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Omar's Winter Meetings Haul -- A Closer and a Putz

Mike SteffanosThursday, December 11, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

When Billy Wagner went down last season the Mets were unable to find another closer. Should something happen to Francisco Rodriguez [insert your favorite superstitious method of warding off evil here] they'll have to look no farther than their own bullpen for another proven, established closer.

The cost was fairly high, but more than reasonable. I think more of Aaron Heilman than many Mets fans, and we'll all miss Endy Chavez. Joe Smith was a nice specialist reliever, but they're the easiest to replace. Of the others, Jason Vargas might have provided some rotation depth in Buffalo while Carp probably projects as a DH if he hits enough. All in all, a solid deal for Minaya.

Provided Putz bounces back from his injury-marred 2007 campaign he will give the Mets one of the better eighth inning men in the game. They could probably fill out the rest of the bullpen with arms they already have, or perhaps look for some cheaper options out there to really shake things up. Chad Cordero wouldn't be a bad signing, but you have to wonder how he'd feel about coming to a club that already has two closers.

I don't know too much about the other two Mariners coming along with Putz. There was a time when Jeremy Reed was considered a top prospect, but his .257/.314/.365 line in over 1,000 career major league at bats has dimmed that star quite a bit.

From what I've dug up, the 29-year-old Sean Green is a 2-pitch (fastball-slider) reliever. His numbers aren't all that impressive, but I've read that he had a very effective first half last season before wearing down. Before the All Star break he held opponents to a .224 AVG and 2.72 ERA. After the break those numbers jumped to .327 and 8.65. He's a righty.

The obvious next step for the Mets is to sign a starter or two. Given that market, it's hard to see anything imminent. Still, kudos to Minaya and company for decisively addressing their biggest weakness.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (6)

I'm still trying to figure out the Chavez - Reed part of the deal. It seems to me that Chavez would have more value to the Mets, but that his salary is considerably higher than Reed's and I don't see why Seattle would want to pay that for a backup outfielder. So, unless Seattle thinks Endy can be a regular for them, or the Mets see potential in Reed, I don't understand how either team is benefitting here.

any trade that rids this team of heilman is a good trade..we have to find out if jj is okay pitching the 8th inning..sometimes closers can't adjust to pitching the 8th inning.hopefully, not a problem.getting jj and krod should cure the bullpen ills.the other problem is that our core guys turn to mush in september the last 2 years.here's the solution.SIGN MANNY FOR 2 YEARS.I've been inside citifield twice the last few weeks.its a beautiful park.it will be a revenue machine for the wilpons.if these guys really want to win, sign a guy who gets to the playoffs every year and who won't choke in september.i don't want ibanez or jermaine dye to play left.both of these guys will be costly and niether one can scare pitchers like manny..get manny, omar and the fans will be standing out on the grand central parkway overpass next year with binoculars to see the mets play..

Mike - Endy and Smith were two of my favorite Mets, so that deal stings for me. I'm not convinced the Mets got more than they gave up. And what's this about a $9 million dollar option in Putz's contract for 2010? That's more than most teams pay their closer, and we're supposed to pay that for an eighth-inning pitcher? Makes no sense.
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Barry - Reed for Endy might be a salary dump. But the Mets have already said they now have no money left over to go after a top-tier starter after signing K-Rod and Putz.
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gary s - I couldn't agree with you LESS on Manny. Great player. Future Hall of Famer - a lock for sure. But the positives he'd bring at the plate would be cancelled out and then some by his poor defense and his clubhouse baggage.

I don't think Manny's clubhouse garbage is a problem, it depends on who you talk to and at what time in Manny's life. He wasn't happy in Boston and he couldn't shake it off. He was happy in L.A. and all talk was good about Manny. I think he whould fit in with fans of N.Y.Mets. He certainly puts a right hand bat in the lineup we need real bad.The line up has to change from the last 2 years.Clutch hitting, timely hitting. No more lead off tripels and don't score. A Manny would drive in those runs. That line up would put fear in other teams and I don't think Manny's clubhouse garbage would matter very much.I also think the fans would except his outfield play, hey thats Manny, but he drives in key runs. The fans will love him he would be another Merv Thornberry..(??) you know who I mean.

nostra, joe smith is an ok 7th inning guy and endy is a fifth outfielder.they can be replaced.i know manny is a strange guy but who do u think gets us in the playoffs?500 ab's from tatis/murphy or 500 ab's from manny.as for putz, if we don't have a guy who can get 3 outs in the eighth, than krod's signing is worthless.i want to see some playoff games.get a big righthanded stick for left field..

rev, couldn't agree with you more. manny puts us over the top. how many more games would johan have won last yr.? twenty. they never scored for him. shades of the seaver days. oh, santana's pitching. lets go out late because we only need to score a couple. you are right on. how many times was there runners in scoring pos. last year with less than two outs and we failed to drive them in? lots. if manny was in that lineup, our other hitters would be getting better pitches to hit. the yanks miss the playoffs and what happens? they spend over 200 million on two players assuring themselves as the instant favorites. fred's crying money when we have all kinds of revenue just like the yanks. frankly, he is crying to the wrong group here. lets face it, the yanks have been royaled over by a few signings over the last few years but has that stopped them in their persuit? no. can you imagine the shower of tears if fred had signed zito? hampton? for that case brown,johnson or pavano?? open up the wallet fred and sign manny before the yanks do!!

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