Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The news of today is the Mets-Dodgers trade, in which the Mets send Jae Seo and Tim Hamulack to LA for Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll. Reactions to the trade:

After going 24 years and 2 weeks without once saying, writing, or thinking of the name Steve Schmoll, I have now done so twice in two days. This is kind of unsettling. And by the way Omar, if you were going to go out and acquire one of the "Jews" in yesterday's blog, you couldn't have made it Jason Schmidt?

This trade reminds me of the Hideo Nomo trade in 1998. Mets-Dodgers, 2 pitchers going each way (Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael to the Dodgers, Nomo and Brad Clontz to the Mets), one of them from the Far East, bunch of crappy relievers involved, some surnames that sound like they belong to the nerds from Saved By the Bell in Clontz and Schmoll. I remember there was one Mets-Braves game back in 1997 when Clontz was with Atlanta in which Ralph Kiner called him Chad Clontz, Brad Coontz, Brad Fontz, and Wayne Fontz all in the span of an inning.

The Mets needed relief pitching and they acquired it here. Sanchez wasn't bad in '05 and even served as the closer at the end of the year. He's extremely tough on righties, who hit .182 off him, but not so tough against lefties, who hit .310. He's also soft on crime, which is gonna cost him in the red states. Anyway, if a reliever isn't billed as a specialist, better that he be strong against righties, but it would be nice if he weren't quite so terrible against lefties.

As for the 35 year old accountant with the fat wife, his numbers were lousy last year, including a 5.01 ERA. But he got rocked one day in August for 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning. If you take out that appearance, his ERA is down to 4.6. That still isn't good, but it's a little better. Yes, I know the argument that taking out bad games distorts things, but I think you can isolate one particularly bad appearance. (Also, wouldn't you rather see that a guy was truly awful in 5 games but perfectly usable in 30 than below average in all 35? The former would give you a fighting chance in a greater number of games.) Schmoll's most obvious problem is that he walked 22 batters in 47 innings. My guess is that Rick Peterson thinks he can work on this, and maybe he can. He's been very successful with Zamb...nevermind. Either way, Sanchez and Schmoll are both young and I don't think it's far fetched that they could both help the Mets out.

Nor am I terribly upset about trading Jae Seo. I wasn't sold on him as part of the Mets rotation, and frankly, his resume at age 29 is a good month of August in '05. Considering they still have Heilman, I think he was expendable. The real issue is that it appears, at least to us fans ignorant of the inner workings, that Omar didn’t get the best value in return. Trade Cameron, but don’t only get Nady. Trade for LoDuca, but don’t be so willing to give up Gaby Hernandez. And now, at a time when it seemed that Seo had very good trade value, he doesn’t get a reliever that you feel really comfortable with.

Interestingly, Dodgers fan Jae Ahn’s first reaction was that the Dodgers didn’t get enough for Sanchez, so who knows. I don’t think the Dodgers have an especially deep bullpen, and it’s even shallower now. But they have an excellent back end combo, and if Sanchez was slotting in for them as a 7th inning guy in ’06, I think it’s a sound move to have dealt him for a starter. Seo was needed insurance at the end of the rotation, and if Edwin Jackson or Jonathan Broxton make impacts then the Dodgers can make a deal. I think it’s one of those deals that probably will help both teams but no fan of either team is going to be all that enthusiastic about until they see some results.

In other news, I heard today that the Mets had signed Bob Boone to a minor league contract, and I thought that was a pretty solid move. Then I heard that it was in fact Bret Boone, which is much worse. Hey – isn’t it weird how Boone’s power dropped off suddenly the way it did. It’s just so unexplainable. I, for one, am stumped as to the explanation for his sudden power upswing and then just as sudden downswing. Puzzling, terribly puzzling. Anyway, how do you think it feels to be Kaz Matsui? Once you’re bringing Bret Boone to camp, you may as well put out a sign in Port St. Lucie that says “Second Base: Open Auditions, all this month.” Somehow I feel like Matsui is now the baseball equivalent of Milton from Office Space. He’s technically still employed, but everybody is kind of just working around him and making plans as though he doesn't exist.


Blogger adam20ss said...

Omar makes trades because they let him X off a box on his checklist. They now have a setup man, so technically he's addressed the issue. But he never gets good value.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Schmoll and Bradford, we now have two submarine right-handed pitchers.
I would have taken Jeff Innis over both of them

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dodgers coulda had a pretty good bullpen if they kept Duaner assuming Gagne is back healthy.

I still think the Dodgers added Seo because cheap ass McCourt wanted the extra 5k-10k attendance boost that comes from sending Seo out to the mound every 5 days.

6:01 PM  

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