A Look at Possible Rotation Trade Candidates
1. Cliff Lee — Lee is by far the best pitcher in the group and is having a fantastic season.
He had a late start to his season because of an injury, but he is already 5-3 on a really bad team with a 2.55 ERA.
The most staggering thing about Lee’s season so far is his K/BB statistic, which right now it sits at 16.75. The next person on the list is Roy Halladay with a 6.13 K/BB. Lee is on base to shatter the MLB record because, frankly, he just isn’t walking anyone. He has walked just 4 batters all season, which is good for a .46 BB/9 INN.
Lee is just doing everything you can ask of an ace pitcher: winning games, giving up no runs, no hits, walking no one, striking guys out and pitching deep into games. Right now, he is averaging nearly 8 innings per start and already has 3 complete games in 10 starts.
The problem with Lee pitching so well is that it is going to cost a lot to get him.
The one thing going for the Mets is that the Mariners were asking for bats in return so the Mets can still keep Jenrry Mejia. With Fernando Martinez just coming back from his injury two weeks ago, it was perfect timing for the M’s to get a good look at him.
The other main prospect being thrown around in talks is Wilson Ramos of the Twins. The Mariners are in need of a catcher, but F-Mart is certainly the better prospect, and the Mariners outfield isn’t too great either, so he could surely help them up.
I understand the Mets have been reluctant to trade F-Mart in the past, but if there was ever the perfect opportunity to trade him, this would be it. Martinez is highly unlikely to match Lee’s success in the majors, and Lee would put the Mets over the top. Going into a playoff race with a rotation of Cliff Lee, Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana is just devastating and will dramatically increase the Mets’s chances of getting to the World Series.
2. Fausto Carmona — I really like Carmona and actually traded for him last season in my dynasty league (I am the Mets in the league).
He reminds me a lot of Big Mike Pelfrey. Both of them rely heavily on their sinkers that have similar velocity and get similar horizontal and vertical movement, each of them complements their fastball with a nice slider, and change up. The only difference is Pelf’s change up is now a split-fingered fastball, while Carmona uses a more traditional change.
It is interesting to note that when Carmona had his best season in 2007, it was the last time he threw a splitter regularly. It would be interesting if the Mets acquire him if they have him go back to throwing the split.
The problem with Carmona is that he is signed cheaply for a couple years, so he is going to cost a pretty penny. I am not sure what the Indians would be looking for in return, but if I were Jenrry Mejia, I would balk at their asking price. This is a case where I would consider trading Fernando Martinez, but I would never be able to sell myself 100% on the idea.
3. Jeremy Guthrie — Guthrie is a very sticky situation.
He is a solid middle rotation pitcher who will be under control until 2012, but the Orioles are going to be looking for a return on a No. 2 type of pitcher.
I like Guthrie and like Carmona, I traded for him in my dynasty league. His stuff is likely to play better in the National League and Citi Field where his fly balls aren’t going to carry out as much as they do at Camden. If he can be had for a reasonable price without having to give up any top notch prospects, I am all for it. However, something tells me the O’s are going to want someone like Wilmer Flores for him and I just don’t think it would be smart for the Mets to do something like that.
4. Ben Sheets — I have always been a huge Ben Sheets fan and when the Athletics signed him in the off season, you know the only thing Billy Beane had in mind was to have Sheets show he was healthy so he could trade him for a couple of prospects.
Sheets is having an okay season thus far. He is 2-7 with a 4.95 ERA, but almost all his other numbers are on par with his career numbers. He is actually getting more ground balls than usual, but the problem has been his control. He is walking way more batters than usual, with a rate of 3.81 BB/9 compared to his career average of 2.08. Part of the reason for the high ERA is the amount of home runs he has given up. His HR/FB percentage is all the way up to 12% since moving to the AL in Oakland, compared to 7.7% over his last 3 years.
I think a move back to the NL could certainly help his numbers, and like with Guthrie, playing in Citi Field would definitely help his home run rate. I would really like if the Mets got Sheets because he shows flashes of being one of the best pitchers in the game, and he would certainly cost less than someone like Lee.
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