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New Squad to Be Built Around JJ, Reed and Green: To Be Called “New York Mets” Thursday, December 11, 2008

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just when I was getting ready to type a long, ranting post about how JJ wasn’t going anywhere and any speculation otherwise was a waste of time, the Indians, Mets and Mariners made one monster of a deal last night.  Because there were so many players involved, and many of them are young and unknown, I’ll do my best to lay out some information to clear it all up.

The Mariners lose:

J.J. Putz: The centerpiece and one of the few leaders in the clubhouse, let alone the bullpen is gone, and the M’s now have a very gaping hole in the closer position.  Putz struggled a ton last season, but it was clear to see that he still hadn’t lost any of what made him an All-Star in 2007.  Now it’s up the M’s to once again find a nobody to stick in the closer role until he becomes an All-Star and is tossed out the window.  You can say a lot of things about the M’s, but we always manage to create a competent ‘pen.

Jeremy Reed: Although he never found his rhythm at the plate, he still retained his stellar defense and would be missed in the field if we didn’t just manage to somehow upgrade in that particular category with some of our new outfielders.  He and Putz are both character-players (ie, they have a love for the game that few still retain in the modern MLB) and will be missed for that quality.

Sean Green: He was stellar in the ‘pen last year, but never struck me as having anything we couldn’t fill with another arm.  Even so, Mets’ fans will likely underestimate his skills.

Luis Valbuena: You’ll likely hear some sobs from local bloggers about losing this second-baseman, and many saw him as Jose Lopez’s replacement in a year.  I personally don’t think he has the potential to be anything more than a great bench player, although he did show a lot of promise last year working his way up from AA and not losing a step in Tacoma.  He’s major-league ready and we’ve already got a second baseman, so it can hardly be seen as a loss to see him go.

The Mariners gain:

Aaron Heilman: Heilman is a more-than-competent reliever, but don’t look to him to fill in as our closer.  He’s one of those many relievers who didn’t quite make it as starters in the show.  Think of him as a Ryan Rowland-Smith level guy with some experience and a few less innings per appearance.  He struggled last year, but has been consistently low in ERA and tends to keep the ball down.  We’ll see how the NL to AL transition affects him, but it shouldn’t be major.

Endy Chavez: Known best for “the catch” that made him famous (2006 NLCS Game 7), Endy is mainly known for his speed and defensive skills and not his bat (.267 last season), but wow is he fantastic defensively.  Ichiro may have his hands full showing off next season with this guy sharing the big green.  Endy will likely fill in for us in left at some capacity (plus he’s a lefty).

Jason Vargas: Vargas may not be available right away because of some hip and elbow problems, but even then isn’t exactly stellar as a pitcher.  He’s a conundrum because he can hit pretty well and he can pitch pretty well, but he’s not spectacular in either role.  He’ll likely be an extra arm in AAA next year for us.

Franklin Gutierrez: Now Franklin is a catch.  Don’t let his bat fool you (and at .248 last year, it’s likely to…), he’s actually brimming with potential.  Did we solve our need for power?  No.  But if you’re drooling over “Dandy” Endy’s defense, this guy will turn you into Pavlov’s dog.  He’s probably our center fielder for next year, which is good, because we didn’t exactly have anyone other than Jeremy.

Mike Carp: Carp played pretty good ball at AA Binghamton last year (.299 with an OPB of .403 and 17 HRs).  He’s likely a firstbaseman/utility outfielder of the future.

Maikel Cleto: Cleto might be a wash, but we’ll have to see how he pans out next year as a starter(likely in Everett).  He pitched a ton of innings (135+) but lost half of his starts and finished with an ERA over 4.25.

Ezequiel Carrera: Carrera kicked butt in the Mets’ rookie league two years ago and then settled down a bit last year in High A St. Lucie.  He’s got some serious speed and a good batting average overall, but could use a little more patience at the plate.  He’s a centerfielder, and with some time could be a good or even great outfielder in some capacity.  He’s definitely got the wheels for it.

Basically, we gained a lot of players for a few.  None of these moves really solved our need for a necessary amount of power to compete in the AL, but we’ve got some exciting new names to toss around in our lineup next year, and this doesn’t necessarily signify the end of our moves this winter.  Branyan, Chavez, Heilman and Guiterrez have completely changed this team and at this point, any change is good change.  We’re going to be hard-pressed to replace J.J., and we might be looking at the first M’s lineup since before Kazahiro Sasaki where we don’t have a clear closer.  All I know is that I really want Brandon Morrow to start next year.  He’s earned it.



1. honky magoo - Monday, December 15, 2008

i think they traded putz because he didn’t like the mcrib. chomp.

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