Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Milledge Trade Looks Worse Today

If you haven't heard there's news from the winter meeting that the Tigers and Mets are talking about a possible trade that would send Dontrelle Willis to the Mets.

What's the catch? Well, the catch is the Tigers have found themselves with a payroll overload and need to cut back so any deal involving Dontrelle would also include taking Pudge Rodriguez and his +$13MM salary. Now Pudge has a no trade clause, but would waive it if he was offered a contract extension from a playoff team (i.e. New York Mets).

So how does this make the Milledge trade any worse? Well we now have an overload at catcher so for this deal to happen we'd either a) have to cut one of our existing catchers under contract b) find a way to package one of them in a deal for Willis/Rodriguez. The problem with option B is we just signed Castro to a contract and just traded for Schneider and are stuck with his contract. This is not about Ryan Church. Church will bat .270 for us and knock in 60 RBIs. This is about getting a middle of the road catcher early in the offseason before knowing what's really out there.

Of course hindsight is 20/20, but it just compounds the bad feeling I'm getting from the Mets this offseason. I have a horrible feeling that come April 1 we will not have acquired a top notch starting pitcher. Livan Hernandez will be in the rotation. And our bullpen will be very similar to last year.

I'd love for the Mets to make this deal with the Tigers. The Marlins were packaging Willis and Cabrera because they wanted to dump payroll. The Tigers don't really need Willis and now find themselves wanting to dump payroll as well. This is a perfect scenario for the Mets. The Mets could try and send Castro, Heilman, and Mulvey to the Tigers for Willis & Pudge. The Tigers don't need any more bats or big time contracts.

Will this happen? Who knows. But if it doesn't happen in the coming week, it will be less likely that it ever will.

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