Tag: f-mart

Sherman: Putz Yes Bradford No

In his most recent column, Joel Sherman is reporting on several rumors. We’ll go over them one by one.

Jenks / Dye / F-Mart
Sherman claims there is nothing to the rumor that the Mets will trade Fernando Martinez to the White Sox as part of a package for Bobby Jenks and Jermaine Dye:

“Talked to a few Met officials who called it nonsense. The Mets have made Martinez all but untouchable.”

J.J. Putz
However, Sherman does report that the Mariners are making J.J. Putz available:

What falls under the category of real, the Post has learned, is that the Mariners have made J.J. Putz available.

Gee, thanks for scoop! However the rest of the planet above that rock the Post has been under, heard this about a month ago.

Sherman goes on to state:

“The Mets like Putz as much – or possibly more – than any of the available free-agent closers.”

Not sure why they’re so high on Putz, though I like him better than Fuentes. Do they know he’ll be 32 years old in February? That his walk rate increased dramatically in 2008? (From 13 in 72 IP in 2007 to 28 BB in 46 IP in ’08.) Do they know he had a balky elbow last season, one that put him on the DL for a month? I’m not sure I’d be so quick to trade young healthy prospects for this guy.

and

“I do keep hearing from both inside and outside the Met organization that they really are dead set against giving either Rodriguez or Fuentes more than three guaranteed years. They certainly are not going to give more than three years unless an agent for Fuentes or K-Rod can show an offer from somewhere else for more than three years. It is hard to unearth a team that is ready to go to four years for one of them. The Mets are scared about Kerry Wood’s injury history, but if he were willing to do a two-year contract and come to New York he would become as appealing to the Mets as either K-Rod or Fuentes.”

Have to agree with Sherman here — it makes no sense for the Mets to go more than three years for either K-Rod or Fuentes, when it’s unlikely anyone else is willing to give them a longer deal. I bet Kerry Wood is willing to take a two-year deal — the only issue is whether he wants to pitch in New York. Why give three years plus your #1 pick for the other guys when you can get someone nearly as good for two years and no pick? Of course, an MRI of his shoulder is a prerequisite, but Rodriguez and Fuentes do not come without risk — either may be on the brink of a breakdown, for all we know.

Chad Bradford
Sherman says the Rays offered ChadBrad to the Mets, but there was no interest:

“The Rays offered Chad Bradford to the Mets because $3.5 million is too much in Tampa’s world for a set-up man, and Ray officials were shocked when the Mets told them it is too much for them, as well.”

If this is true, I’m equally shocked — beyond belief. After seeing Bradford pitch better for one season than any other 6th-7th inning guy in Mets history, and seeing him continue to be effective after leaving New York, and knowing that his underhanded style allows him to pitch, literally, every day, and seeing how cheap he is relative to other middle relievers, there simply is no logical explanation for the Mets to balk at such an offer. Now, if the Rays were asking for Daniel Murphy, I understand. But if it was a salary dump, and the Rays were looking to open a conversation, this makes no sense.

The only reasoning that makes sense — again, if the rumor is true — is that by bringing back ChadBrad, the Mets think it will make them look like the bungling idiots for allowing him to walk away in the first place. Because if you remember, they thought Bradford wasn’t worth a 3-year deal (but somehow, Scott Schoeneweis was).

C’mon now …. swallow your pride, admit your mistake, and trade a bag of balls for Chad Bradford. He can pitch in ANY relief situation (including closer, if necessary), he’s cheap, he has one year left, and he’s better than anyone currently listed as a reliever on the 40-man roster.

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F-Mart for Jenks?

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus suggests that the White Sox and Mets are talking about a blockbuster trade that would send Fernando Martinez to Chicago in return for Bobby Jenks and Jermaine Dye.

Strange, as Jermaine Dye — who has a no-trade clause — has repeatedly stated that he is not interested in going to a New York team. Maybe he can be persuaded after all.

If the rumor is true, the only problem I have is that Ken Williams — like Billy Beane — seems to have a brilliant knack for trading away pitchers at just the right time and acquiring pitchers at just the right time. My guess is that Aaron Heilman would also be part of the deal.

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Dominoes Falling

Teams deciding to whom they offer arbitration was the kindling for this winter’s Hot Stove, and already the dominoes are falling.

Since 24 players were offered arbitration on Monday, teams have been racing to sign free agents and make deals — and the winter meetings are still a week away.

The first free agents to sign are the lesser ones — particularly, the nondescript middle relievers (Doug Brocail), guys on the comeback trail (Mike Hampton), and the non-roster guys with spring training invites (Billy Traber). My guess is the first “big name” free agent to sign will be a shortstop — probably either Edgar Renteria or Rafael Furcal, who startlingly was not offered arbitration by the Dodgers. I understand they’re looking for a new shortstop, but based on all the rumors, it appears that Furcal is banking on a multi-year deal, so it’s surprising that LA would pass on the potential draft pick. Even if Furcal accepted, would it have been so terrible to have Furcal back, possibly as a second baseman (where the Dodgers have another hole)? Guess so.

So how will the dominoes fall for the Mets? We’re hearing that Trevor Hoffman wants to talk to the Mets, and it’s not a bad idea for Omar Minaya to open discussions — for no reason other than to get K-Rod and Brian Fuentes to think again about their outrageous demands. When it’s all said and done, I see the Mets signing K-Rod or trading for Bobby Jenks. To me, J.J. Putz and Brian Fuentes are not fabulous long-term solutions — if the Mets want short-term, then they should sign Hoffman for a year to a.) close in ’09 and b.) teach someone such as Aaron Heilman, Eddie Kunz, Joe Smith, etc., how to close in the future. But I’m not seeing the Mets as getting serious about Hoffman.

My guess is that the first free-agent the Mets sign will be Chad Cordero — as a minor leaguer with an invite to spring training. If they don’t make the announcement this week, one definitely will be made at the winter meetings.

Also, if the Mets are serious about making a major, impact trade, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Ryan Church, Fernando Martinez, and one of their pitching prospects (Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz) will be dealt. Church’s stock may not get higher, and I’m hearing rumblings that he’s not a favorite in the clubhouse. Further, as much as I discount Mike Francesa’s inane comments, I think New York is not the best place for Church. But most importantly, Church is currently cheap, a good all-around player, young, and the only legit MLB position player of value that the Mets are willing to part with. After all, the Mets are not trading David Wright, Jose Reyes, or Carlos Beltran, probably not trading Carlos Delgado, and will get little in return for Brian Schneider. Dan Murphy’s greatest value is to the Mets, not another organization, at this point. Same goes for Endy Chavez. Church, however, has value to many teams — particularly those looking to cut payroll — and can be very easily replaced with a free agent, as there is a glut of lefthanded hitting outfielders available. The prospect of trading Church is the only thing — to me — that makes sense in regard to the Mets’ inquiries on people like Raul Ibanez.

A flurry of moves will be made starting today and going through the next two weeks. Expect to see at least a few dominoes falling into the Mets’ lap shortly.

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