During SNY’s SportsNite (or was it Daily News Live? and does anyone know the difference?) last night, the subject of Brian Bannister surfaced.
Gary Apple threw out the suggestion that the “trade of Ambiorix Burgos and Ruben Gotay for Brian Bannister goes down as amongst Omar Minaya’s worst ever”, with both Jonas Schwartz and Mark Malusis agreeing wholeheartedly.
Schwartz: “you wanna ask me how bad on a scale of one to ten, it’s a 14! …. I think it’s the worst of Omar’s tenure …”
Malusis: “oh it’s a terrible trade … Burgos … was an absolute disaster … as good of a deal as Santana deal was for Minaya, this was bad as a deal as could possibly be …”
First of all, Ruben Gotay was not part of that deal — he came to Shea in return for Jeff Keppinger. But I don’t care much about that part of the declaration.
Rather, I think it’s unfair to judge this deal so harshly right now. Right here, right now, and playing Monday morning quarterback, it’s easy to say it was a bad deal. After all, Bannister was a Rookie of the Year candidate while Burgos was recovering from Tommy John surgery. And I’ll be the first to admit that I liked Bannister, didn’t love the deal, and felt that Bannister’s brains and workmanlike effort were undervalued.
However, Burgos is only 24 years old, and was touching triple digits before TJ surgery. Last I checked, there weren’t many men who could hurl a baseball 100 MPH. Looking at the surgery’s history, it’s possible that Burgos returns as strong as he was before, and if he doesn’t, he likely will still be able to throw in the mid-90s — which still separates him from most of the human population. Because of his age, I think Amby has plenty of time to come back and make Omar look brilliant.
As of this moment, I wish the deal had never been made, but hindsight is 20/20. And until Burgos becomes the Mets closer and is saving 40 games a year, we’ll have to listen to pundits criticize the trade every time Brian Bannister throws a quality start.
By the way, is anyone else offended by the completely contrived controversies that have been unnaturally injected into SNY’s TV content lately? Do they really think we’re buying into — or enjoying — the artificial arguments between Schwartz and Malusis, or Chris Carlin and Kenny Beningo? No offense to any of those on-air personalities; I’m just uncomfortable watching them force debates.