BY MICHAEL GANCI
With this post and the one that will follow, I decided to take what are, in my opinion, the five best and five worst trades that Omar Minaya has made to gauge my approval rating in that department of the Mets’ general manager.
Because I like ending things on a high note, let’s start with the bad deals, and these are listed in no particular order. The good side of things will come in a later post.
Dec. 10, 2008: Traded Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, and Maikel Cleto to the Mariners for J.J. Putz, Sean Green, and Jeremy Reed.
Thoughts: On paper, this looked like it was going to be a phenomenal deal for the Mets. Putz was one of the AL’s best closers, and he was the guy that they were looking for that could be a perfect bridge to K-Rod in the Mets’ bullpen, but unfortunately, it did not work out that way. Putz’ elbow did not hold up, and he was not re-signed in the offseason.
Reed was a spare part that has since moved on, and Green’s presence on the DL is preferred by many fans over a spot on the roster.
Nov. 15, 2006: Traded Health Bell and Royce Ring to the Padres for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson
Thoughts: I am not sure what Omar saw out of this one from the beginning. At the time he was dealt, Bell was the shuttle boy for the Mets, as he seemed to be going back and forth from the majors to the minors more than anyone in baseball. Now, he has developed into a solid closer out in San Diego, and for the Mets, the Adkins diet didn’t really work out.
Both of the acquired have moved on, and the Mets were left with a sour taste in their mouths.
Nov. 20, 2006: Traded Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom to the Marlins for Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas
Thoughts: It looks like the Mets were desperate to add a couple of depth lefties to the mix, because they certainly gave up a talented righty to do so.
It was known that Lindstrom was a fireballer, but his control issues came into question. Rather than work with him and let him develop into a valuable bullpen asset, the Mets shipped him off to Florida, where he did just that. Now, he currently finds himself as the closer of the Astros.
The most valuable commodity the Mets got in that deal, Jason Vargas, waited until he showed up in Seattle to pitch like a major league pitcher.
Jan. 22, 2010: Traded Brian Stokes to the Angels for Gary Matthews Jr. and $20M
Thoughts: I was actually quite upset when this deal was made. The Mets made a rash decision when they heard that Carlos Beltran was going to be out for the season’s first couple of months, and even though they got the Angels to eat most of what’s left on GMJ’s contract, he has proven to be a detriment to this team.
It seems like every time he is at the plate he either strikes out or grounds into a double play. I have never seen the fans decide to boo a guy so quickly, but I think it is completely justified.
Stokes proved to be a decent bullpen arm last year, and he can make the occasional start, and guys like that have value, so I definitely think the Mets lost this one, even though Stokes hasn’t exactly burst onto the scene with the Angels.
Dec. 6, 2006: Traded Brian Bannister to the Royals for Ambiorix Burgos
Thoughts: This one is rather mind-boggling. Burgos always showed a live arm, but he was one of those project pitchers. Bannister looked like one of the Mets’ better pitching prospects, but I can only assume that they believed that his ceiling wasn’t that high.
Bannister certainly proved Minaya and Co. wrong by the way he has pitched in Kansas City. I am not saying he has been a godsend, but he could certainly be used in this rotation right now over a guy named John Maine or Oliver Perez. Burgos, on the other hand, has since become a criminal and is gone from the Mets. Go figure, right?
What do you think of these trades? Think there are any I missed?