No one plans for injuries to their cleanup hitter, leadoff hitter, and six-hole hitter. Well… that’s not totally true. A lot of your more successful baseball general manager types like to have a few serviceable options and backups on hand in case stuff like this goes down. What I probably should’ve written is that Omar Minaya didn’t necessarily plan for injuries to his cleanup hitter, leadoff hitter, etc., and instead opted to field a Triple-A team that is less impressive than its 13-29 record suggests, and which would almost certainly lose seven of 10 games to the Newark Bears. And now, with Jose Reyes and Ryan Church joining Carlos Delgado on the 15-day DL this afternoon, the Mets are officially without a plurality of their Opening Day starters.
Which, you know, is a shitty deal. But while I don’t have much to add on this topic beyond my usual (in Jerry Stiller voice) “what the hell did you trade Jeff Keppinger for!” maunderings, I kind of have to applaud Omar for 1) making a much-needed trade today while 2) sticking to his strategy of entrusting a bunch of roster spots on his $150 million team’s fortunes to aging, Atlantic League-ready humps. In exchange for a player to be named later, Omar just secured a middle infielder from the Indians. Not ex-prospect Josh Barfield, who’s at Triple-A and not going anywhere, and not versatile evangelical Jamey Carroll, who’s reputedly a Minaya favorite. Nah, why waste time with those goofs when you can get this guy. Who is maybe the only player available in another organization who’s less likely to help at the Big League level than the Mets’ current Triple-A shortstop.
Now, to be fair to Wilson Valdez, his .211/.255/.277 Major League splits come in just 254 at-bats. And he is only 31 years old. And he did slug (slug!) .207 at Triple-A this season, so he’s clearly due. For something. I am aware that caring about deals like this is not good for me, and also takes more energy than the trades deserve. But being a fan of the team that traded Jason Bay for Steve Reed and is currently starting both Livan Hernandez and Tim Redding because it dealt Brian Bannister for Ruben Gotay kind of distorts things a bit.
So anyway, welcome Wilson Valdez. You are the current symbol to me of everything wrong with the Minaya Administration, until something else comes along. (Oh, also, the Mets called up Fernando Martinez to take Church’s place)