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The Delgado Trade: An Opinion

Mike SteffanosSunday, November 27, 2005
By Mike Steffanos


I've taken some extra time to put together a full opinion on this trade. I wanted to avoid any type of knee jerk reaction and come up with something resembling an intelligent judgment.

Despite the fact that I really liked all 3 young players the Mets shipped out, I can't kill Omar on this deal. The Mets feel that they need to put together a team to win now, and from that standpoint this was a good step, especially since it is now clear that Delgado has no problem coming here. Delgado is still a very productive player, and plays a position (first base) that doesn't beat up an older player as much as most.

We can argue the point as to whether the Mets should be so committed to winning now. My preference would be for them to go slower and target a year or two down the road as the "win now" season. I worry that undo haste on their part will lead to more mistakes, a scenario that has played out all too often over the years for the Mets. But as a fan, I understand that the Mets are under absolutely no obligation to do the things that would make me happy. I have to put aside my personal preference and judge this trade for what it is.

The Mets gave up a promising player in Mike Jacobs, but they wouldn't have a position for him if they were able to get Delgado for someone else. They also gave up Yusmeiro Petit, their top pitching prospect and rated the #2 overall prospect in the system by Baseball America. That certainly is a loss, but in giving up Petit Mets' GM Omar Minaya was dealing from what is the only real position of strength in the Mets farm system. 4 of the remaining 8 players in BA's top 10 (Jacobs was #4) are right-handed pitchers, and 2005 top draft pick Mike Pelfrey will immediately make the top 10 once they sign him. Grant Psomas is a nice young player, but projects as a utility guy in the majors.

From a solid baseball point of view, this wasn't an excessive amount to give up for a player of Delgado's caliber. I don't really buy the argument that the Marlins would have taken less for Delgado; maybe they would have if trading him to a team outside the division, but not to the Mets. They would have alienated their fan base even more if there was a perception that they just gave Delgado away to a team in their division. And remember, the Mets received one of the top left handed power hitters in baseball, not just some 20 HR, 80 RBI run of the mill first baseman.

The Mets offense has improved far beyond the bare numbers Carlos Delgado can contribute. Having Delgado on this team should take a lot of pressure off Carlos Beltran. David Wright will no longer be the only bat protecting Cliff Floyd, who will no longer have to bat cleanup. Victor Diaz will have the opportunity to take control of the right field job with few expectations and away from the glare of the spotlight.

I can understand the feelings of Mets fans that weren't happy with the deal. The Mets farm system is not deep in talent as it is, and to give up 2 of their top prospects took a big chunk out of it. In addition, many of us feel the Mets place little value on their farm system, and are unwilling to show the patience it takes to develop their own talent. A legitimate concern, indeed, but that's an issue for another day.

On the merits of this deal, Omar did a really solid job. He got something the Mets really needed and did not give up anything that he could not afford to give up. In my opinion, to say differently is just unfair.

Comments (7)

Trading Mike Jacobs for Carlos Deolgado will prove to be the third worst trade in mets history.I've followed Jacobs career for over 3 years. A talent like him, is once in a lifetime. His numbers are incredible with a work ethic that is as good. We handed the marlins the rookie of the year for 2006. This guy is that good!!

I liked Mike Jacobs, Ed, and I wouldn't have traded him and Petit for Delgado. From a baseball standpoint I couldn't kill this deal. I did say this in my Hot Stove Moves post:

Who got the better of the trade? That remains to be seen. In the short-term, most likely the Mets. In the long run, if Jacobs isn't a Kevin Maas type wonder -- and I don't think he is -- and Petit fulfils his potential to be a solid mid-rotation starter, the Marlins will probably come out ahead. This was a win-now move, so much depends on whether the Mets actually manage to win.

http://www.mikesmets.com/2006/01/new_york_mets_hot_stove_moves.html

As when the Mets traded AJ Burnett for Al Leiter, they got a player who will help them now, but gave up a player that will be around for a long time.

Spring training is finally here.

Mike Jacobs is at it again. Five hits in the last 2 games. A batting average over 400 and has hit in 6 straight games. I met him in Florida and this is just the beginning. He will outhit and outplay Carlos Delgado this year. Omar Minaya lost the division with this move. Jae Seo to the dodgers was ridiculous. The mets will be short on starters and as bad on right side defense. Five signings that will improve nothing. No GM in his right mind would have done this.

I don't know what to tell you. I was sorry to see Jake go, too. I liked the Seo trade, didn't like the Benson deal. Time to turn the page.

Dear Mike -
With all due respect. Jae Seo was 8-2 with a 2.58 era. The mets are so short on starters. Jae was sent down in 05 aftet tossing a one hitter. Iishi was getting bombed while Seo was in AAA. Heilman should have been in the rotation last year. Had they promoted Jacobs in may, brought up Keppinger to play second, the mets would have won the wild card at least last year.

The team has not improved. This year looks worse than last year. Very poor decisions.

Ed, I hated to see Jake go, and it bothers me it took so long for them to give him a chance last year. They never seemed to believe in him.

Omar traded Seo because he felt like Jae would settle back into being a decent bottom of the rotation guy, pretty much what Brian Bannister is. I agree -- that doesn't mean that I can't be wrong, ask my ex-wife. I think Seo and Bannister are basically the same pitcher, Bannister is younger and cheaper. (Seo is certainly more advanced) I really love Sanchez, Ed, I think he can be a very good pitcher, and maybe our closer when Wagner fades.

They were going to bring Kepp up right before he got hurt. Tough break for the kid.

I hope someday the Mets take their farm system more seriously and develop more of their own players. I really believe this is the only way they will be successful in the long run. I'm just not going to let myself go crazy over things.

Believe me, although I didn't agree with everything you said, I do respect it.

Great call on Jacobs. He sure is tearing it up down there. Can we get him back straight up for Delgado?

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