Talking Chop opens the New Year by proposing the Mets swap Lastings Milledge (above) and Aaron Heilman for CSTB fave Tim Hudson.

With all the myriad of trade rumors that are “almost a done deal” (give me a break Pirates blogs), you never hear the Mets mentioned as possible trading partners with the Braves. And I know, I know, they’re inter-division rivals, but if they are clamoring for starting pitching (and if Omar Minaya listens to the radio like Brian Sabean does) then perhaps they would like a guy like Tim Hudson. Hey, it’s the same positives that they were saying about Zito – being reunited with former Oakland pitching coach Rick Peterson. Perhaps the Mets brass believes that a reunion like that could heighten the value of Hudson to the point where they would trade some of their top prospects. In the long run, Melkey Cabrera and Lastings Milledge are similarly projectable, and Hayden Penn and either Pelfrey and Humber are also of equal value.

Milledge would satisfy our left field/replacement-for-Andruw-in-center-next-year need, and one of their young pitchers (even Aaron Heilman) would satisfy our desire to get younger in the rotation. Now I know that we usually don’t want to make trades with teams within our division (especially the Mets), but if we are itching to get some pieces in return for one of our high-priced guys then this type of trade might get us several lower cost options which we desire.

Baseball Prospectus’ Nate Silver
is in no hurry to see the Mets move Da Edge, and describes the controverial outfielder as “underrated”, opining that “Joe Blanton isn™t enough for Milledge and it isn™t close. Dan Haren might be enough, but it™s closer than you™d think considering that Haren has four years of pre-FA service time left to Milledge™s six (including his very cheap pre-arbitration years).”

invokes the name of Omar’s predecessor in assessing what went wrong with the Mets’ pursuit of Barry Zito, along with proclaiming he’d rather have Santa barf on his laptop than bring back Steve Traschel.

All along, it seemed as if the Mets were playing games with these negotiations…going at them half ast as if it the Jim Duquette regime was back. This was the player that the Mets were going to take a stand with. But the Mets misread the market that they tried to set. If the Wilpons had come to 6 seasons and 100 million from the very beginning, maybe the negotiations don’t drag out this long while giving the Giants ample time to look under the cushions of every couch in the stadium (including Barry Bonds’ private vibrating one) to gather enough money to blow everybody out of the water. Instead the Mets, just as they did with Vladimir Guerrero, tried to get Zito on the cheap. No, Barry Zito isn’t anywhere close to Vladimir Guerrero. And no, this wasn’t as embarrassing as Guerrero if it’s even construed as embarrassing at all. But there were definite similarities in how each situation was handled.

The Journal News’ Peter Abraham is up for a prestigious award, and if weren’t already disqualified from voting for having filled the virtual ballot box on behalf of this site last year, I’d certainly be doing the same for Peter.