12.10.08

Everybody Go Nuts, The Mets Have Traded For J.J. Putz

Posted in Baseball at 10:17 pm by

A day after the New York Mets signed free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez to bolster their shitty-beyond-belief bullpen, who dared imagine Omar Minaya’s next move would be to trade for a reliever who arguably might’ve been his Plan B had Rodriguez gone elsewhere?  If you’re wondering what the price tag was for a closer one year removed from a 40 save campaign, Newsday’s David Lennon has a full list of the departed :

The Mets are on the the brink of acquiring reliever J.J. Putz from the Mariners in a three-way deal that also includes the Indians, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday night.

The Mets would send Joe Smith to Cleveland for outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who would then be traded to Seattle along with Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez and Mike Carp for Putz. The three teams are currently going over the medical records of all the players and the deal could be completed shortly.

Presumably, Heilman will compete for a spot in the Mariners rotation, while Chavez could well be the economy replacement for Raul Ibanez. Barring injury and/or a serious decline on the part of Carlos Delgado, Carp was unlikely to figure in the Mets’ plans in 2009.  Assuming you’re ok with Minaya giving up on Heilman, this is a terrific move ; the Mets have essentially made it a 7 inning game next season.  Of course, they still haven’t quite figured out who is pitching the 6th and 7th innings.  This offseason won’t be a fully realized triumph until Pedro Feliciano and Scott Schoeneweis find new places of employment if not entirely new vocations.

17 Responses to “Everybody Go Nuts, The Mets Have Traded For J.J. Putz”

  1. David R. says:

    Reports I saw also have the Mets getting OF / perpetual disappointment Jeremy Reed (presumably to take Endy’s place as the go-to 4th OF, or scrap it out for the LF spot) and RP Sean Green (presumably to help make use of some clubhouse store surplus from his homonymic namesake).

  2. Jason Cohen says:

    Yes but the Phillies got Ronny Paulino.

  3. David R. says:

    I expected the first CSTB homer comment to be Schwartz crowing about the Cubs’ in-progress acquisition of Jake Peavy. Kudos, JC.

    And you shouldn’t mention RP w/out including his middle name, Hit-n-Run.

  4. David Roth says:

    On behalf of my girlfriend and my sentimental-ass self, I hereby declare this deal a disappointment because it involves giving up Endy Chavez. I can only presume that Jeremy Reed — should he wind up with the Mets — will be greeted by jeering “En-DY Cha-VEZ” chants whenever he starts being mediocre/immediately.

    At the same time: Putz is an excellent pitcher. Because I love all Mets, big and small, it pains me to see them trade so many players. But this looks pretty good to me. The bigger question, if this is what it takes to get Putz, is why they needed to spend all that money on K-Rod, considering that they always liked Putz just about as much. At any rate, though: it’s something, and I’m happy with it. I just think J.J. needs to get ready for New Yorkers not pronouncing his last name “puts.”

  5. David Roth says:

    I was not aware this deal also involved Jason Vargas and his sweaty Jonah Hill impersonation. I take back all the ambivalence. Fucking go for it, Omar. Sadly, it’s too late to deal Jon Adkins.

  6. GC says:

    “The bigger question, if this is what it takes to get Putz, is why they needed to spend all that money on K-Rod, considering that they always liked Putz just about as much.”

    Because they needed both? The dependable closer and the bridge to said closer?

    I’m less troubled by the amount spent on K-Rod (less than Wagner’s deal) than by the bodies given up for Putz. Smith might be a quality middle reliver for a full season in the AL. Mike Carp could be the new Mike Jacobs (this is not a joke). And if Heilman either regains his form as a reliever or looks decent enough to be a 4th or 5th starter out of spring training, his value would’ve been significantly higher than it is right now. All of which points to the urgency in nabbing Putz before someone else.

  7. David Roth says:

    Well, yeah, they need both. Obviously. We saw this.

    But if you can deal all this to get Putz — and yeah, agreed on all counts regarding the dealt dudes, but which of those guys are you going to miss in two years? — then why not simply do so and use that K-Rod payroll up to sign Raul Ibanez and a few proven middle men? I’m happy to have both the closers in question, of course, and see all kinds of reasons why the deals work (Putz is 31; K-Rod’s possibly in some sort of decline; one insures the other) (Also: Jeremy Reed is Jeff Duncan minus the looks?). But I’m assuming that the Mets do not have unlimited payroll going into next season — that Danny Meyer concession isn’t cheap, right? — and that there are better ways to spend said limited dollars than on two closers. Even if one of them will be sulking (at least per his agent) as an 8th-inning guy, and especially considering that the team gets dependable offensive production from exactly four positions in the lineup.

    I know, I’m being an idiot quibbling with this. Or caring this much. But if the Mets go into next year with two closers and Jeremy Reed playing left field, I will not be psyched. If more moves are coming, and I’d guess they are, then I’ll hold my fire. Except obviously not because what did I just type.

  8. Jason Cohen says:

    “And you shouldn’t mention RP w/out including his middle name, Hit-n-Run.”

    Chris Berman meets John Buccigross! Scary.

  9. Dave says:

    I dig this deal despite the emotional pull of both Endy and Mighty Joe and the carping from Putz’s agent. Considering that in two days the Mets’ bullpen went from huge question mark to relative stability, I’d say the biggest issue on Omar’s plate now involves somehow turning Luis Castillo into Orlando Hudson. And Gerald, what’s with the Feliciano hate? One mediocre season doesn’t turn the man into a pariah on the level of Bad For The Jews, does it?

    Oh, saw your man Leitch at the bar tonight in the most unhip neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. Kinda weird seeing him as like,a real human being as opposed to an internet specter.

  10. Marc says:

    I like this deal, though giving up Endy for essentially the same thing (bat wise) in Reed is disappointing for sentimental reasons.

    I don’t think Mike Carp had a place on the Mets, because he was supposedly even worse defensively than Jacobs.

    No one cares about losing Vargas, except maybe Vargas’ mom and even she might be surprised to find out her son is still an almost major leaguer.

    If the trade essentially comes down to Joe Smith + Heilman for JJ Putz, I can’t imagine who would think the Mets lost on this. Of course, if Heilman becomes a double digit wins starter, then maybe the Mets lost.. And Joe Smith? He’s serviceable, but — as the Mets have surely learned — set up men and most relievers are lightning in a bottle. I would bet Joe Smith won’t be entering the HOF as the world’s most dominant relief pitcher, so who cares? As long as the Mets are going to charge $8+ for a Bud Light, they might as well spend the money on JJ Putz’s higher salary.

    And forget moving Castillo unless we’re going with a 4 man rotation in 2009. Lowe, Ollie, or El Duque needs to be signed now that we lost Vargas.

  11. Rog says:

    which of those guys are you going to miss in two years?

    That question has probably been asked a lot since Minaya took over…with pretty horrible consequences. The deal is mostly good but don’t overreact if any of the Mets’ cast-offs actually develops and has a decent career. I’m not too impressed with the player development (or lack thereof) with the Mess and maybe that’s the reason why these younger players struggle until they find themselves wearing a different uniform.

  12. David R. says:

    … then why not simply do so and use that K-Rod payroll up to sign Raul Ibanez and a few proven middle men?

    DR, if you haven’t already witness Lookout Landing’s sidebar tribute to the defensive prowess of Raul Ibanez, then you should acquaint yourself w/ it ASAP, because signing Ibanez to the type of deal he’d want will get you that sort of leathery wanderlust coupled w/ a perfectly below-average bat on the decline for a comparative buttload of cash (not Jose Guillen cash, but close to it, given he’s a clutch RBI bro). That might be an improvement on what NYM got last year in LF, but not by much.

    Also, as far as middle-men go, the Royals supposedly inked Farnsworth to a 2 year deal worth $9 million — do you really want to shell out for that sort of quote-unquote proven excellence?

    At any rate, the Mets could still ink someone like Juan Rivera as a PH / righty bopper for pretty cheap (or go whole hog and ink Adam Dunn to a contract w/ a PTSD clause), and find some under-35 flamethrowers to try out in the pen (like most other teams do) for pennies on the dollar.

  13. David Roth says:

    First things first: “Leathery wanderlust” is amazing. Thanks for that.

    But I don’t know that I see Ibanez as below average or on the decline — or as a great fielder, but neither are all the converted IFs the Mets had out there last year. Ibanez is 36 and so probably due for a decline, but his OPS+ the last three years have been 125, 121, 124. That’s pretty good, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it in my favorite team’s outfield as much as some of the other guys being discussed. Just for yu(c)ks, here are Juan Pierre’s OPS+ figures over the same period: 82, 75, 73. But so fast!

    Anyway, no, obviously I don’t want to see the Mets give Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth anything but a (metaphorical?) knuckle sandwich. But I’m operating under the assumption that they have a finite pool of resources, and that might be my biggest fallacy. In a sport without a salary cap, it comes down to who gives what to whom, I guess. If Omar can get the Wilps to sign off on adding every free agent closer, then I say go for it. It’s their money, or becomes so after they deposit the money I give them for tickets and $9 Bud Light.

  14. Rog says:

    Roth, you need to get wrecked at home before the show starts. I learned that back in high school. No goddamned stadium’s getting my 9 bucks for a Bud or any of the shit they pour at stadiums. The long exception is the $5 Brooklyn Lagers at Keyspan Park. And, yes, I’m usually wrecked by the time I make it to the Cyclones games.

  15. David R. says:

    Ibanez is 36 and so probably due for a decline, but his OPS+ the last three years have been 125, 121, 124.

    What, me, look at stats and use them to back up my arguments? What do I look like, a BLOGGER?

    In all seriousness, I didn’t really expect Ibanez’s numbers to be that (esp. w/ half his games happening in Safeco), but taking a flyer on a 37-year-old Xerox of Moises Alou (even if he’s more durable, which is an understatement of El Sid-like proportions) sketches me out. I’d rather the Mets take a run @ Burrell or Dunn or even Abreu and pay an extra $3-4 million per year than what it would cost to procure RI’s services.

    Actually, I’d rather the Mets clown Coletti into trading Kemp or Ethier (and Broxton) for Castillo, Duaner’s shades, and a box set of The Compleat Kiner’s Korner. That could happen, right?

  16. Jason Cohen says:

    Sounds like Raul could go to Philly. You’re certainly better off with Burrell or Dunn (no draft pick, and who’s to say they’ll cost more anyway?) Which is not to say you won’t complain about either of them loudly when they go 0 for 2 (with two walks) in August.

  17. itsmetsforme says:

    wow lotsa mets talk.

    I don’t mean to pick, but shouldn’t the headline be Everybody go Noots…?

Leave a Reply