Jeremy Heit's Blog
Friday, November 12, 2004
 
Open Thread: Crazy Trade Rumors

Here it is. Talk away.

My one comment: I feel the one trade rumor out there right now that has the best chance of happening is the Sosa one. The Mets have repeatedly talked to the Cubs and from Minaya's quotes, he seems interested in at least following this through to see how this would exactly all turn up. This is starting to get me worried in a Kazmir-Zambrano type trade talk... I can't really believe it would happen, but I get a little more scared each day. Though, then again, I was more dismissive of the Kazmir-Zambrano rumors... but then again, maybe I've learned something.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
 
Mike Piazza for Shawn Green: Hot Stove Madness

So, you like hot stove rumors? Here ya go...
The Dodgers are looking to move Shawn Green and the sides chatted about the remote possibility of swapping him for Piazza, who would be returning to his first team.
Before we get to the particulars of why this is such a bad idea, Green and Piazza's contracts are basically similar with both having a year remaining at an outrageous price.

Both are not the same hitters they used to be and at this point they are now similar. But this has nothing to do with their stats but all to do with what could be the side effects of such a move.

Green can play two positions. Let's tackle him playing firstbase first...

If Shawn Green plays firstbase

C- ?
1B- Green
2B- Matsui
SS- Reyes (for this post, we'll hold onto the hope that the MI doesn't change)
3B- Wright
RF- ?
CF- Cameron
LF- ?

Three holes. Well, the catcher hole is where I'm most concerned.

Jason Varitek wants 5 years at 50 million dollars. It is Scott Boars, but his contract could be pretty outrageous this offseason (even at 3/24) and its just not worth it. Remember this post I wrote? There's everything you need to know.

Matt wrote about this today and mentioned Jason Kendall, who is owed 34 million over the next 3 years and I doubt the Mets get much salary relief from the Pirates (maybe if they take Cliffy's contract). Still, a 31 year old catcher next year who hits for no power but has a high OBP. Unfortunately, a lot of that comes from AVG, which Shea destroys. The next three years at .275/.350/.360 are possible (I always love the worst case scenario), which isn't worth that money. Heck, his line last year (.319/.399/.390) isn't worth the money.

But, assume for a moment the Mets signed some veteran to take the spot or god forbid, handed the job to Vance Wilson or Jason Phillips. Think about that? They moved the old declining bat from catcher to 1B (granted, Green might have a better shot at staying healthy). Isn't it easier to pick up a decent cheap hitter at 1B for the money you would spend on the catcher? So there is an automatic downgrade. Also, Green, a natural RF, is not going to be too helpful on the defensive end. I don't know much about him at 1B defensively, but his zone rating isn't inspiring. Granted, he could really be about average, but still, this team could use a natural first baseman with a young left side of the infield and a player playing a new position at second.

Also, if the Mets do make a big play at a catcher, then they are out of the running for an OF and after a Floyd trade, couldn't you see Diaz(Valent)/Cameron/Hidalgo. Personally... Ew. Imagine this lineup...

Reyes
Matsui
Wright
Green
Varitek
Hidalgo
Cameron
Diaz

Yeah, that's inspiring. But let's say the Mets don't go the big route at catcher... They are able to make a big play at an OF... heck, let's say Beltran! Here we go...

Reyes
Matsui
Wright
Beltran
Green
Cameron
Diaz
Veteran FA Catcher

A little better, but wouldn't Piazza for Green and say Tino/Mientkiewicz at the bottom look better (or Sexson in the middle... ah, we'll discuss that a little later). Maybe not a lot, but a little bit and you avoid the temptation for the Mets to sign a big time FA catcher (or trade for one), which in my opinion, is a huge mistake.

If Shawn Green plays RF

I personally think this is a the more likely situation and a much worse one than Green at first. First, the big time catcher thing is still out there and if that occurs, the Mets won't, in my opinion, go after a big time 1B (explanation at bottom... Reason #2). Imagine this...

Reyes
Matsui
Wright
Green
Varitek
Cameron
Diaz
Tino/Mientkiewicz/whoever else

That's really uninspiring. Now, hopefully, the Mets wouldn't go that way and would consider the 1B spot. Here's another possible lineup...

Reyes
Matsui
Wright
Sexson/Delgado
Green
Cameron
Diaz
FA Catcher

A little better, but not much. Biggest problem? Cameron is still batting sixth.

But let's say the Mets wanted to go after another OF, even with Green playing RF. Where would they go? Cameron isn't playing LF (and I don't think Green would be asked to), so Beltran is out of the question. Actually, all the big names (Drew and Maggilo essentially) are out because they aren't playing anything other than RF or in Drew's case, maybe even CF (and obviously CF for Beltran). So, making a run at a big OF is not really possible, which would be a shame, with a franchise guy out there like Beltran and another possible one in Drew. Two great OFs are out there and the Mets would be denying themselves a shot at either one. And that would be a shame.

Just think, the Mets could still have this lineup without trading Piazza...

Reyes
Matsui
Wright
Beltran
Sexson
Piazza
Cameron
Diaz

Now that's nice (and my dream scenario). And yes, the Mets could spend on two bigger FAs in this situation. Two reasons:

1. The Mets have the ability with RF and 1B open with Green not here.
2. I don't think the Mets would make the big splash with Green and make another big splash on top of that. I think they'll think that they will have solved their problems with Green and one FA, whether at C, 1B or RF. Even if the Mets were to go Sexson/Varitek (I don't think one of the OF+Varitek would fit in the budget if Green is at first), I'm still not that inspired and I definitely don't want to be caught up in too many years with Varitek in an unmovable contract (a lot of money for an old catcher... oh yeah, that's the problem with Mikey!).

There is one thing this trade would do to help the Mets and that is rid the Mets of Mikey's bad health. Green is a better bet to stay healthy going forward (he will also play in more games as Piazza can, even if healthy, only go 120 at most) but I'm convinced Piazza, if he can stay healthy, will hit better than he has the last few years. How good of a chance is it he can stay healthy? Hmm... I don't know, but I think, with all the reprecussions that could occur from trading Piazza for Green and the chances the Mets could lose out on from not getting some of the FAs available, it is worth the risk to see if Piazza can stay healthy for this year.

And just for fun, imagine, if you will, the worst nightmare lineup...

Matsui
Cabrera
Wright
Green
Varitek
Hildago (could be a veteran 1B, depending on where Green is)
Cameron
Diaz

I think they Mets will avoid that... Will they avoid Shawn Green? Only time will tell and I guess that's what makes the Hot Stove so fun.

So, your thoughts on a potential Piazza-Green swap?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
 
Jay has a nice roundup of Mets stuff today (both news and blogging).

With not much else to say, I might as well mention that the Hardball Times, a great site linked to your right, has a book (their first) coming out this year aptly named The Hardball Times 2004 Baseball Annual. For information on the book, you can go here. Hell, since you know Gleeman is involved, you might not even need the information to convince you to buy it... you can go right here and order the book right away!

In all seriousness, the guys over there do a great job on the site and it looks like an excellent book. Go support a good website.

Monday, November 08, 2004
 
So, let's for the moment, make an assumption. Kris Benson will be signed. That's fair, right? So, if that is true, the Mets have Trachsel, Benson, Zambrano and Glavine in the rotation. And then there is Leiter... let's, for the moment, assume he doesn't come back. With the latest rumors out that this might be a possibility, a lot of talk in Met fandom has been expressed on who exactly will replace him.

A trade for Barry Zito
?

Carl Pavano
?
Carl Pavano, RHP. People seem to think he's going to stay in Florida, or that if he goes to New York it would be with the Yankees. But Pavano, who is from Connecticut, has told Mets players he wants to come to New York and stay in the NL.
Hell, I've heard Matt Clement, Pedro and Derek Lowe.

And yet, like I did when the Leiter news first came out, I will trumpet Aaron Heilman. That's why you don't see a FA starting pitcher discussion here. I am and will always be all for Aaron Heilman. I truly believe that if after half a year it doesn't work out, the Mets can hand the job to Petit. If it does, Heilman can be in the rotation next year and Petit can take Trachsel's spot, whose option they hopefully, especially in that case, turn down.

So... no trades for Zito, no Pedro (please!), no Clement or Pavano and no Lowe, as much as I like him.

Finally, here's a nice little article from the Daily News on Omar going to the GM Winter Meetings. Let's dissect some of this...
Houston center fielder Carlos Beltran is the marquee free agent on the market, and the Mets certainly will be among the teams to inquire about him. But Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, already has begun squawking that his client could command a 10-year contract, and the Yankees are widely expected to pursue him feverishly.
I personally think the 10 year contract is a Boras bluff, but we'll see (I would probably give him the 10 years in certain situations...). Also another reason not to go after a free agent pitcher if Leiter's spot opens up.
Toronto's Carlos Delgado and Arizona's Richie Sexson are the top first basemen available, but the Mets also might opt for cheaper free-agent possibilities who are better defensively, such as Tino Martinez, John Olerud or Doug Mientkiewicz.
In order: Sexson, Delgado, Mientkiewicz, Tino, Olerud. Remember, Minetkiewicz does require a trade and Delgado gets ahead of him for potential of what he could be (and hopefully that he wouldn't be that expensive).
Notably, Sexson and White Sox outfielder Magglio Ordonez, whom the Mets had targeted last summer, are coming off significant injuries. The Mets were burned last winter, of course, when they took a cautious approach with then-free agent Vladimir Guerrero, who went on to put up an MVP-caliber season in 2004 for Anaheim. Oft-injured Kansas City free agent Juan Gonzalez is another name that has come up as a cheaper, stop-gap option in the outfield.
The injury thing will be interesting to see, as I'm interested in what they do with Sexson (on the other hand, I hope they avoid Maggilo). And I put the emphasis on the Juan Gonzalez part because that might be one of the worst ideas ever. Let's get rid of an oft-injured declining raker (Cliff Floyd) to get a even more oft-injured (and worse defensively) declining raker!

And finally, the best nugget...
Another reported possibility involves signing Boston shortstop Orlando Cabrera, with whom Minaya has a strong relationship from their time together in Montreal, and trading either Jose Reyes or Kaz Matsui.
I throw up in my mouth every time I read this, which is scarily becoming more frequent (You can see my original disgust when this came out about a month ago here).

That's all for today. Have a good one and come back tomorrow... maybe there will be another article about Minaya at the GM Winter Meetings.

Sunday, November 07, 2004
 
OFF, frequent commenter at this here and other Met blogs, frequent contributor to Met Game Chatters and Met thread hijacks at BTF and frequent over-stater, has a new Met blog (Yes, that might be number 50... or something close anyway).

All kidding aside from the top (and you thought I like to make fun of Matt... just you guys wait), OFF is an extremely smart and knowledgable Met fan and his first entry on Blake McGinely is very good. He'll be a welcome addition to the blogosphere.


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