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Mets and Devil Rays

Ryan McConnell of the New Jersey Star-Ledger posted a run-down of Mets' rumors, mostly old hat by now.  Items of note:

  • The Mets are being asked too much for both Chad Cordero and Octavio Dotel, causing them to take another look at Eric Gagne.  They are also looking at Matt Thornton (White Sox), Shawn Chacon (Pirates), Chad Bradford (Orioles) and Jon Rauch (Nationals).  I think they should go for Chad Bradford, silly contract be damned.
  • We've all heard about second base possibilities in Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta and Luis Castillo.  I think that of these candidates, Grudzielanek is the best defender, while Castillo is the best offensive player, even though Loretta is putting up better numbers this year.  All three will be free agents this off-season, with the exception of Grudzielanek if he earns the $4M player option for 2008 which vests with 500 plate appearances, a slim possibility.  Castillo is the youngest player and the best choice for the Mets, if they can get him.  He's likely be a Type A free agent if the Mets let him go; if they don't, he could be their 2008 second baseman.  All in all, though, I'd prefer the Mets stick with Damion Easley and Rubén Gotay.
  • Now the kicker.  This is what makes trade deadlines fun (and painful).  From McConnell:

And, finally, the hot, completely unsubstantiated rumor floating around my workplace was that the Mets and D-Rays were discussing a Lastings Milledge and "a Minor League pitcher" (probably Pelfrey, maybe Humber) for Carl Crawford. It didn't pass my smell test -- I'd think Tampa would command a lot more for their stud outfielder -- but it's fun to think about regardless. Plus, for what it's worth, a Met scout was spotted at Tropicana Field last week.

It doesn't pass my smell test either, but it's still fun to think about, unless you're convinced that Lastings Milledge is the next Gary Sheffield, like I am.

John Peterson writes for the Met-blog Blastings! Thrilledge.

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No way the Rays trade CC. Ever.

"unless you're convinced that Lastings Milledge is the next Gary Sheffield, like I am."

Ha.

sorry but i dont think that grudzielanek is a better fielder than castillo. castillo has like two errors this season and he has the record for longest errorless streak by a second baseman.

Milledge is pretty easily the most overrated prospect in the world. He's proven absolutely nothing in the bigs, He's just another product of the NY hype machine

According to the Twins Star Tribune beat writer, their have been changes in the classification of type A free agents to be the top 20% at the position and for second basemen it includes short stops so it is unlikely that Castillo will be a type A free agent and is possible he may even miss the cut on the type B.

wow, imagine a lineup with Crawford/Reyes/ and Carlos Gomez? That would easily be the most exciting team ever and they'd shatter the team stole base record(hold on as I wipe the drool from my chin)....your right the D-rays would never do that, darn.

"Milledge is pretty easily the most overrated prospect in the world. He's proven absolutely nothing in the bigs, He's just another product of the NY hype machine."

He's been the best offensive player on the Mets since he got called up after the all-star break. Other than a bad series against San Diego, his numbers are absolutely ridiculous:

18/48
.375 BA
.442 OBP
.646 SLG
1.088 OPS
4 2Bs
3 HRs
13 RBIs

I don't think Lastings M and Pelphrey is too much for Crawford. That is right. Take a real close look at Crawford's numbers, he is avg for LF. Seriously.

not as good as you thought huh....this aint fantasy baseball.

Not exactly the kind of sample size to say he's a proven major league commodity

Beano, the thing about CC is he's defintiely not just an average leadoff hitter.

Those numbers along with his age (22) would make me wary of trading him along with a 23 year old with electric stuff for a good but not great player. There are plenty of pretty good outfielders available this winter if the club wants to go that route.

"Not exactly the kind of sample size to say he's a proven major league commodity"

Nobody said he was a proven commodity, asshat. You used the word prospect. Nobody's a proven commodity after 70 big league games.

He's torn it up since being called up, leading the Mets in homers, slugging, and RBIs and pretty much any offensive category you can think of.

In case you didn't notice ozzie, the mets leadoff guy isn't that bad.

nom3k,

based on the fact that Milledge still is under 300ABs for his career, I'd say you have to look at his entire career numbers for a true indication of what he's done to be a proven commodity or not

nom, you're the idiot for thinking a 48AB span proves jack about a player

Ski, right I agree the Mets have a nice leadoff guy, but that makes one hell of a 1-2

Here's his career numbers

So that makes the numbers
58/229
.253 BA
.316 OBP
.410 SLG
.722 OPS
11 2Bs
7 HRs
36 RBIs

Shows me that he's an average player at best right now going through a hot streak. Will he become more? possibly, but Crawford is a hell of alot more valuable right now

Carl Crawford is no more valuable than Shane Victorino, in fact, based on defense and salary, he's less valuable. So maybe the Phillies should trade Victorino for Erik Bedard.

Milledge is far from overrated.

Are you retarded or something? Where have all I called him a proven commodity?

All I said is that you look like an idiot for calling him an overrated prospect when he's currently tearing the cover off the ball to a tune of around a .900 OPS. Small sample size or not, at the moment he's raking.

And I find it funny that you can deem him overhyped and overrated(I'll have to assume you think he sucks and will never be any good) when the sample size is just as small for his big league career. HE'S 22 YEARS OLD.

"shows me that he's an average player at best right now going through a hot streak. Will he become more? possibly"

It should show you that he's a 22 year old player(just turned 21 when he debuted last year) who's gotten better in his 2nd real stint with the big club. You think players peak at 21 or something? I'd love for you to look me up some of the 21 year old seasons for the best players who've ever played the game. And those guys usually aren't the rule, they're the exception.

Hell, look at Jose Reyes. His 2nd and 3rd years in the league were brutal.

how many young players do you think have come up to the bigs and had an amazing 50 AB spurt only to flame out?

I bet it would be a VERY large number.

My thoughts on milledge is he will be an everyday starter but not a perenial all star. I think he will be alot like a Eric Byrnes with less power and better speed. The OP comparing him to Sheff was utterly stupid.

THis rumor if it has any merit points towards the Mets having a win now approach which makes this a GREAT trade for them.

What is up with people…

Carl Crawford puts up rather League Average numbers in LF and everyone says “oh, well he’s so much better than league average”

Jon Garland puts up extremely League Average numbers for a starter and everyone says “oh, well he’s so much better than league average”

Then…

Lastings Milledge puts up great numbers in his short time so far to prove himself capable of producing like everyone says he will yet everyone pretty much dismisses it with “oh, well he is just a prospect and could suck because it hasn’t been proven for years”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia puts up extremely nice numbers in his short time to prove himself capable of hitting like scouts say he will and everyone just says “oh, well he is just a prospect and could suck because it hasn’t been proven for years”

Yet…

The last couple years when extremely poor hitting guys like Willie Taveras and Scott Podsednick were scoring runs everyone praised them as being the next hottest thing in the majors as if they had done anything other than steal a couple bases and score a couple runs…

And Felix Pie who has looked flat out pitiful at the plate is still thought of as the next great thing in Chi who should be untouchable as far as trade talks are go and is by far worth so much more than Salty because, well who knows why but that’s whats the talk…


… I don’t get it at all! People love to praise yearly mediocrity then dismiss youngsters doing good because they haven’t proved over a long enough amount of time (even though they haven’t had the chance yet!) and praise those guys who haven’t done much of anything as the next greatest thing…

I really see this happening between the Mets and Devil Rays. Milledge's stock has risen a lot with his recent performance. The Devil Rays aren't going to win with the team they have right now. They need to be smart and trade theri best player for a young stud pitcher whom they really need in the jungle of the Al East. They will also get a stud outfielder who will be a all star. For all of you who think this deal is far fetched are simply way too conservative and are probably terrible at fantasy baseball.

if this rumor is true I am sure the Mets will give up another pitcher and have Tampa put in Edwin Jackson because that is the way Omar works

"how many young players do you think have come up to the bigs and had an amazing 50 AB spurt only to flame out?

I bet it would be a VERY large number."

I could name a bunch of guys just like that, but...

1) It doesn't describe Milledge's situation. Milledge came up last year and hit very well, then went into a lull. Then he came back this season and is hitting well.

2) Milledge hasn't 'flamed out' yet. You don't even want to give him the chance to. You're already sticking a fork in him.

One, I actually think the Devil Rays should be listening to offers on Crawford. They have plenty of young players on offense, and rather than sell low on a Jonny Gomes or Elijah Dukes, why not see what you can get for your best player.

Two, I actually could see a match between the Mets and Rays on this. Love to see a lineup that starts Reyes, Crawford, Beltran, and Wright.

Three, the rumored (if you can even call it a rumor) deal is absurd. It's not enough talent to land Crawford- the Rays can do better than that elsewhere, especially since they aren't in any rush (speaking of Salty...). Besides, the only reason to trade a Crawford is because you have enough offense and need to add some pitching- getting a deal built around an outfielder makes no sense.

Oh, and as for Milledge- if I am a team in need of a CF, I'd be very interested in him, but as a corner guy, not so much.

"My thoughts on milledge is he will be an everyday starter but not a perenial all star. I think he will be alot like a Eric Byrnes with less power and better speed"

That's not a terrible comparison(though Byrnes should've been an all-star this year), except I'm not sure how much you've watched of Milledge with that assessment. To me, his speed is big overrated. In fact, I'm pretty confident in saying Byrnes should have more speed and Milledge'll showcase more power. His bat speed is incredible.

Ok, and just so people know a little about Carl Crawford before they praise him as something fantastic:

2002 .259/.290/.371
~ .264/.332/.425 ~ *LgAvg
2003 .281/.309/.362
~ .268/.334/.428 ~ *LgAvg
2004 .296/.331/.450
~ .266/.333/.427 ~ *LgAvg
2005 .301/.331/.469
~ .267/.330/.423 ~ *LgAvg
2006 .305/.348/.482
~ .278/.343/.442 ~ *LgAvg
2007 .287/.338/.437
~ .272/.341/.425 ~ *LgAvg

Car. .291/.328/.434
~ .269/.335/.429 ~ *LgAvg

Now, we can see that infact Carl is rather League Average! He has a bit better BA, same OBP and slightly increased SLG a couple years ~ but nothing amazing and his totals show how par he has actually been…

So again, how is Carl so great???

Because he steals so many bases and plays solid defense, and is still very young? Christ, that wasn't hard. Stolen bases are really undervalued in a player nowadays, because they don't show up in the batting line. But Crawford is more than that line, and yet more than a Podsednik or Tavarez.

Also, he steals at a very high success rate and has a lot of range while he's only commited 15 errors in his career, many of which I'm sure are to the fault of the screwy turf in his home stadium(I've seen him thrown off by this and you can only feel his pain).

Don't forget that Crawford is way above league average in cool.

totally unrelated to this thread, but if there is any doubt that Saltmacchia is getting traded, the Braves are up 14-0 and have pulled all their best players- except McCann, who is still in the game. Think they want to avoid any chance of Salty getting hurt?

If I was Omar, I'd be on the phone with the Angels and the Rangers, asking what can I do to get Texiera to LA. That is a big deal if he ends up in Atlanta. Maybe try a three way where Mets get Gagne, LA gets Texiera, and Texas gets prospects from both teams?

Also, he and Jose Reyes have virtually the same career OBP and steal success rate(Crawford's is actually higher at 82%) while Reyes is motivated by veteran, winning, playoff ballclub. I'd like to see Crawford on a winning team with some solid protection, where he doesn't have to be the veteran.

*OPS, not OBP

Ok so he's SO GREAT because he puts up a rather LgAvg production line with a good SB ratio? And good range in the OF?

Does that mean Juan Pierre is NEAR-SO GREAT? I mean the only difference there is that Juan has so much less HR power…


Oh, but Juan is a bit older now, I guess we have to say “Juan WAS so great about 3 years ago” when he was putting up Crawford like numbers (again with just the lack of HR power)

Jake, from what I have heard on the Braves-Dbacks game, it's too late for any Mets interference. Supposedly the trade has been sent to the Commish office

Ok, my rides here so its time for me to head out and I wont be able to continue this little game… I guess I will just have to give you the end of it now then:

You say something like:
“He is so much better than Pierre, the SLG is very important”

to which I reply:
“ohh, so I guess he’s closer to Mathews Jr then, just with a much lower OBP than Garry… I guess Ana wasn’t that dumb for signing him to that huge contract since he must be so great…"

If the Texiera deal isn't done already then I guess the Red Sox are back in the hunt for him? Make of this what you will...


From Nick Carfado- Boston Globe


20. The Sox have been scouting Eric Gagne for weeks now. There have been some scenarios in trade talks where he's been packaged along with Mark Teixeira. The Sox shied away from Gagne at the winter meetings when they weren't convinced he was completely healthy. Now they're convinced. Can they beat out about a half-dozen teams? He has a no-trade clause and can veto Boston. He'll never be the closer here. So he'll have to be paid as a closer. Scott Boras is his agent and the Sox spend a lot of money with him.
Personally, I'd rather have Octavio Dotel.

If you include this season, Crawford's OPS over the last four years has been 102, 111, 111, 105. Pierre has been 70, 81, 84, 107(fluke career year). 74.5% has been Pierre's career steal success rate while Crawford's is 82.4.

Not only has Crawford been better than Matthews over his career OPS wise, but he also has been doing it at a much younger age and has a 259-55 SB-CS ratio while Matthews(over his entire career, being seven years older than Crawford) is 76-32. Also, since his sophomore season(age 21), Crawford has been better than league average every year in OPS, if only slightly, while providing all the SB's.

I think this would be a good time to post some unconfirmed rumors

""unless you're convinced that Lastings Milledge is the next Gary Sheffield, like I am."

Haa ive been saying it for a year. Let the haters hate on Milledge. Their idiots who just listen to what people say and write and dont watch them play with their own eyes. PRobably the same idiots who said Reyes would never be patient enough, Perez would post a 6.50 era, the ones that said that john Maine is a 5 inning pitcher, ya know? Those idiots. Milledge can mash. He is 22 and if he learns to hit a slider he will be fine. He can turn around anybodys heat.

And that was a good point on castillo also. Go get him (which I wasnt really for) let him finish here, he is an upgrade over Easley or Gotay ( I love gotay but he is a horrendous fielder and needs to improve there, I dont trust him in a big playoff game defensively.) Take the draft picks for Luis after the year, then trade for the O-dogg. Thats what I would do. I dont really like Castillo and think he is completely going backwards at a fast pace, but I wouldnt mind him for 2 months. He can still run a little bit and we do need a number 2 hitter.

Gary Sheffield is a Hall of Fame comparison. Personally, I think they're just two different style hitters. I'll reserve judgement.

I think Grudzilanek is a better fit for the Mets right now, though Castillo would do just fine. I think Grudzy could be had for a lot less and the Royals don't have any need for him whereas the Twins still think they're in it.

buehrle im not crazy enough to say he will have a sheffield career, but watching him for like 3 years now, the guy can hit and the first guy I thought of was Sheff. The batspeed if off the charts. Milledge to me is the number 2 or number 6 hitter going into next year. The way him and Gomez played, I wouldnt mind trading Beltran and getting rid of some of that money. I am not saying they should, I am just conifedent in Milledge and Gomez. I honestly think if Milledge played a whole season his numbers would be pretty much better then beltrans in every single category, maybe other then walks.

Yeah he is a top prospect after all. I just think it's ridiculous to post that kind of tag on someone who hasn't had a full season yet and is that young. Right now I wouldn't expect more than a Preston Wilson but more consistent and healthy over his career.

I did a comparison post on a message board between Milledge and a few other comparables when they came up, including Carl Crawford and Vernon Wells. Both batting averages early on in their careers, but despite that both Milledge's OBP and slugging were 10-20 points higher as a 20-21 year old in limitted ABs.

In fact, I could see Milledge posting a very similar line to Wells in his second decent stint which was also at age 22, except with a little more HR pop in exchange for a lower BA. At age 22, Wells was .313 / .350 / .427 with 1 homer in 96 AB (2001). So far this season Milledge is at .286 / .333 / .492 with 3 HR in 63 AB.

Crawford played a full season at age 22, but projecting Milledge's line out to be similar isn't a far stretch at all if you give him 600 ABs(Crawford was .296 / .331 / .450 with 11 HR in 629 ABs).

Both Crawford and Wells are having down years, which is something I agree will happen to Lastings even if he reaches his potential, but at least as far as Crawford is going, if a down year is what he's doing this season, I still think he's a pretty high quality player.

This is one of those trades from the outside, you look at it and say wow, if the Mets can trade Milledge and Pelfrey for Crawford they have to do it, but I dont know if I would. CC is like my favorite player, but I dont know. OBP of .328 for his career, never draws a walk, I am not sure if he is worth it for Milledge and Pelfrey. If we could get Crawford withouyt moving Milledge I would be all for it, put Gomez in center, Milledge in right next year, trade Beltran for a kings ransom, they could probably get a nice bounty for him even having a pretty bad year.

"To me, his speed is big overrated. In fact, I'm pretty confident in saying Byrnes should have more speed and Milledge'll showcase more power. His bat speed is incredible."

Agreed, I think most people have it backwards, thinking he will be fast with little to no power. I think he will hit 25-30 homers a year and steal 10-15. His bat speed is indeed incredible.

Thing is, a player with speed like Crawford or even Milledge creates a lot of havok in a pitcher's mind. Ask a pitcher if he'd rather face a line-up full of Pierres or Youkilises, and a lot will say they'll take the latter. While that isn't the right choice, the average pitcher's rhythm and thought process gets thrown off a lot by the potential stolen base.

My comparison to Preston Wilson is my input, though his ceiling is higher than that.

"Gary Sheffiel dis a hall of fame compairison"

Sheffield will only be in cooperstown to visit. He has as much chance of being elected as canseco.

'Big overrated' was a typo. I meant 'a bit overrated'. Milledge has decent speed, but he's far from a speed demon, like Reyes or Gomez.

Ehh, not my point. The point was it's hard to tag anyone with the kind of offensive numbers Sheff's put up. At least, not someone like Milledge who is in between top prospect and breakout player.

Sure its way too early to say Milledge is the next Sheffield, and its very difficult to put a label a player of prospect age who's technically not even a rookie anymore.

I love how no one mentions his "attitude" anymore. Its cause people finally realize he doesn't have an attitude problem, he just has spunk. What's the difference you ask? Milledge works hard to improve himself, and not just for himself, for the sake of his team. He proved that during the Spring. He's a little cocky, but he is a pro, and the more I think about it, the more I like the fact that he's working with Ricky. And it draws more comparisons to Sheffield, who also has "spunk," but if you ask any of his co-workers, he'd be high up their list of favorite teammates.

I'd say comparing him to Gary Sheffield is equally as fair as comparing him to Preson Wilson; they're just the extreme ends of his potential abilities.

Lot of comments! I was going to say about the "rumored" Crawford/Milledge thing that I disagre with McConnell than Pelfrey and Lastings would be far too much for Crawford, who is more valuable as a fantasy player than as an actual one (like Chone Figgins or Juan Pierre). It's bogus for much different reasons.

Also, I do maintain a blog called Blastings! Thrilledge, but my comparison with Sheffield was merely a catalyst- like MEddler said, Sheffield-level is at "the extreme [end] of his potential abilities."

The other thing about Milledge in regard to his speed: I think he has more raw speed than Byrnes, and he'll probably have more raw power as well. But the knock on Milledge's speed right now is acceleration. He flys pretty good when he gets going, but it takes him a little while to get out of the box or to get significant jumps off 1st. The point is: its something thats probably correctable, especially with Ricky coaching him.

Hey cool deal B.Bro, you proved that Crawford is arguably a bit better than Pierre and MathJr...

So now that we know he is a bit better than those two, and we know that those two don't hold much respect with the fans, what does it mean as a whole? Maybe that he's probably in the middle as far as the respect chart for CF/Leadoff types? I think that would be fair... (and would make him about average I believe)

So we know trading Milledge for Juan/Garry would be dumb for the Mets (even if they were younger), but if we went to the otherside of the spectrum Lastings wouldn't be worth a Granderson by any means. Hence, Crawford is probably right in line with his value ~ and a Milledge+ for CC would be about right...

Hey cool deal B.Bro, you proved that Crawford is arguably a bit better than Pierre and MathJr...

So now that we know he is a bit better than those two, and we know that those two don't hold much respect with the fans, what does it mean as a whole? Maybe that he's probably in the middle as far as the respect chart for CF/Leadoff types? I think that would be fair... (and would make him about average I believe)

So we know trading Milledge for Juan/Garry would be dumb for the Mets (even if they were younger), but if we went to the otherside of the spectrum Lastings wouldn't be worth a Granderson by any means. Hence, Crawford is probably right in line with his value ~ and a Milledge+ for CC would be about right...

If Milledge and Pelfrey get dealt, and we don't get a SUPERSTAR in return, I just may have to find a new team. These guys are KIDS. Milledge is 22, Pelfrey is 23. Just because they aren't dominating the majors doesn't mean they lost all potential. Pelfrey has a year of professional baseball under his belt. A year.

Carl Crawford? He's nice, but I wouldn't send them Milledge and Pelfrey. Wouldn't think twice about it.

I love how everyone is ignoring the fact that Mike Pelfrey only has one pitch and will never succeed in the majors as a starter.

THAT is the reason that proposed trade is garbage. Not to mention, the reason the Rays would trade Crawford is to free up an OF spot for Baldelli/Upton, NOT to trade for another OF (unless it was Justin Upton, which just ain't happenin).

The Mets really aren't a good match for a Crawford trade and I'm calling BS on that rumor.

Pelfrey is this year's Milledge for the Mets. The barely has a full season of Pro Ball under his belt, and he's never spent more than a few months at one level yet. The reason he only as one pitch is because, under the advice of Mets coaching, whether it was wise or not, he canned a curve and started working on a slider and change in the offseason. If you expect a pitcher to develop one pitch, let alone two, in the course of six months, you're crazy.

Ultimately, the Mets probably won't deal Pelfrey for the same reason they didn't deal Milledge last year. His value is currently at a low point, and it makes no sense to sell low on tall pitcher with a plus fastball with barely a year in the pros under his belt.

youalreadyknow- I agree that Rays wouldn't want an OF back, but I think the Mets are a good match, but more likely in the offseason- between Maine, Perez, Pelfry, Joe Smith, and Pedro Feliciano, the Mets have a bunch of young pitchers with major league experience (with varying degrees of success). That's not even counting guys like Humber, or Vargas, or even a Burgos, who someone will take a chance on.

I don't think the Mets are going to part with anyone from the first group unless a really enticing deal comes up. They're looking to move any of those guys though.

Maine and Perez are going to be with this team for a while unless they start underachieving before they reach FA (2009 for each I believe), and I could definetly see both sticking around after. Especially Perez the way he turned his career around.

Smith still has a bit to prove, but he's so young and exactly the kind of reliever both Omar and Rick Peterson love.

As for Feliciano, winning teams don't often dump their top setup reliever after a career season if he's still under control, especially not large market teams like the Mets. Its not impossible in the right deal, but not for Crawford this offseason, that just wouldn't make sense if Milledge and Gomez are still around.

Pelfrey's value is too low to trade him right now. Probably the same with Humber, who's having a tougher time this season than he did last, which is common for young Tommy Johners in their second year after surgery.

Vargas and Burgos don't have all that much value either. Someone might take a chance on them, but it wouldn't be for anything too huge. Vargas doesn't throw hard and doesn't have much movement. All he really has going is that he's relatively young and lefty. And Burgos has been hurt too much of this season to really overhaul his image. It could be a blessing in disguise though, as it may may make it easier for him to admit he's taken a few steps back in development since he was annointed KC's closer.

Sorry, should read "They're NOT looking to move any of those guys though."

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