"Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber, you go and do something like this...and totally redeem yourself!" - Harry Dunne, Dumb and Dumber, 1994
The New York Mets reacquired Angel Pagan from the Chicago Cubs for Corey Coles and Ryan Meyers.
Mets fans were beginning to turn (here too!) on Omar Minaya, and who could blame them?
Mets fans have had to deal with the Scott Kazmir trade debacle—and despite my attempts to justify the trade, it was clearly a terrible move.
According to Paul DePodesta, as questioned by Beyond the Boxscore, "makeup is critical. This game is a grind, and consequently it takes tremendous mental toughness to succeed...The chemistry element, which I think you're hinting at, is much trickier...I don't think many people would doubt its importance..." (source)
However important makeup is, though, there's no denying that talent wins ballgames. That said, if Mets fans were angry with Minaya for the Milledge trade, acquiring Pagan for two prospects that are far from having any major league value would seem to go a long way in redeeming the GM.
Pagan has definitely lost much of his luster after two fairly poor stints with the Cubs. He's not going to fool anybody into forgetting the loss of Milledge, but the move will help to bolster the New York bench by adding a young bat, glove, and legs.
With Shawn Green and Moises Alou already on the roster, the addition of Pagan allows the Mets to keep their No. 1 and No. 3 prospects from being rushed into the pressure cooker.
Another thing to consider: The Mets will be paying Pagan under $500K in what is presumably a bench role. For a similar player, the Dodgers are paying 16 times that amount.
And all it cost the Mets was a spot on the 40-man roster and two prospects.
Corey Coles is a lefty-hitting outfielder with decent on-base ability and a susceptibility to injury. Being 26 on Opening Day and having under 40 plate appearances at Triple-A doesn't bode well for his career.
Entering the 2007 season, John Sickels rated Coles as a "notable" prospect in the Mets organization—meaning he was at best a C-grade prospect.
The Cubs also landed 21-year-old Ryan Meyers, a left-handed reliever who has struggled during his minor league career.
For his age and level of competition, Meyers has been relatively wild. I imagine the Cubs are hoping he can work through those struggles and be an effective LOOGY.
The most important part of the deal for the Cubs, though, was freeing up a spot on the 40-man roster. On a club with a relatively full OF (Soriano-Pie-Fukudome, with Murton on the bench), Pagan was definitely expendable—and his roster spot is better filled by a player who's capable of producing for the club.
Overall, this trade was a marginal one. The Mets filled a need and the Cubs opened up a roster spot while adding two players with relatively low ceilings.
I'd give the narrow edge to the Mets, as they acquired a player who'll at least provide some statistics in the near future. I also like that they're going to give Gomez and Martinez some more time to season in the minors.