Friday, November 25, 2005

baseball stuff

I'm a lifelong baseball fan, and a diehard New York Mets fan. Yes, I was a Mets fan during the early 1990's, when they had the "worst team money can buy". At least I'm not a Devil Rays fan. Or a Cubs fan. Heh.

But what's great about baseball is that there's the season, and then there's the offseason. Where trades and free agent signings are made, and teams get to look bloody brilliant on paper. Which brings me to this year's offseason, so far. The three major trades that have gone down have been:

-Mets trade minor leaguers Mike Jacobs (with 1 month of pro experience) and Yusimeiro Petit to the Marlins for Carlos Delgado and $7 million.
-Phillies trade Jim Thome to the Whie Sox for Aaron Rowand (and the Phillies eat half Thome's contract).
- Red Sox send a bunch of minor leaguers to the Marlins in exchange for Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, and Guillermo Mota.

All three trades are big, and all have huge ramifications. The biggest IMHO is the Red Sox deal- the Marlins are having a fire sale, and the Sox fleeced them. They get one of the best young power pitchers in baseball- Beckett, a gold glover third baseman in Lowell (who may not hit, but with his defense, who cares?), and the real steal of the deal is Guillermo Mota. I'm no fan of Mota on a personal level- being a Mets fan I've seen him be a chickenshit coward (ask Mike Piazza)- but the man can pitch, and he'll shore up the Red Sox's bullpen. If Foulke can't close, Mota will- and with Timlin and Papelbon in the bullpen, that's a good thing for them. Yankees take notice.

The Thome/Rowand deal is something that helps both teams, because the White Sox needed a good first baseman, while the Phillies needed an outfielder, and wanted to create more room for their rookie first baseman (who's going to be a star) Ryan Howard. And the White Sox may still re-sign Paul Konerko, the first baseman that got them to the World Series last year with 40 homers. If Thome can regain his All-Star form, he'll be a force for the White Sox. And Rowand's the type of player that the Phillies can use productively- gets hits, fields well, and hits .270 or so. Good stuff, and they save money. Smart deal for both teams.

The Mets deal, as a Mets fan, I have checkered thoughts about. One on hand, the Mets getting Carlos Delgado is a big hit, since his bat is what the Mets were missing last season. He'll easily hit over .300, hit 30-40 homers and drive in between 100-150 RBIs. But Delgado was almost a Met last season- and he wasn't because his agent is a complete jerk, and he said he didn't want to come to New York. I'm hoping that there's no residual antagonism between both sides. Also, the Mets traded away Yusimiero Petit, one of their prized minor league pitching prospects, who would probably have gotten a mid-season callup in 2006. I don't mind the Mets trading away Mike Jacobs, who prob won't be the first baseman that Delgado is (but still produce for the Marlins), but trading away pitching, when their starting rotation's not exactly young (they've got Glavine and Traschel on it, while both are good, they're not spring chickens). But if the Mets get to the World Series next season, it'll be worth it, I guess. I just don't want Petit to now become a 20-3 1.90 ERA 250K pitcher for the Marlins. Suck Petit suck!

More trades will come, I'm sure. Manny Ramirez will probably be traded shortly, as will David Wells and Javier Vasquez. Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Juan Pierre, Lyle Overbay, Dennys Baez, Aubrey Huff, and Barry Zito are all potential trade bait. Of course, other names could come up that I haven't thought of.

Suffice to say that the Red Sox, Mets, and White Sox all bolstered their chances for successful 2006 seasons.


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