Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Mets traded two of 2010's top three sluggers - in the same deal!

July 30, 2004, is a date that lives in infamy for the Mets, thanks to the Scott Kazmir trade. But the Mets made another deal that day, and that trade may turn out to be even worse.

Toronto's Jose Bautista is currently tied with the White Sox's Paul Konerko for the major league lead in homers with 14. Baltimore's Ty Wigginton is one behind them with 13 homers. No one else has more than twelve. Both Bautista and Wigginton are former Mets, and the Mets, who could use some home run punch, let them go in the same regrettable trade.

At the 2004 trading deadline, the Mets packaged Wigginton and Bautista along with pitching prospect Matt Peterson to acquire Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger.

The biggest name in this trade was Benson, who won four games the rest of the way in 2004 and ten games in 2005. But Benson - and his controversial wife Anna - were traded to Baltimore in January 2006 for reliever Jorge Julio and a pitching prospect. Julio got off to a disastrous start with the Mets before he was traded to Arizona four years ago today for Orlando Hernandez.

The Mets could use Keppinger now – he became the Astros’ starting second baseman earlier this season (replacing Kaz Matsui!) and is batting .292 with 15 runs and 17 RBI. Meanwhile, Mets second baseman Luis Castillo is batting .250 with 10 runs and 11 RBI - and facing a possible trip to the DL. But Keppinger was traded in 2006 for Ruben Gotay, who was later waived.

Wigginton, who had 12 homers in 86 games at the time of the trade, went on to average 23 homers a year from 2006-2008.

Bautista has never hit more than 16 homers in a season, but as ESPN's Buster Olney points out, Bautista's homer pace began accelerating at the end of last season, when he hit 10 after September 7.

Bautista was only a Met for a few hours - he had been acquired earlier in the day from Kansas City for catching prospect Justin Huber. And it has taken Bautista years to come into his own. Wigginton is generally regarded more as a utility player.

But if Bautista and Wigginton end up each hitting 25-30 homers this season (and they are halfway there in late May), the Mets will have nothing to show for what they gave up.

Except for one player.

For Kazmir and two of the top three sluggers in baseball this season so far, all the 2010 Mets have to show for these disastrous deals is the pitching prospect they got from the Orioles along with Julio for Benson.

That prospect was John Maine.

Some people think the Mets should try to get Roy Oswalt from the Astros. It's worth remembering how it turned out six years ago when the Mets went after veteran starting pitchers at the trade deadline.


jpkmets said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncle Mike said...

Oh, Jon, give the Mets a break. After all, it doesn't become a bad trade until the giveaways win something with their new teams. You know, like Nolan Ryan won all those Pennants with the Angels and Astros. (Well, they did win 3 Division Titles, anyway, the last in 1986, and as I recall the Astros lost the NLCS that year.)

Besides, the Mets do NOT have a track record of obtaining star pitchers who didn't work out for them due to age and/or injury.

Except Mickey Lolich (for Rusty Staub). And Frank Viola (for Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani and David West, one-third of the Twins' '91 WS-winning pen). And Tom Glavine (free agent). And Pedro Martinez (ditto). And Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez (ditto). And the second comings of Tom Seaver (didn't give up much to get him back) and David Cone (free agent).

urinalfresh23 said...

Mikey is still sore that the Mets took two of three from the $206 million corporate entity masquerading as a baseball team. Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!

Uncle Mike said...

Urinalfresh is still in denial that in the last 5 games his team has ever played that have mattered a damn, his team lost 4, concluding with 25,000 Yankee Fans celebrating at Shea Stadium.

urinalfresh23 said...

At least the Mets didn't lose their 4 games all in the same series, like the Yankers did in the 2004 ALCS. Choke job!

Uncle Mike said...

Choke job? The Mets blew Games 6 and 7 of the 1973 World Series. The Mets blew a 2-games-to-1 lead to the pathetic-hitting Dodgers in the '88 NLCS when Dwight Gooden gave up a home run at home to Mike Scioscia... not quite Greg Maddux giving up a triple to Joe Girardi, but close. The Mets could have made the Playoffs if they'd won just ONE of their last 5 games in 1998, but they lost all 5. The Mets blew leads in Games 1 and 5 of the 2000 World Series... to the Yankees, who then clinched the World Championship at the Flushing Toilet. The Mets blew a 7-game lead with 17 to go in 2007, then fell out of first place again in 2008, each time needing only to win on the final day to at least get the Wild Card, and choking both times.

You have no place to say what a choker is. Especially since we all know the Red Sox cheated in 2004. Your team hasn't been good enough even when they DID cheat (Piazza -- as much proof on him as there is on Clemens).

urinalfresh23 said...

Geez, the last time I checked, Mike Piazza was not called to testify in front of Congress, and also did not have Brian McNamee (sp?) calling him a steroid freak either.

I know a choker when I see one, and the 2004 Yankers were the worst chokers of all time. Even though it had been done before in other sports, it had never been done with a nearly $200 million payroll, and all the hype, and all the media attention. So I guess that makes the Yankers the WORST CHOKERS OF ALL TIME.

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