Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 1, 2008
BASEBALL: The Ones You Don't Make

Cerrone summarizes Omar Minaya's press conference on why the Mets made no deals at the deadline. Realistically, having dealt Milledge and stripped much of the farm system's tradeable chips in the offseason to get Santana, the Mets could not compete for the likes of Manny or Jason Bay. Bay brought home 4 prospects - the Mets only really have two prime time prospects now, outfielder Fernando Martinez and LHP Jon Niese, and with a long-term core of Wright-Reyes-Santana-Beltran-Maine (if healthy)-Pelfrey in place, they don't want to totally abandon the future to win now just because they are running near the end of the line with Delgado, Pedro, Wagner and maybe Perez (I won't mention Alou and El Duque here since they aren't contributing now anyway). It's frustrating, since this is a pretty good team now that just has some gaping holes to fill, especially with Church's status perenially uncertain, but I guess we are now wedded to Fernando Tatis as an everyday player, and hoping the 33-year-old Tatis doesn't wake up one morning and realize the 1990s are over.

Cerrone runs down the longer list of guys Minaya talked about as prospects. A quick look:

*Martinez, 19, is batting .292/.332/.420 at AA and has is ailing again, this time his hamstrings. .292 with doubles power is not bad for a teenager at AA, but with no HR power yet and a 14/56 BB/K ratio he's clearly not going to be of any use to the big club this year and probably needs a full year in the minors in 2009 before you can talk about him as a serious major league regular.

*Niese, 21, has just been bumped up to AAA. I assume we see him for a September cup of coffee, earlier only if Maine's rotator cuff is worse than the Mets are letting on. He has a 2.95 ERA and his per 9 ratios are 8.15 K, 3.15 BB and 0.41 HR in 23 starts. His ERA was 4.29, but with similar peripherals, in A ball last year. He seems to project as a third starter type, maybe a #2 at best.

*Robert Parnell, the #2 starter behind Niese at AA Binghamton, pitched really well his first season in low A ball in 2005, but has a 4.39 ERA since then, including 4.32 this season, averaging 6.56 K, 4.32 BB and 0.93 HR. I can't see what in his performance record makes him a prospect any time in the near future.

*Dan Murphy, 23, has good numbers at AA this year (.308/.374/.496 with 26 2B, 13 HR, and 14 steals). Unfortunately, Murphy's a third baseman (and an error-prone one at that, career fielding % of .920) and has little prior track record of minor league success; to be useful to the Mets he would need a new position, but breaking in a new position makes a guy hard to trade while he's learning it.

*Eddie Kunz, 22 and also at AA Binghamton, is a RH reliever who has never allowed a home run in 59 pro innings, has a 2.87 ERA and 7.85 K/9 this season, but also 4.40 BB. Like Murphy, he's only done anything to merit appearing on the prospect radar this season. I can't see the use in rushing a guy like that until his control improves.

There's also Nick Evans and Mike Carp, of course, who will presumably battle it out for the 1B job next season assuming Delgado is allowed to walk (anything else would be nuts) and the Mets finish second in the Teixeira sweepstakes.

One more note: the Mets officially do not miss Paul Lo Duca, who was cut by the Nationals along with Felipe Lopez and Johnny Estrada.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:28 AM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

While I can't really imagine the Mets picking up a $12 mil option on Delgado, I'd say it's no longer certain he won't be back at any price.

Posted by: Jerry at August 1, 2008 2:08 PM

I am really glad the Mets didn't get Manny.

If they did they would be in the Series, and who wants that.

Posted by: TROOPER YORK at August 1, 2008 6:16 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

The Mets aren't the only ones who didn't make a deal. The Phillies also didn't move anyone.

Posted by: John Carl at August 1, 2008 8:23 PM

Hey weren't the Met's the only ones that didn't make a deal?

Posted by: trooper york at August 1, 2008 10:01 PM

I wonder how having Boras as an agent affected who went after Manny?

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at August 1, 2008 10:52 PM

Didn't the Phillies get Joe Blanton? He is not C.C.Sabathia but he did come via trade

Posted by: John at August 3, 2008 8:25 PM

I think the Pirates were the winner in the Manny trade. They got 3 parts that they can use now and a mid-rotation guy that is a couple of years away. That sure beats having to watch Manny be Manny.

Posted by: maddirishman at August 4, 2008 5:48 AM

First, saw Eddie Kunz pitch Friday night in a minor league game in New Brittan CT. Big guy, throws real hard. Nailed down a tough save. Then he got called up over the weekend and threw a dicey yet scoreless inning on Sunday. Pretty cool to watch a guy in the minors, and later see that player in the bigs.

And second, the Dodgers got the best of the Manny deal. Manny can still hit a little bit, so he helps their lineup. And it would appear that he's motivated, so that's nice. But mostly they win because they gave up two mediocre prospects (neither likely a future all star) for a HOF rental / try out. They either like him and sign him, or more likely, they let him walk and get two first round draft picks. The two picks make up for the two prospects, so they get Manny for virtually nothing. And oh yeah, they don't even have to pay his contract, the Sox are picking it up.

Posted by: CT Ron at August 4, 2008 9:46 AM
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