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Bob Klapisch on a Manny Deal

Mike SteffanosFriday, November 18, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

I know I'm a little late commenting on this. I check Klapisch's column every day during the season, but it's been so long since he wrote anything about the Mets that I stopped looking. I found a link to this article in the morning from The Metropolitans.

Klap: What's Manny worth?

Bob Klapisch is my favorite baseball columnist even though he writes more about the Yankees than the Mets these days. I respect his baseball knowledge more than most. This column isn't anti-Manny; unlike me, Klapisch wants to see the Mets pick him up.

Klapisch quotes a "club elder" that the Mets won't make this deal unless Boston eats some of Ramirez' salary. That certainly is a good place to start. $20 million per year is a huge enough bite to swallow, even is Manny continues to perform at the same level for the next 3 years. Then again, we're paying Beltran $17 million to hit .260. Still, if the Mets give Boston top prospects and take on all or even most of the money this becomes a terrible deal in my eyes.

Klapisch goes on to discuss who the Mets might give up in return for Manny. The newly acquired Xavier Nady is one obvious possibility. His departure probably wouldn't annoy any Mets fans. Bob offers Cliff Floyd as someone he would personally have no problem with moving. I'd miss Cliff, but I think he's gone after next year, anyway, and I'd rather move Cliff for Manny than have them both in the same outfield bookending Carlos Beltran. (Matt Cerrone at MetsBlog says he has heard the Sox have zero interest in Floyd, though, and I've heard the same in several places.)

Then Klap gets into the kids. He'd let top pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit go in the deal, too. I'd debate this personally, but at least the Mets have other pitching prospects of Petit's caliber. So if I concede that the Mets are likely to trade for Manny if at all possible -- and I believe they will -- losing Petit in the deal would bother me much less than Lastings Milledge. What Klapisch doesn't say here is that it would probably take Aaron Heilman, too, which makes this deal even less palatable for me.

But even Klapisch, who thinks getting Manny would be a great move under the right conditions, would draw the line at giving up Lastings Milledge:

Indeed, a trade for Ramirez would make sense for every reason except one: Milledge. He's too good, too young, too gifted to send packing now.

I find some comfort that Bob Klapisch and others whose opinions I respect have said this about Milledge. Klapisch makes the point that the Red Sox basically have a gun pointed to their heads by Manny. To me, this is what gets me the most. Putting aside that I'm against trading any young talent for Manny, I'm willing to concede that this trade will probably happen. Some young talent will leave this team in the process. The fact that we would even consider taking this "problem" off of the Red Sox' hands AND reward them with our top prospect -- a prospect who is very close to being ready to contribute at Shea -- drives me up a wall. I'm glad I'm not alone in this opinion.

Remember, it's Manny forcing this move. What happens next year if he decides he's not happy here? You think there will be a team out there prepared to overpay to solve the Mets' problem?

So if you have to make this move, and you have to give up Nady, Heilman and Petit, I'll be unhappy but I'll live with it. Give up Milledge, and to me you'll just be the "same old Mets": always giving up a big chunk of the future to take a shortcut to the post-season.

We hardly knew you...
I know Omar has a lot of other priorities right now, but I'm disappointed that Marlon Anderson was allowed to walk so early in the signing season, to the Nationals, no less. Was there no interest on the part of the Mets in keeping a valuable contributor from last year?

No I know why...
I was wondering why the Marlins would consider trading Delgado in the division. This quote from Sun-Sentinel.com clarifies things for me:

There were indications Thursday the Mets were ratcheting up their pursuit of Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado. The pending acquisition of young slugger Xavier Nady from the Padres would give the Mets another attractive trade chip to send the Marlins' way.

The key to any deal with the Mets, however, would be Venezuelan right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, New York's top pitching prospect. The Marlins also could ask for some combination of young right-hander Aaron Heilman, first baseman Mike Jacobs or middle infielder Chris Woodward.

I don't know, I have a phobia about making deals in your own division that strengthens one of your opponents for years to come. But that's just me...

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