Chad “Re-tread” Cordero.

    But, the Mets DID get Castillo for garbage, so touche.

    Also, I agree that the Lidge deal proves that a guy like Milledge, Gomez, or Pelfrey doesn’t HAVE TO be involved in a trade this offseason, to get a useful part in return. I really believe the Mets are going to trade a few nobodies to land Ramon Hernandez, for example.

  7. isuzudude November 9, 2007 at 11:34 am
    As an update to this story, there’s a quote by Omar in an Adam Rubin article (who’s one of the few sports writers I tend to believe) that reveals the Mets did inquire about Brad Lidge, but that Houston’s asking price was too high. I get the feeling Houston sees Bourn and Carlos Gomez as similar players – speedsters with good gloves and little power. However, despite perhaps our bias towards our own prospects, I don’t think there’s any doubt Gomez will develop into a better hitter than Bourn. Both players have spent 4 years in the minors, even though Gomez will only be turning 22 next month (compared to Bourn’s 25). In the minors, Gomez has hit more home runs in less at-bats with a higher slugging percentage. If Houston was of the mentality that Gomez and Bourn are equal, and asked for Joe Smith or Aaron Heilman on top of that, I can see why Omar turned them down. Even so, if Omar is considering trading Gomez, he’d be better off acquiring a starting pitcher than a questionable set-up man. I think something else we haven’t mentioned as part of this deal is that perhaps the ‘Stros were looking for players with major league experience under their belts; hence, Bourn and Geary. The best deal the Mets could have offered for Lidge, following those guidelines, would have been Endy Chavez/Joe Smith, which I guess Houston didn’t like.

    Another thought to ponder: Ed Wade is GM w/ Houston, formerly of the Phillies. I’m wondering if he’s over-valuing Bourn and Geary because of his familiarity of them.

  8. joe November 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm
    Totally agree — Gomez likely is seen as the same as Bourn, but as you pointed out, has more time to continue developing his bat and power.

    Also, outstanding — and key — point re: Ed Wade. He obviously has “Jim Duquette Disease” with regard to players he is familiar with. Similar to Duquette clogging the Baltimore Orioles roster with the Jay Paytons, Kris Bensons, and Orber Morenos.

  9. Micalpalyn November 9, 2007 at 1:02 pm
    I tend to believe) that reveals the Mets did inquire about Brad Lidge, but that Houston’s asking price was too high. ….

    That does not make sense: Especially if he went to Philly for THEIR trash. I suspect Omar wanted him but for Ahern, since he countered that (ala Benitez) Lidge can be lights out or lights on at any given time.

    Note unlike his precedesors Omar throws $$$ at the problem; SP stuck with Benitez, Duq went low $$$ for Looper. Omar wants THE best in his key spots. He will use fodder to fill in the other areas (u cant have all-star millionaires at every position).

    I think Humber and Pelfrey are at this point AAAA players and if they cant win a spot in the rotation, need to work in the pen. Or if not be traded to a AAAA club (for someone usefull though).

  10. Micalpalyn November 9, 2007 at 1:08 pm
    On Gomez: Both Millz and Gomez have NOT developed slowly. If not for Gomez’s injury he might have had a very strong rookie yr. He was showing rapid improvement after his call up, especially given that he was never expected to contribute at the ML level last yr and he was at AA the previous yr. I hardly find it a suprise he is mentioned as a target for Minn to replace Hunter or by the Nats.

    Everybody has their view: Mine is that i project Gomez as a Bobby Abreu to even Beltran type -possibly with less power.

  11. joe November 9, 2007 at 1:21 pm
    Did anyone say that Gomez and/or Millz have developed slowly? My point was that Gomez still has time to develop — from what I see, he needs more at-bats and game experience, and that it will translate into him elevating his game. I think he has a chance — not a lock, but a chance — to be an All-Star caliber player.
  12. isuzudude November 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm
    What doesn’t make sense, Mic? Wade has a special place in his heart for prospects that used to be his, so he’s more apt to take the Phillies borderline players than the Mets’. Even so, my feeling is that Wade also prefers a Bourn/Geary package over Gomez/Muniz, which I doubt Omar would have offered anyway. Realistically, it seems like the Mets never really had a solid chance at landing Lidge unless they were going to significantly overpay.

    You’re also contradicting yourself. “Omar throws $$$ at the problem” is not consistent with “u cant have all-star millionaires at every position.” I tend to agree more with the second statement than the first, anyway. If Omar throws money at all the problems, Soriano would be in LF instead of Alou, Matsuzaka would have been added to the rotation, and cheap guys like Valentin, Chavez, Maine, Perez, Heilman, and El Duque would not have been given such important roles on the team.

  13. Micalpalyn November 9, 2007 at 1:58 pm
    Here’s a solid article linked in the MLBrumors page:

    Silver brings to the fore what WE have seen from Omar (countered by Willie). The use of cost control.

    Several of us have written back and forth about the ebb and flow of the 25man roster;
    a. Where does Millz and Gomez fit?
    b. How to use Pelfrey and Humber
    c. What happened with Heath, Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom?
    d. etc

    Omar installed Heilman, Wright and Reyes Period. Yes they developed, but Bell and even Ring could easily have part of the success story. How much worse would Bell and Ring be in place of Mota and Sho (LOOGY and ROOGY) and cost controlled to boot.

    Has Willie learned to use all 25 men? Why cant Pelfrey be the next Heilman? The next Billy Wagner? and cost controlled at that.

    While saying that about Pelfrey is a gamble, Millz is not a gamble (to me). At the league min you have a very athletic OF with good projections. Ditto for Gomez who (again to me) can fill in for Endy if Endy is traded to sweeten a deal. Note we have Veteran bench players in Easley and anderson who are good late inning hitters.

    I also think, Omar will trade one of his 3 near ML ready pitchers. But Mulvey or Humber if not moved could be viable 6th starters. I REALLY like Humber, I think his curve is special. And if he can get his FB together to set up his curve (learning a change could help too), i think he is a starter. But a year in the pen at this point should not hurt him.

    If in the future we add a Peavy, Santana, or a new LF next yr we need to look at the players who can help us that are cost controlled.

  14. Micalpalyn November 9, 2007 at 2:25 pm
    joe: no you didnt. but ‘others’ (those who would evaluate Bourn and Gomez together) seem to. As Silver points out Bourn projects as a juan Pierre. I think gomez has more in his favor and is about 3 yrs younger.

    Isu: You and I both see the same thing- by throwing $$$ at the problem- Omar identified the closers role as a problem and threw $$$ at it. Other positions (IF-OF) are spots which he could cost control and add cheaper players who could supplement.

    I think Beltran and Pedro were credibility, and recruiting additions as much as production. In fact many saw the addition of Beltran as not necessarily an upgrade over Cammy (when healthy). But this yr there are “holes” at catcher and the starting picthing. I think he could go after 2 SP this year though.