Trade talk in the Mets’ front office

Scene – A large corporate office where three men are engaged in heavy discussion.  Each of them holds an old fashioned glass, with ice cubes and ginger ale.  The drinks may or may not contain bourbon.  The oldest of the three is clearly the leader but the two younger men are confident enough to state their opinions without fear of ridicule or dismissal.

*****

Older man: We’ve got to do something about the bullpen. It’s the only thing I did this offseason and it’s blowing up in my face.

2nd man: But if relievers are a crapshoot over 70 innings why on earth would we get one for 30?

3rd man: Plus you know 2/3 of the teams think they’re going to make the playoffs and the other 1/3 are holding them hostage in trade talks.

Older man: Do you guys even watch the games?  Our pen is so bad it’s a crisis because Frank Francisco and his 4.97 are on the DL.  And we’re excited because a guy with a 5.67 ERA in the second half of last year got an out two days ago.

3rd man: But remember, we’re responsible for getting Pedro Beato, so that’s good news.

Older man: I want you two to list every reliever out there, what we would have to give up and tell me why that’s a bad idea.

2nd man: Jonathan Broxton

3rd man: Royals want MLB talent in return.

2nd man: How about Jordany Valdespin?

Older man: If you’re the Royals, why trade for the guy who hopes to turn into Yuniesky Betancourt when you’ve already got Betancourt playing for you?

3rd man: How about Dillon Gee?

Older man: We’re worried about the fans turning on us now, what happens if we trade a starter and it’s a guy that the fans think is good, like Gee?  Plus they don’t want to see Miguel Batista for one inning, much less seven innings every five days.

2nd man: But we all know that Batista’s only allowed 15 ER in 44 IP for us as a starting pitcher.

Older man: But the fans blame Batista for last night’s loss when he came in and gave up the eighth run in the game.  It’s as irrational to hate Batista as it is to like Gee but that’s what we’re dealing with here.

3rd man: OK, how about Matt Capps

Older man: Injured

2nd man: Alex Burnett?

Older man: 18 Ks in 41 IP.  Pass.

3rd man: Huston Street?

2nd man: He’s already got his yearly injury out of the way.

Older man: The Padres are still miffed at me for scooping up Mike Baxter.  Look I’m going to step out for a minute. You two hammer this out and have a name for me with no issues when I get back.

Older man leaves

2nd man: I know we’ve been talking about relievers but we’ve been going about this all wrong.

3rd man: But we already missed the boat on Kelly Shoppach so we could sign Jon Rauch.

2nd man: Don’t remind me.

3rd man: He would have been perfect.

2nd man: Enough!  Look, the relievers are an issue because our starters go six innings.  What if we got a starter to go eight innings every time out?

3rd man: You think the Phillies are going to trade Cole Hamels?

2nd man: They might.  But if they offer us Hamels should we ask for Cliff Lee?

3rd man: What?!?! Have you seen that contract?

2nd man: I have but I’ve also seen the 29.7 fWAR between 2008-2011.

3rd man: He’s owed $25 million for each of the next three years and then $27.5 million in 2016 with a $12.5 million buyout!

2nd man: We make them take Jason Bay and have them kick in some cash

3rd man: Our boss won’t do it and his boss certainly wouldn’t do it

2nd man: And it’s our job to convince them it’s the right thing to do.

3rd man: Someone’s got to convince me first.

2nd man: The idea is to win the championship.  We just saw first hand that there’s nothing wrong with Lee’s stuff

3rd man: But he turns 34 at the end of August.

2nd man: Yeah, it would be nice if he was a couple of years younger.

3rd man: Good, so let’s not talk of this again.

2nd man: No, it just means we have to do a proper risk/reward, determine what he’s likely to give over the life of the contract and deal accordingly.

3rd man: OK, let’s say the Phillies agree to deal him, our guys sign off on it and we make a deal.  Do we really want to help that team out by taking away one of their albatross contracts?

2nd man: The guy who gave out those deals is still there.

Older man returns

Older man: OK, what do you have for me?

3rd man looks at 2nd man nervously

2nd man: We’ve been looking at this all wrong.  Instead of rolling the dice on another reliever hoping not to crap out again, let’s get a starter instead.  How about Cliff Lee?

Curtain closes to the sound of breaking glass

14 comments for “Trade talk in the Mets’ front office

  1. SteveP
    July 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Not realistic – by about 2/3′s of the way in, Godwin’s rule would have come into play. Hey, I know!!! how about Barry Zito!!!

  2. July 7, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Whew – I read that quickly and I thought it was about Danny Goodwin.

  3. NormE
    July 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Brian, that was fun.
    We all know that the Mets can’t rape their system and believe me the Phils want to rape, pillage and plunder before
    they trade Lee or Hamels to the Mets.
    Any decent reliever will probably cost too much at this point in the season. Given the probability that the present
    roster is too thin to keep on a playoff pace, I would prefer to look internally, unless someone wants to take a body
    on the 25 man roster (not, Wright, Tejada, Dickey or Niese) in a trade.

    • July 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Thanks NormE! It was fun to write. I do think a trade for a reliever is coming but I have no idea who. Hopefully Sandy does better now than he did in the offseason.

  4. Lee Andrew
    July 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Maybe it’s just my fandom speaking because they are my two favorite teams but I think the Mets and Pirates would be perfect trade partners. The only place the Pirates are deep is in the bullpen. They could go something big like Hanrahan for a starting position player or something small like a middle reliever for a role player (who would probably get a lot of playing time on the Pirates offense)

    • July 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

      In a normal year I’d agree but I just don’t see the Pirates acting as sellers this season.

      • 7train
        July 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        I can’t see Pittsburgh being sellers either, maybe both but if anything they might add.

        I’d look at Cody Ross and Tori Hunter to platoon with Duda and seriously see what Upton would cost providing Bay went to AZ for the one year left on his deal. If the pro scouts feel Upton is worth the 21 million left after subtracting Bay’s 16 over the next 3+ years what else would it take? Pick any four of Duda, Flores, Marte, Lutz, Lagares, Ceciliani, Havens or Gorski.

        We would lose some depth and certainly could be taking a big chance but if the scouts feel Upton will play up to his deal we’d be far better defensively, much better against LHP and clear up some roster spots so while we’ll lose a few guys we’ll keep some we would otherwise have lost and if things go well we’ll pick up two #1 picks down the road when Upton becomes a FA.

        Not sure that we would have a match but it’s worth taking a good long look at.

  5. Metsense
    July 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    The curtain closes to the sound of a thud, that being the old man having a heart attack at the money being spent. And I don’t blame him! The Mets need bullpen help and Broxton, Street and KRod can be had. 2-4M for playoff insurance sounds reasonable. The Dodgers lack a SS with Dee Gordon out 6 weeks so Cedeno for almost anyone in their bullpen would be an improvement for the Mets. If the Mets are just looking to upgrade catcher, expand a K-Rod deal to include LuCroy (Soon to be off DL) or Maldonado. The need for a RH bat is confusing to me because everything I have read indicates Bay will be handed the LF job so it looks like a Duda/Hairston platoon in right. Starting pitching has been the Mets strength and there is no need to spend money on it, especially with all their cheap minor league pitchers on the brink of the majors.

    • Metsense
      July 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

      UPDATE: On acquiring a right-handed bat via trade: “Well, I hope the right-handed bat we have [is]Jason Bay. I know that doesn’t inspire confidence on the part of most Mets fans, but I think Jason has an opportunity to play a big part for us the second half. … I think we have to keep in mind that Jason could be the biggest addition we could hope to get. No guarantees that he’ll make a big contribution, but he certainly has that potential.” Alderson on 7-8-12

      • July 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

        I just posted my article today and saw this response of yours. I address this “adding Jason Bay” meme and the pros and cons. IMHO it’s a net negative unless they platoon him.

  6. Name
    July 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    LOL that’s pretty much a recap of our chatter the past few days :)

    • Chris F
      July 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      The chats have been awesome!!! Great job on that team M360!

      • Metsense
        July 8, 2012 at 9:22 am

        Enjoy the chats because the opinions are well thought out. Very knowledgeable reader group. Also very respectful. Heck, even the chat is rated G as you can’t even mention what pitchers do in the OF during BP! Pretty funny!____ fly ____! Thanks Mets 360

  7. July 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

    The chats are a lot of fun and we are an inclusive bunch. Just come on in, say hi and join the party!

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