By Mike Steffanos
Multiple sources are confirming that the Mets have traded Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for 32-year-old C Brian Schneider and 29-year-old OF Ryan Church.
I understand that Milledge's stock as a prospect has taken a hit over the last couple of years, but the mediocre return on this deal makes me wish the Mets just rolled the dice with Milledge in RF in 2008. This is one we could really regret.
Schneider is a defensive upgrade to Estrada behind the plate, but not a huge one. Offensively, his lifetime .252/.323/.377 batting line is anemic even for a catcher. Last season was even worse: .235/.326/.336, with 6 HR in 408 ABs.
Church is a good OBP guy, but his power numbers are unexceptional. I wouldn't be surprised if Milledge matched Church's production right now, given the chance to play a full season in the OF.
If this was all the Mets could get for Milledge, then I honestly believe it would have been a better gamble to see if Lastings couldn't increase his trade value next season. It will be impossible to defend Minaya on this deal if Milledge reaches anything close to his potential. Moreover, making this deal with a division rival only increases the potential harm to the Mets if Lastings does become a star.
I need a drink...