Saturday, July 30, 2005

Yeah, that's not going to happen

1) So I saw on sportcenter last night a prospective trade where:

The Mets get Manny and Denny Baez
The Devil Rays get two top tier prospects each from the Mets and the Sox (Shoppach and Anibal Sanchez)
The Sox get a pair of "outfielders", one who is all defense with an only recently hot bat and the other who is really a DH that hasn't been hitting this year.

So put me in the skeptical camp. The current Sox front office has made it a policy not to discuss trades and has eliminated leaks (from their end at least, thank you very much Tom Hicks) on an almost Bellichikian scale. So it suddenly makes sense that the team getting blatantly hosed in the deal is the Sox, since the trade (at least in terms of the prospects involved) is ridiculously unbalanced. Consider that the Mets have spent the last month floating bullshit trades that didn't make sense (remember Cameron for Sheffield?), and the fact that the Devil Rays couldn't negotiate the panties off a drunk sorority girl, I think this rumor is highly suspect. Basically, because the Sox were forced to toss Matt Murton into the Nomar deal last year, whoever leaked this figured this would be believable. But consider what the Sox are essentially giving up in this trade, compared to what they are getting back:

Giving up:
Best right-handed hitter in the game
One of the top-5 catching prospects in the minors
One of the organizations 3 best pitching prospects, with a career K-to-BB ratio just under 7, and a mid to high 90s fastball

Getting back:
Cameron, who traditionally lacks pop in his bat yet would play a corner outfield position
Huff, who has no real defensive position and has been having a down year with the bat (so basically, another Millar)

What makes sense about this, at least as far as the Sox are concerned:
losing Manny's contract is a plus
Shoppach is blocked for another year before being the back up catcher, and another two before Tek is out of the picture, so he is expendable
Maybe Cameron would take Damon's spot in center next year

What doesn't make sense:
Giving up an elite hitter, a near-ready prospect, and an extremely promising pitcher for a weaker outfield and a fifth 1B/DH type (Huff, Millar, Olerud, Ortiz, and Patagine) with four of them being left-handed.

So, basically, this deal makes absolutely no sense for the Sox. Of course, now that I've said that, it probably just went official.

2) I would like to clarify some things from the last post, as Dario raised some good points that I think are interesting.

First, when I say that the Mets are one of the more poorly run franchises in the major leagues, I mean the current incarnation and do not really care about their history. Minaya (and Duquette) have seemed content to throw money at headlines and think about public appearance when making moves rather than doing what is good for the overall health of the club.

In the same vane, I don't think it is fair to raise the integration issue about the Sox when you consider that they have new ownership, management, etc. Yes, the Sox used to be a pretty piss poor organization in terms of the front office, and the Yawkees were about as stupid and racist as they come (at least without mullets and a beer-stained Stanley shirt), but I think the new front office/ownership has shown a commitment to an ethos that the Mets haven't necessarily done. Basically, when the Mets are able to spend more money than any other team in the division (or even their league), yet they do so by tossing too much money at players to make headlines instead of working towards putting together a fiscally smart winner, I consider that to be a weakness, as there is a finite limit on their ability to purchase stars. Just as A-Rod showed on the Rangers, having the best player isn't worth a damn if you overpay for them, because it makes it harder to plug other holes. The Sox, for better or worse, have made several decisions that were not necessarily fan friendly, but in the long run were probably better for the franchise as a whole (see: trading Nomar, see also: letting post-season hero Derek Lowe go). I just don't see the Mets making those kinds of moves, or being honest/prudent in assessing their ballclub (see: last year trading for two starting pitchers, rather than punting, and buying exactly zero days more in contention).