By Mike Steffanos
It's late and I'm tried, but I couldn't let the first day of the new year pass without checking in. I wrote yesterday that I was leery over rumors of a deal of Lastings Milledge for Oakland's Joe Blanton. Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver makes a compelling case for not doing the proposed deal.
No doubt that Milledge has gotten a lot of bad ink, and wasn't able to produce much in his first taste of the majors, but it's amazing that so many seem to be willing to give up such a big talent for so little. Blanton is a fifth starter in a good rotation. Milledge has a good chance of being a star. If the Mets can't get value in return -- and Blanton doesn't qualify -- they're better off holding onto him. Some Bay area writers have speculated that the A's could receive Milledge, Aaron Heilman and another prospect for Blanton, and that's just plain insane.
We keep hearing that Billy Beane loves Milledge. If that's true, than he can stop trying to steal him and offer up real value. I don't blame him for testing just how desperate the Mets are for pitching, but Silver is right, this one doesn't make sense even short-term.
Mets.com's Marty Noble has a 2007 preview online, which, interestingly enough, hypothesizes a starting rotation of Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Jason Vargas that doesn't include Oliver Perez. I guess Noble isn't a big believer in the erratic lefty, who so many of us (including me) have developed a man-crush on. I find it odd that he placed Vargas, another erratic lefty who really struggled in both the majors and minors last season, in the rotation rather than Perez.
I'm sure they will do the same as last year, which means that Noble will pen a piece previewing every aspect of the team. When he does the pitching staff I'll be curious to read what he has to say. And for what little it's worth, I'd still bet on Oliver Perez starting the season in the rotation unless he is traded away.
Finally, FoxSports.com's Dayne Perry thinks Omar has proved himself to be really smart. Perry thinks the move that makes sense would be for the Mets to take a flyer on Mark Mulder. I don't know, I like Mulder but I think if they sign anyone, it should be someone ready to pitch in April.