Rosenthal : Mets Goofed In Not Dealing Milledge For Zito

Posted in Baseball at 11:17 am by

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.

7 responses to “Rosenthal : Mets Goofed In Not Dealing Milledge For Zito”

  1. james says:

    i kind of agree that the padres have the best overall staff, though i don’t know where he’s getting the dodgers + astros from in that mix. but consider the padres:

    chris young – 11-5, 3.46, 164k, 1.13 WHIP, plus he’s undefeated on the road

    jake peavy – W/L kind of sucks, but he’s ending the season with 215 K, seems to be in better shape than young, and his WHIP is 1.23, not too shabby for a guy that hangs out in the strike zone. dave bush pitches in a similar park with fewer K’s and a higher ERA. jeremy bonderman and carlos zambrano both have 200+ K but higher WHIP in much different parks. for that, peavy’s numbers are pretty remarkable, despite his few blow-ups.

    woody williams – in what is likely his last year as a reliable starter, williams dropped his ERA by 1.00 and his WHIP by .010 from the last two years. he walked less guys (and K’d less guys) which points to his reliance on letting up fewer hits per inning.

    chan ho park – needs new blood
    david wells – unknown sloth factor

    i guess my point is just that that’s a solid three starters right there, which is more than can be said for some of the other NL/AAAA teams (potentially) making the playoffs, including the dodgers and mets.

  2. Marc says:

    El Duque’s ERA in his last 4 or 5 games is something absurd… like

  3. Marc says:

    I guess I shouldn’t have used the “less than” symbol; the blog apparently thinks I was opening an html tag.

    His ERA is less than 2.00.

    No need to panic yet.

    That was what I was getting at.

  4. Marc says:

    Oh, and according to Mets.com John Maine is 5-2 in his last 10 starts and has allow 2 or less runs in 4 of the last 5 starts he’s made.

    Leave Traschel on the bench until Game 4 (if necessary) and give Maine the start of a lifetime.

  5. David Roth says:

    Just to be safe, I think the Mets should start Trachsel warming up now in case he’s needed in relief in Games 2 or 3.

    And I think that if Milledge can become a star corner outfielder of a 20 HR/30 SB magnitude, Mets fans will be glad the team didn’t make the deal, not for the least reason that it will save the club tens of millions of dollars to invest in other, better free agent pitchers. A powerful offense — which the Mets had until September began — is a pretty nice luxury in the postseason especially considering that almost every team but the Padres, Twins and Yankees have very suspect bullpens. And I believe the Pads are still throwing Zakk Wylde afficionado Rudy Seanez out there, right?

  6. maura says:

    chris young has amazing stats, but you left out the fact that he also leads the majors in wins blown for him by his team’s bullpen this season (he’s tied with someone on the rockies).

  7. james says:

    maura, well played. i wish i could say that recent Padres lead-killer Cla Meredith were the answer, but even he’s got in on the action. The only saving grace is the terrible bullpens throughout the NL.

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