By Mike Steffanos
Baseball America's Matt Meyers weighs in on the Mets-Royals trade. Here's his take on Ambiorix Burgos:
Signed as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2000, Burgos has dazzled the [Royals] organization with a fastball that sniffs triple digits, though he never dominated at any level because of his erratic command. His inability to repeat his delivery has prevented him from mastering a slider or changeup.
The Royals aggressively promoted him to the big leagues in 2005 with middling results. Though he has struck out more then a batter per inning over the last two seasons with the Royals, he also has 68 walks in 138 innings in the majors and had a 5.52 ERA this year. The Mets lost two relievers to free agency last week in Chad Bradford and Roberto Hernandez, and Burgos will give the Mets a hard-thrower to help set up Billy Wagner.
I'm sorry to see Bannister go. He has a great makeup, and I think he will find a way to be a solid major league starter, despite his mediocre stuff. Still, the Mets were able to get a guy back who throws in the high-90s. Helping struggling guys repeat their deliveries happens to be something that Rick Peterson does well.
The idea of Burgos stepping in and taking important innings -- even the sixth inning of close games -- does seem a little optimistic right from the get-go. It seems more likely that the Mets would start him very slowly, a la Jorge Julio. He's 22 and has been rushed by Kansas City, and it seems to me that the Mets want to avoid that.
Bryan Hoch has a nice feature on the Mets new first base coach at Mets.com.
Kudos also to Tony Bernazard, who has been promoted to Vice President of Development. From what I've been reading, Bernazard has been an important part of the Mets efforts to upgrade their development system and provide a consistent "Mets way" of developing players in their system.