Saturday, July 31, 2004
Entering the 2004 season; the Mets sold their fans on the idea that they had a plan for the future. They sold them on the idea that the Mets would no longer be doing the quick fix. They sold them on the idea that Mets management had turned over a new leaf and would build a contender for within. Yesterday afternoon, Mets management sold out.
I am not a Mets fan. I like some of their players, but I am not a Mets fan. That said, when I heard the news that the Mets had traded for Kris Benson I immediately thought it was an ok deal. They gave up Ty Wigginton, who had become a useful utility guy, but those aren't hard to find, and Matt Peterson, who if everything worked out could probably have become a Kris Benson-type starter. However, this is where it gets stupid. I was then told that as part of the deal, the Mets had to send Justin Huber to the Royals in order to get Jose Bautista and send him back to the Pirates. Justin Huber has major concerns regarding his defense; some feel it is so bad that he would have to move from C to 1B. However, he was still playing C and that's what I will address him as. The Mets traded one of the top 5 C prospects in baseball, in addition to other useful talent, for Kris Benson. Kris freaking Benson. The same Kris Benson who has not had an above average season since 2000. The same Kris Benson who is on the verge of free agency, meaning that the Mets could have kept their talent and had their crappy pitcher for just money. That was just a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, trade. Unfortunately for Met fans, it got worse.
When I initially heard that the Mets got Victor Zambrano for Scott Kazmir I laughed. Here, I thought, was some poster on a message board attempting to play a trick on Met fans. Too bad for him his proposal was so ludicrous that no Met fan would buy it. Then I realize this was no joke, the Mets had actually traded THE BEST LHP prospect in baseball for Victor Zambrano. Not Cubs' stud and NL Cy Young contender Carlos Zambrano, but Victor Zambrano. Soon-to-be-30 Victor Zambrano. Victor Zambrano who last year had a K:BB ratio of 1.25:1. Victor Zambrano whose K:BB ratio this year has gone to 1.14:1 as his control has gone from incredibly bad to historically so.To put in perspective how bad Victor Zambrano is, let me say this, when a pitcher allows a baserunner per inning he is generally a good pitcher. Based on just walks and HBP Zambrano has 112 baserunners in 128 innings. That is piss-poor. Add in hits and Zambrano has allowed 219 baserunners in 128 innings. For this the Mets gave up the game's top LHP prospect.
Before anyone says things about TINSTAAPP, I am not advocating never trading Kazmir. What I am saying is that since Scott Kazmir is the top LHP prospect in baseball, when you trade him you go out and get a sure thing. You get equal or close to equal value. You do not go out and pick up Victor freaking Zambrano. Met fans, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Devil Ray fans, it should be fun seeing your team contend for the division in 2006.