Friday, June 5, 2009
Deal for Putz looks worse
Even before the bad news about J.J. Putz, the seven-for-three deal that brought him to the Mets wasn't looking so hot, as Dave Cameron lays out. Money shot:
Jason Vargas has settled in nicely as the Mariners 5th starter and has clearly been the best player in the deal to date. Endy Chavez has provided his usual excellent outfield defense, and has been worth 0.5 wins in part-time work. Carp is having a big year in the PCL, adding power his already patient approach. Carrera is proving that the "Endy Chavez in training” tag has some merit, flashing terrific defense and a lot of walks in Double-A. Olson hasn't pitched well as a starter, but has shown the potential to be a useful LH reliever. And, of course, with the exception of Chavez, the Mariners are paying all of these guys the league minimum. What's striking is that while the Mets traded seven players for three, even if they'd traded only Vargas for Putz and Sean Green and Jeremy Reed, the deal wouldn't look real good for the Mets because they really could have used another starting pitcher this spring. Granted, Vargas doesn't have much of a pedigree, but perhaps that's because the Mets essentially skipped him past Double-A.
Meanwhile, the Mets are paying about $6 million this season for three guys providing replacement level performance. There's almost no chance they'll pick up Putz's option for 2010, and it wouldn't be surprising if the team decided not to offer arbitration to either Green or Reed. That would leave the Mets with a big fat zero to show for the entire deal.
They didn't give up any future stars in the deal, but once again, trading youth for relief pitching fails to pan out. I'm pretty sure the Mets would love to have Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, and Ezequiel Carrera back, at the very least. When you give up seven guys, odds are one or two are going to come back to haunt you.
Looking at the bigger picture, though, I don't really have any issue with giving up seven guys. The problem is who the seven guys are and who you're getting for them.