In the wake of Pedro Martinez’ latest setback, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal — failing to credit Omar Minaya for the Jorge Julio/El Duque trade, opines the Mets will greatly regret not making a move for Barry Zito.
Left-hander Tom Glavine is 40. Right-hander Steve Trachsel is 35. Right-hander Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez is believed to be significantly older than his listed age of 36. And now he’s the Mets’ Game 1 starter. Think maybe now the Mets regret keeping outfield prospect Lastings Milledge (above, left) when they could have traded him for left-hander Barry Zito before the July 31 non-waiver deadline?
Rest assured, A’s general manager Billy Beane would have made the deal, even though his team went on to win the AL West. Milledge’s stock has since fallen, and he never was more than a promising corner outfielder to begin with.
Zito, a potential free agent, might only have amounted to a two- or three-month rental. But the Mets would have had the resources to re-sign him ” and his former pitching coach with the A’s, Rick Peterson, as a selling point. As it stands, there’s no Zito and no Pedro. The Mets are in trouble.
Even before the team announced Thursday that Martinez would not pitch in the postseason, one National League executive predicted that the team was a first-round knockout waiting to happen. If the executive was overstating the case, his forecast seems rather prescient in hindsight
Much as I can understand the panic surrounding Pedro’s indisposal, and without disagreeing with Rosenthal’s assertion that “The Padres boast the league’s best overall staff. The Astros, Phillies and maybe even the Dodgers all boast stronger rotations than the Mets,” I don’t think it is a stretch to claim the Mets have a better everyday lineup, and a far surperior bullpen to any of the clubs cited. But if we’re supposed to be terrified by the prospect of young arms like Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux or the Sultan of Sloth facing the Mets in the playoffs, by all means, why not just forfeit now and spare us the embarrassment?
Hot Foot helpfully points out that El Duque’s career playoff record is 9-3 (2.55 ERA) and Glavine has the second most starts in postseason history.