So, according to various news sources, it seems that Omar Minaya has a few deals on the table that he can accept before he signs any free agents. Some seem to be legitimate, others not as much, but who really knows with this Hot stove? Let’s go trade by trade and see what Omar should do.
1) Mets trade Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman to the Rockies for Huston Street
Street, who was just traded in the Matt Holliday deal, is coming off of his first season where he was not relatively dominant. However, a 3.73 is not bad considering Street was still recovering and coming back from a 2007 injury that shortened his season. Street’s main problem last year was walks, as he more than doubled his 2006 walk total in 2/3 of an inning less. He also gave up a career-high six homers, but still managed to strike out 69 batters in his 70 innings. Much has been made of whether or not he would be able to “handle” the pressures of New York, but analytically speaking those questions are pretty irrelevant. Bill James predicts a 2.90 ERA for Street next year, which would certainly help the pen’s causes. Also, the Mets could then sign either K-Rod or Fuentes and put Street in the set-up role for a monstrous 1-2 punch to end the game. Heilman looks like he’s a shell of his former self, and while I really like Feliciano, a LOOGY is not that hard to find; in fact, LOOGIES are more often made then discovered. The Mets can either go out and sign a lefty reliever or “create” one within their system.
Verdict: Omar should make the deal after he signs a closer, thus making Street a great set-up option and backup, just in case anything happens to whomever the Mets designate for the ninth inning.
2) Mets trade Fernando Martinez and another pitching prospect (either Eddie Kunz or Bobby Parnell) to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye and Bobby Jenks.
Is Jermaine Dye a good outfielder? Yes. Is Bobby Jenks a good closer? Yes. Is this a good deal for the Mets? Probably not. Dye will be 35 years old when the season begins, and although he bounced back with a nice 2008, is still coming off a mediocre 2007. Jenks has also had back-to-back strong seasons, but has had decreased workloads over the past three years and may not have a frame that supports himself over the next three. The question to ask here is how strong the Mets feel about Martinez, Kunz, and Parnell. If the Mets do this deal they may be saving themselves some draft picks, but either way they may be getting them back by offering Oliver Perez arbitration. If you entered Martinez into the draft for 2009, he’d be taken within the first few picks for sure.
Verdict: Tempting, but there are better options available.
3) Mets send Luis Castillo to the Royals for OF Jose Guillen.
Jose Guillen posted an OPS+ last year of 96, but in Seattle in 2007 hit .290/.353/.460 with 172 hits and 23 homers. Guillen would either slot in at left field or platoon with Church in right field and provide some pop at the bottom of the order. He also would be much better than Luis Castillo, has a year less on his contract, and is much better defensively (he has an amazing arm). I think that Jose Guillen is also a guy that plays better when he’s happy. I know that’s tough to say, but he started out great in Kansas City last year, rumors came out that he hated the place and he fought with manager Trey Hillman, and he went downhill from there. I think bringing Guillen to New York may change his attitude for the better, as Jerry Manuel only wants gangsters, not ladies. Also, this would open up second base for a signing (Orlando Hudson?) or Daniel Murphy.
Verdict: Do it. The ghost of Luis Castillo already haunts Shea, I don’t want it touching Citi Field.