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Barry Zito
Posted by Jan Levine at 7/25/2006 1:08:00 PM
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A's GM Billy Beane continues to insist that he would trade Barry Zito for Lastings Milledge. The question for Mets and baseball fans: is this a trade you would make if you are GM Omar Minaya? While Zito has not pitched as well as he did during his Cy Young season of 2002 or even 2003, he is a clear upgrade over Steve Trachsel as the team's #3 starter and gives the Mets some youth at the front of their rotation, which is currently manned by Pedro Martinez, who is 34, and Tom Glavine, who is 40. The downside is that Zito is a free agent at the end of the year and is represented by Scott Boras, but even if you don't re-sign him, by obtaining him, you would be entitled to the two supplemental picks in next year's draft when he signs elsewhere.

Conversely, Cliff Floyd is a free agent at the end of the season and Milledge was expected to replace him in left field. If Milledge is dealt, the free agent OF market is not that strong in 2007, unless you can find a way to sign Alfonso Soriano. The next best position player in the Mets farm system is Carlos Gomez, who is just 20 and won't be ready for the majors until 2008 at the earliest. This might mean a stop-gap option, another prospect trade for a hitter or re-signing Floyd for 2007 to man LF.

So do you go for it, thinking this is a once in a decade chance, or stand pat and hope El Duque can recapture his playoff magic of years past and Pedro is healthy for the postseason?


I say deal Milledge while he'll land a Zito. All I hear about him are his "tools," and I realize he's just a 21-year-old in Triple-A, but he doesn't seem like he'll be a huge power guy and his stolen average has been atrocious in his minor league career. Granted, he's young and these aren't the only metrics, but I say the Mets should deal him for Zito and try to win it this year.
Posted by bscwik at 7/26/2006 12:42:00 AM
If the Mets are going to push deep into the playoffs, they need another arm. So, I'd deal Milledge for Zito. Plus, the Mets have a good shot at signing Zito next year because they are one of the few teams that can meet his contract demands. If the salary/years are too much (which they probably will, all things considered), they can let him walk, knowing they contended for a title. And then they can go after Soriano. I don't think you can blame the Mets one way or the other. This is nothing like the Kazmir deal. And if they want to hang onto Milledge, that's understandable, too.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 7/26/2006 11:06:00 AM
I'd go for it if I were the Mets. They have the money to probably re-sign Zito. But I don't see the A's making that deal as long as they are in the playoff hunt.
Posted by schoenke at 7/26/2006 11:33:00 PM

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