What JJ Putz Trade Cost New York Mets

Lastings MilledgeAnalyst IFebruary 4, 2009

Earlier this offseason the Mets acquired JJ Putz, Jeremy Reed, and Sean Green for Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, and right-handed pitcher Maikel Cleto.

Right now the trade seems like a steal, but I would like to take a closer look to see who the Mets really gave up.

Everyone knows the big name players whom the Mets surrendered to the Mariners and Indians like Smith, Chavez, and of course Heilman. But many people do not know the young prospects who were traded and what their futures might hold.

The top prospect the Mets gave up was first baseman and future DH Mike Carp. Carp, 22, is known for his bat and hit .299 with 17 home runs and 72 RBI last year for AA Binghamton.

Carp was highly regarded before the 2007 season and was invited to spring training, but during the season he injured his hand and struggled in the power category for sometime afterward.

His lack of power was shown when, in 2007, Carp hit .243 and had zero home runs in the Arizona Fall League and still managed to be on the AFL Prospect Team. Carp had a strong 2008 season which allowed him to be used as the high-chip prospect in this deal.

Left-handed Jason Vargas was acquired in November of 2006, along with pitcher Adam Bostick, in exchange for right-handed relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom.

Vargas had a lot of potential when he arrived in New York but never lived up to it. He spent most of his time in AAA. In 2007 he started two games for the Mets, but he allowed 14 runs in 10.1. Vargas missed all of 2008 with injuries but fared well in the AFL as he had a 2.10 ERA.

Vargas, 26, isn’t the young talent he was a few years back and he better get it together if he wants to make it in the big leagues. I wouldn’t even really call Vargas a prospect anymore, but he would be considered the No. 4 prospect in the deal.

Ezequiel Carrera is a pretty good outfielder with a lot of speed. He hit .263 in 2008 while stealing 28 bases. The 21-year-old also managed 11 doubles, 12 triples, and seven home runs, which shows he can hit for average and power.

He uses the entire field, indicated by the amount of triples. Carrera has also had high on base percentages, .344 in 2008. He had a good amount of potential and is the No. 2 prospect in the trade.

Maikel Cleto is a young 19-year-old pitcher who pitched decently in 2008 for A-Savannah. Cleto relies heavily on his fastball, as most young pitchers due. He allowed 140 hits, 34 walks, and 81 strikeouts with a 4.25 ERA in 135.2 innings for the Gnats.

He often struggles with his control which can be seen by the high number of hits and, more importantly, the 25 wild pitches he surrendered. As a young pitcher he must gain better control of his fastball and needs to become more comfortable with his breaking balls if he wants to find success. He is the No. 3 prospect in the deal.