By John Strubel
When the news broke at lunchtime Friday that the New York Mets traded Lastings Milledge, it was no surprise. Expecting to hear Dan Haren, Erik Bedard or Johan Santana next, Mets fans were disappointed and frustrated when it was revealed that Milledge was traded for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church. And, for obvious reasons.
Two years ago the Mets were rumored to have turning down the Boston Red Sox offer of Manny Ramirez for Milledge, followed by the Barry Zito-for-Milledge rumors.
Now, two years and 115 games later, the 22-year old Milledge (.272 BA, 7 HR, 29 RBI in 59 games in 2007) is traded for a 31-year old catcher with a lifetime .252 batting average and a fourth outfielder in Church.
Consider the options:
- The Mets won't carry three catchers into Spring 2008. For the sake of argument Johnny Estrada, Brian Schneider or Ramon Castro is headed elsewhere.
- Is Ryan Church in the Mets 2008 plans? Maybe ... maybe not. But let's look at the Mets outfield today: Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gomez, Endy Chavez, Ryan Church and Fernando Martinez (maybe). Someone is going. One of latter names could be a piece of a bigger, better move in the near future.
Let' let the ingredients simmer for a few weeks. Watch, wait and see what transpires at next week's Winter Meetings and the immediate days after. If nothing changes by New Year's Day, then let Minaya have it.