Winter Lava Still Flowing

Lava_flow_iThe Winter Meetings have officially ended, but the lava continues to flow from Wednesday’s and Thursday’s eruption (see yesterday’s blog entry for all the transactions). Earlier today, The Mets completed the Paul Lo Duca deal by sending A-Ball outfielder Dante Brinkley to the Florida Marlins. Brinkley, 24 years old, batted .364 in 214 at bats (ABs) for the Mets’ A-Ball Hagerstown affiliate last season. he doesn’t project as more than a fourth outfielder. Mets’ general manager (GM) Omar Minaya made two other moves— Last night he drafted righthanded pitcher Mitch Wylie (Giants organization) in the Rule 5 draft and today he agreed to a two-year deal with old-timer and pinch-hitter extraordinaire Julio Franco. Wylie is 28 years old and a nine-year vet of the minor leagues. The Mets will have to keep him on the roster all season, otherwise they will have to offer him back to the Giants for $25,000. Because of Wylie’s age and mediocre repetoire the Giants probably wouldn’t want him back, allowing the Mets’ to sendFranco him to AAA at some point. Franco is the oldest player in the league (47 years old) and is the only player that has been in the majors longer than Roger Clemens (He broke into the Bigs in 1982 as a member of the Phillies). Even at his advanced age, Franco continues to be a solid hitter. In 2005 for the Atlanta Braves, he hit .275 with 9 home runs (HRs) and 42 runs batted in (RBIs) in 233 ABs. He is a lifetime .299 hitter and should be one of the Mets’ top pinch-hitters this coming season. He will also get an occasional start at first-base and possibly be used as a designated-hitter during interleague games. After signing Jose Valentin yesterday, the Mets’  now have two new utility infielders that are a combined 83 years old.

More Moves Around The League

The Baltimore Orioles are not only having a hard time attracting
free-agents, their lone star player has now asked for a ticket out of
town. Miguel Tejada is tired of losing and has demanded a trade. Tejada is owed quite a bit of money on his current contract and there are only a
few teams that would be able to afford him. The Red Sox could inquire about a possible
Tejada/Manny deal. Stay tuned! The O’s did complete one signing when
they signed yet another past-their-prime player by inking 1B/OF Jeff Conine to a 1-Year/$1.5 Million contract. Conine was previously an Oriole between 1999-2003.

Former Mets’ set-up man, 41 year old Roberto Hernandez has
agreed to a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who might give
him a shot at their closer’s role. The Indians signed utility man and
former Red Sox’ player, Lou Merloni to a minor league deal.

Romerojcmnt1_2The
Anaheim Angels great bullpen just got greater! Early Friday, they
completed the one trade of the day thus far when they acquired premier
lefty set-up man J.C. Romero from the Minnesota Twins for infield prospect Alexi Casilla.
The Halos are loaded with young infield talent and Casilla was only
their 4th or 5th best infield prospect. With the price for good
lefthanded relievers always high, it seems like Twins GM Terry Ryan got
very little in return here while saving only a little more than $2
million dollars. Romero is 29 years old and was 4-3 with a 3.47 earned
run average (ERA) last year. Romero’s best season was in 2002 when he went 9-2 with a 1.89 ERA in 81 innings pitched. To make room for J.C. on the 40-man roster the Angels designated catcher Josh Paul for assignment.

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5 comments

  1. Joe

    Carl,

    Now that the Mets made the most moves this Hot Stove season, what’s their next plan of attack? Keep blogging away.

    Joe

  2. Carl

    Well Joe,

    Julio Franco becomes our pinch-hitter specialist, so between him, Jose Valentin, Jeff Keppinger and Anderson Hernandez we have our Util guys. Redman, Castro and Nady round out the bench. I think Minaya will still try to add a bullpen arm to help Heilmann set-up. Grudzelanek could be signed this week to play 2B. Minaya is trying desperately to find a taker for Kaz Matsui, but probably won’t. Manny is always a possibility, but I think with Tejada demanding out of Crabcake country the Red Sox and O’s might have a natural deal.

  3. Carl

    Barry Zito and Javier Vasquez are also on Minaya’s radar, but the “Do we trade Lastings Milledge or Not?” question has left the front office betwixt. The Mets would trade Benson and maybe Brian Bannister for one of those guys in a heartbeat.

  4. Zack

    Nice work, Carl. You’re doing a great job of keeping up with everything and laying it out in an easy-to-follow format. Miggy is a jerk. Now I wonder if he DID shoot up Palmeiro.

  5. Carl

    Miggy for Manny, Manny for Miggy, Miggy for Manny, Manny for Miggy. Try and say that 20 times fast and it might happen!

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