Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 23, 2005
BASEBALL: Resuelva los Metropolitanos!

The Mets get Delgado and $7 million for Mike Jacobs and Yusmiero Petit. Some disjointed thoughts on the deal and on other rumored deals:

1. Hey, if the Yankees had traded Kevin Maas for a big established power hitter after 1990, that would have been a good idea. Jacobs' stock will never be higher. I regard Jacobs as the next Rico Brogna, who came to the Mets at age 24 (same as Jacobs) and batted .351/.626/.380 in 131 at bats, compared to .310/.710/.375 for Jacobs in 100 at bats. Brogna, like Jacobs, could hit for a good average with middling power but had little plate discipline; he had one more good year the following season (.289/.485/.342) but was at best a league-average hittter after that, which is poor for a 1B. (Then again, maybe Jacobs he could pull a Mike Sweeney and take a huge step up with the bat now that he's not catching anymore; he's never had a full season where he wasn't catching).

2. Delgado is a big big improvement over Jacobs. Plus, they get $7 million in the deal - Delgado winds up costing $9 million/year less than Manny would have. Delgado's comparable players at age 34 include a few pretty scary ones (#1 is McCovey, who batted .213 at 34). If he ages like Fred McGriff, he'll be worth it.

3. Delgado is worth Petit, although I do think Petit could be a star at Shea. But he's a pitching prospect with only a handful of AAA innings, and those are always risky. And this way they keep Lastings Milledge, as long as they don't go and stupidly trade him for Soriano or something. I think it makes more sense to get a 1B than an OF, given the internal alternatives of Diaz and Milledge (and, yes, Nady, who can step in if Diaz falters).

4. Alfonso Soriano's upside is, he'd be an improvement over Matsui, Cairo and Anderson Hernandez (did you see how overmatched Hernandez looked in September? The kid's not ready just yet). And he's a better idea than Mark Grudzielanek, who I'd seen mentioned as a 2B possibility; the track record of 35-year-old singles/doubles hitters is gruesome, especially ones with little plate discipline. But Minaya should not value Soriano as if he is a star; he'd hit .240 at Shea and not give the team as much offense as, say, Mike Cameron did.

5. Pedro's not the only reason for a win-now attitude; the current labor agreement expires after 2006 (Pinto has some info on how the Mets are now in a position to spend money for 2006). (Also, Floyd and Glavine aren't young, though Glavine's not really a key player at this stage). Nonetheless, I do prefer to build for the long run around Wright and Reyes, particularly given the Braves' stockpiling of young talent.

6. I don't trust Vazquez but he would be an improvement over Benson, whose fastball went on vacation the last six weeks of the season. While Vazquez also finished very badly, I'd rather take the guy who's a power pitcher and appears healthy.

7. I don't see anyone left on the Mets' shopping list worth giving up Milledge for.

8. If you want to play to win in 2006, re-up Piazza for another year. He's still a better player than Ramon Hernandez or Bengie Molina, and probably would cost less $$.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:38 PM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I don't care how good Delgado is. His attitude toward America post 911 is inexcusable. Period.

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at November 23, 2005 2:24 PM

Rico Brogna had a disease of the spine called ankylosing spondilitis. I don't think it is fair to compare Mike Jacobs to him. Jacobs was a good law ball hitter whose preveious career was confined to AA ball. He always hit for average and power in the minor leagues. Not everyone who starets out hot is a Brogna, Maas, or Agbayani. Jacobs has more upside than you give him credit for. But potential is potential, and we don't know if he's the real thing or not.

Delgado can request a trade after a year. His contempt for the United States is despicable. My snarky comment is that it will play well in NYC.

All of the above being true, Minaya still had to make the deal. Delgado is an established star.

Posted by: allanjoel at November 23, 2005 6:02 PM

The Mets were not going to give everyday jobs to both Diaz and Jacobs - Minaya had a mandate to get at least one established bat. I think this deal is a better value than the one they'd have otherwise had to make to get Manny. As long as Delgado isn't a steroids guy (which I have no reason to think he isn't, but his strong 2005 is somewhat encouraging) I think it will work out pretty well.

The Mets seem committed to avoiding the 'great player on the way down' issues that would come from keeping Piazza, even if he is the best value available at the position. But as the Knicks learned, sometimes you'd be better off dealing with these issues that taking on other ones as an alternative.

Posted by: Jerry at November 23, 2005 8:39 PM

I'm out of the loop here. What did Delgado do after 911?

Posted by: big daddy at November 25, 2005 9:53 AM

What I don't understand about these moves by the Mets is what they are giving up considering both the Delgado and Wagner races involve only one team. Why give up your top pitching prospect when there aren't comprable offers? The Red Sox just flat out killed the Marlins getting Beckett, Lowell and Moto for 4 minor leaguers. The interest in Delgado is minimal and its a fire sale down there. Same thing although not to that extent with Wagner. Why pay $10 million when the odds are the market is not that generous for his services? Didn't the Mets recently try to old guy routine and have it not work out so well? I am all for established guys for prospects but these moves seem to have a lot of risky downside.

Posted by: jim at November 25, 2005 11:27 AM

Hey Greg,
Dissent is the essence of America. Delgado is a great 1b- we should have had him last year and we made up for it this year. Any fans that boo him over that propaganda 'god bless america' bs are full of it and yankee fans. guarantee he'll be beloved as long as he hits.

Posted by: George K. at November 25, 2005 11:48 AM

George, Delgado can exercise his freedom of speech; those who take offense are well within their rights to boo him as a result. He will be loved if he hits, but this comment from another site, "4) If Delgado continues to hit as he has in the past, he can wave a banner of Osama bid Laden during the pre-game anthem for all I care. Get that championship!", is beyond the pale.

Posted by: abe shorey at November 25, 2005 7:06 PM

Thread in which that delightful insight was posted: http://www.metsgeek.com/articles/2005/11/24/nyt-a-player-known-for-his-politics-too/

Posted by: abe shorey at November 25, 2005 7:07 PM
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