Wow, what a difference 24 hours make. A bevy of high profiled players have blitzed the aisles of Home Depots across the nation scarffing up packing tape by the basketful. Here in New York, the Yankees grabbed the back pages with a steal of a deal for outfielder Bobby Abreu, and then bolstered their bench by acquiring first baseman/outfielder Craig Wilson from the Pirates. But, not to be left out, our friendly Flushing Metropolitans have also joined the trading fray. As of 5 PM Monday, the Mets have completed a deal motivated by the untimely accident of premier set-up reliever Duaner Sanchez. Sanchez separated his right shoulder in a Miami taxi accident late Sunday night. He will be (gasp!) lost for the season. Upon hearing this "black cat" news, Omar Minaya immediately sprang into action to replace this new gaping hole in the bullpen.
Outfielder Xavier Nady (14 HR with 40 RBI and a .265 AVG in 75 games) has been sent to Pittsburgh for 41-year old reliever Roberto Hernandez (2.93 ERA, 1.63 WHIP in 43 IP) and lefthanded starter Oliver Perez (2-10 with a 6.63 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP in 15 starts before being demoted to triple-A). Hernandez returns to Shea, where he revitalized his career last season under the tutelage of pitching coach Rick Peterson. Perez, who only a couple of seasons ago was on his way to becoming one of the elite lefthanders in the National League, will most likely go straight to Norfolk as he continues to try
to overcome his latest bout with "Steve Blass disease" and tame a fastball that he has lost all control of. However, he is still only 24-years old.
The Mets came dang close, as there were rumors rumbling late in the day from the Westin Hotel, to prying vaunted set-up man Scott Linebrink from the Padres in exchange for the newly acquired Perez and Heath Bell. The Padres yanked the deal off the table at the last moment though, most likely because the Mets wouldn’t part with a better prospect then Bell.
It appears that in place of Nady, Lastings Milledge will return to Shea and split right field with Endy Chavez.
Well, Roberto Hernandez is not as good as Duaner Sanchez, and Lastings Milledge, at this point in his development, is not nearly as solid as Xavier Nady. Oliver Perez is a nice gamble, but not someone who will help the Mets this year. With Pedro Martinez back in the fold, maybe John Maine or Mike Pelfrey can help Hernandez fortify the gaping hole left in the bullpen. They both certainly have the stuff to dazzle for an inning or two. Overall, the Mets got a little more vulnerable today, but hats off to Minaya for replacing Sanchez so quickly when faced with so little time.
Let’s hope this traffic accident that cost Duaner Sanchez the season wasn’t the cabbie’s fault. But, nonetheless, I want to issue condolences to the Mets from all the concerned cabbies across the country. If you ever hail my cab Duaner, you’ve got a free fare from me.