Archive: January 3rd, 2008

First Major Deal of 2008

Not for the Mets, but in general. The Athletics traded Nick Swisher to the White Sox for a trio of prospects named Gio Gonzalez, Faustino De Los Santos and Ryan Sweeney. The first two are pitchers, and Sweeney is an outfielder.

And for the record, it’s actually the second trade of the year. Yesterday the Phillies acquired speedy but unknown outfielder Chris Roberson from the Orioles in return for cash. Presumably he fits into the fourth outfielder / pinch-runner role left behind by Michael Bourn (no relation to Jason).

Strangely enough, for whatever reason the idea of the Mets trading for Swisher popped into my head this morning — I have no idea why. Maybe the trade was reported on the radio and it entered my subconscious, but not conscious, mind (I’m generally unconscious until at least noon and/or after three cups of coffee).

In any case, it appears that the Athletics are in what I like to call “Marlins Mode” — the mass dumping of any and all players under contract in return for the cheapest minor leaguers money can buy. So that’s where the Swisher deal becomes relevant to MetsToday — can Omar Minaya get in on the fire sale?

After sending away Danny Haren and Swisher, it’s likely that Joe Blanton is next to go. In fact, anyone over the age of 25 is probably on trading block. Some of the names in that group: Rich Harden, Alan Embree, Kiko Calero, Dan Meyer, Dan Johnson, Bobby Crosby, Mark Kotsay, and Mark Ellis. Before you say, “what in the world would the Mets want with Bobby Crosby”, remember that they’re still trying to pry Johan Santana away from the Twins. Perhaps a trade and flip involving someone like Crosby is exactly what the Mets need to do to get a deal with Minnesota done. It makes sense, considering that the Twins were previously insistent on the Mets including shortstop Jose Reyes in any deal for Santana.

More news could be on the way … we’ll be watching the Billy Beane situation closely over the next few weeks.

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Royals Hot on Bartolo Colon?

According to the Mullet on AOL, who heard from MetsBlog, who heard from MLBTradeRumors, who heard from Impacto Deportivo (through Google translator), the Kansas City Royals might be about to sign Bartolo Colon — clearly one of the fattest free agent pitchers this side of Bob Wickman.

Or, there could be something lost in the translation.

This is what happens when there’s no real news in the blogosphere for a few days …

Why the rebuilding Royals would have interest in Colon I’m not sure. My best guess is that the equipment manager threatened to turn Runelvys Hernandez’s old jersey into a parachute if they didn’t get a new player to fit into it.

Over at USS Mariner, there is a well-written, in-depth discussion on Colon, which suggests that he may be the “hidden gem” of the offseason crop of free agent pitchers. The numbers are well-researched and provide excellent support for the argument. However, the stats do not tell the story of Colon’s health, which is questionable at best. Also questionable are the reports that Colon is “pitching well” in winter ball — he’s pitched all of four innings thus far.

Whatever the case, I won’t lose sleep if the Mets let Bartolo slip away to Kansas City. It’s probably a better plan for everyone all around.

Anyway, trying to uncover the Bartolo Colon mystery this morning was entertaining, if nothing else. And during my struggle to read through the original Spanish and Google-translated versions of Impacto Deportivo, I did find out that Edwin Encarcion’s cousin died, which allowed Victor Diaz to get into the starting lineup for the Aguilas (Eagles) Cibaenas, and Vic smashed a three-run homer to win the game. Although Diaz is hovering around the Mendoza Line, but that homerun makes 8 on the winter (the league leader had 8, and I think they’re in the postseason now) — he’s putting one over the fence about once every 20 ABs. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a minor league contract and an ST invite, but won’t hold my breath, either. Nelson Cruz, who we briefly mentioned yesterday, is among the league leaders in batting average at .318, has smacked 4 homers and 5 doubles in a little over 100 ABs, and has a fairly impressive .860 OPS. I have a funny feeling the Mets will sign or acquire at least one bat and one arm out of the Dominican League before spring training begins.

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