Sunday, January 16, 2005

Even deal?



According to Bob Klapisch, the Mets and Athletics are closer to a deal that would send Chad Bradford and Eric Byrnes to New York in exchange for Mike Cameron, a two-time gold glove winner. The A's would also assume the $2.6 million left over this season and front the $8 million due next year.

Cameron was recently moved to rightfield after the acquisition of all-star centerfielder Carlos Beltran, a move that he openly admitted to being fine with in October but has since had a change of heart now that the impossible has become a reality.

Coming from Oakland are Eric Byrnes, a hard-nosed outfielder and Chad Bradford, a sub-mariner who sometimes brings his arm so low when he pitches that his knuckles graze the ground.

Eric Byrne's stats the last 4 years:

Year
AVG
R
HR
RBI
SB
OBP
2001
.237
9
3
5
1
.326
2002
.245
24
3
11
3
.291
2003
.263
64
12
51
10
.333
2004
.283
91
20
73
17
.347


Byrnes, a 28 year-old, is coming off his first full professional season and showed alot of promise as he hit .283 with 20 homeruns and 73 RBI's in 569 AB's. He scored 91 runs while hitting 39 doubles and stealing 17/18 bases. All while playing excellent defense, throwing out 11 runners and committing only 3 errors (.989). He is an all-out hustle type player that can play all three positions in the outfield and would be moving to rightfield if the trade happens.

Chad Bradford's stats the last 4 years:

Year
W
L
ERA
IP
SO
HR
2001
2
1
2.70
36.2
34
6
2002
4
2
3.11
75.1
56
2
2003
7
4
3.04
77
62
7
2004
5
7
4.42
59
34
5


Bradford, a right-handed reliever, is coming off his worst season with the Athletics in which he pitched to a 5-7 record with a 4.42 ERA in 59 IP. After a poor first half (4-4, 5.12), Bradford bounced back to a 3.10 ERA without allowing a homerun in his last 20.1 IP.


My Take:
* If a deal was to happen in which Cameron was traded, this is the only possible one I could see as being a benefit to both teams as we would get a good right-handed bat who plays great defense and a decent arm in the pen, giving us yet again a plethora of young arms. I can easily see Bradford having a great season his first year in the National League as most players will not have faced his unique pitching style and that will be a nice benefit.
Byrnes on the other hand is a question mark but a good one in my opinion. I can see him having his troubles at the start but end up hitting around .275-.280 with 15+ homeruns while playing good defense.

The only bad part about this deal is the fact how Cameron would no longer be a Met. He quickly became one of my favorite players last season and to see him gone after one season is kind of disappointing. His smile and defense and speed and surprising powere were a huge plus and while Byrnes will bring almost all of that and maybe even more, he still won't be Cameron.

In the end,good trade and it should free up a little more money so we can make that run at Carlos Delgado.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Cry me a River



It appears that recent quotes have some merit to them further proving where theres smoke, there is fire. Mike Cameron's agent, Mike Nicotera has told MLB.com that Cameron is having second thoughts on playing rightfield for the Mets despite previously stating he would be more than happy to move if Carlos Beltran was brought in.

"Cameron made it clear to the front office back in October that he would be willing to move to right field if the club signed Carlos Beltran, which happened earlier this week. According to Nicotera, Minaya had a subsequent discussion with Cameron in early December and Cameron reiterated the same message. But at the end of December, Cameron started having reservations and decided that he wanted to speak to Minaya and Co. about them."

If true, then the Mets will surely explore trade options as salary could be freed up in the pursuit of first baseman Carlos Delgado. Cameron is due around $13-14 million over the next two years and Delgado would surely demand around that price annually for at least the next three seasons.

The "NEW YORK POST" throws Oakland out there as a possible suitor for Cameron and in return gives us Eric Byrnes and possibly more depending on what we offer them.

Byrnes is a 28 year-old outfielder who came alive last season hitting .283 with 20 homeruns and 73 runs driven in. He also accumulated 11 assists in the outfield and stole 17 of 18 bases. Cameron sported a .231 avg. with 30 homeruns and 76 RBI's while stealing 22 bases (28 attempts) and throwing for 6 assists.


My Take:
* I love Cameron and I understand how he can be annoyed and somewhat hurt as he is regarded as the better centerfielder of the two. But let's look at that statement for a second.
Cameron posted his worst fielding percentage of his career (.979) while Beltran did fairly better with a .981 percentage. Cameron had 354 putouts in a shortened season while Beltran finished with 398. Cameron had 6 assists and 8 errors while Beltran had 12 assists and the same amount of errors.
In no way am I saying that Beltran is the better fielder but stats from last year show that Cameron had a down season and maybe bringing in Beltran wasnt the worst idea ever.

With that said, I think Cameron should be the one staying and Beltran moving to rightfield but thats not the way this business or this team works. Hell, if I had to move a player like Cameron for a player like Beltran, I would do it as well but only with his consent which is something Cameron gave a while back. That's the part that gets me is how he can say how he will move if Beltran is brought it, say it again a month later and then all of a sudden change his mind two weeks before we sign the player. That to me is a no no and if completely true and Cameron does not want to be a part of this team next year, then so be it. Take your lies and your .231 average with 143 strikeouts and diminished defense and be gone.

But we better get something nice in return and while I like Byrnes and his hustle and his numbers, I can't help but think we could get a little more for a gold-gloved all-star centerfielder who is only 32.

In a perfect world though, I'd rather hold on to Cameron with the hopes that Minaya and company could convince him that what is happening is better for the team and was necessary for it. If anyone was to go, I'd prefer it to be Floyd as Diaz and Valent would make a nice platoon together. We then sign Delgado and have one of the most versatile, stable and power lineups outside of the Yankees and Red Sox. I'ts not too far fetched so I'm not giving up just yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cammy, say it aint so!?



One would think that nothing could spoil a Mets fans day like this no matter what the news was but somehow and someway, reporters found a way claiming that Mike Cameron want's to be traded, an inquiry that would clearly ruin the very idea of a superb defensive duo in Beltran/Cameron in the outfield.

Cameron, who signed on with the Mets last season for a 3-year deal worth over $19 million, had a subpar season as far as he was concerned hitting for a low .231 average and .319 OBP. However, he was still able to boast a career high in homeruns with 30 despite having his fewest plate appearances since 1998 when he was still a member of the Chicago White Sox.

The centerfielder is now changing his views on rightfield, a position in which he said he would more than happy to move to to accomodate a player like Carlos Beltran more than two months ago to MLB.com, whereas now he sees his value as being decreased. Cameron last started a game in rightfield when he was still in Chicago and last played the position a few years back in Seattle.

Camerons stats the last three seasons:

Year
AB
R
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
OBP
SLG
AVG
2002
545
84
25
80
79
176
31
.340
.442
.239
2003
534
74
18
76
70
137
17
.344
.431
.253
2004
493
76
30
76
57
143
22
.319
.479
.231


"With Carlos Beltran taking his centerfield job, Cameron has conveyed to the Mets that he'd rather play centerfield elsewhere than play rightfield for them, according to an industry source. The Mets would like to shed Cameron, who is due about $14 million over the next two seasons, off their payroll as they prepare to meet with Delgado in Puerto Rico, as early as tonight."

"If the Mets succeed in trading Cameron, they could replace him with free agent Magglio Ordonez, whose medical records they have requested and received this offseason. Or they could go with lower-budget option Victor Diaz, or Mets general manager Omar Minaya could renew his quest to bring Sammy Sosa to Queens."


In Other News:
* The Mets top prospect Lastings Milledge conveys his thoughts and feelings on the Mets and their recent signing of Carlos Beltran.

Also, just a little FYI for anyone that cares, Jason Phillips is in the best shape of his life and looks downright scary as his arms are now almost twice as big as they were last year.


My Take:
* Horrible, Horrible and even more horrible than anything I could have anticipated. Floyd being traded I can handle. Piazza being dealt, while I would not like I would at least understand but to even fathom the idea that Mike Cameron is now asking to be traded is beyond me as he seemed like the most respectful and understanding athlete this team could have asked for. Add to that the fact that Cameron preached to MLB.com that he was fine with moving to rightfield if Carlos Beltran was to come to the Mets and this was said more than two months ago.

I don't know how serious to take this, but if he really does want a trade because of the position switch, then I guess he deserves for us to at least search for a possible team that could fulfill such a wish but it's going to have to be for a cheap outfielder who has major league experience and potential with a reliever (EX: Byrnes & Bradford) because the idea of Beltran out there with Floyd and Diaz or Sosa is not very appealing as Beltran will do all the work and demand to be traded by next offseason. PLus, this would free up some money in case the Mets need some to acquire Delgado.

So here's to hoping that this turns out to either be false or a misunderstanding because Cameron has earned a place in my heart and I want to see him finish his contract here in New York and dominate the outfield with Beltran in a way that has never been done before. Please Cameron, say it aint so.


* Milledge is our top prospect as he has the most upside and is viewed by many to maybe one day become a 5-tool star outfielder. Will the signing of Beltran somehow block his way? I would like to think not but it does take him away from the position he is most familiar with and the Mets have said nothing to him about learning a new position. Does this mean he could become expendable one day in the near future? Possibly and if Beltran does what we think he will do and if the corner outfield spots end up being consumed by players that do there job well, it makes sense to trade a player everyone would want in there system for a package of players or star. With that said, I'd love to keep him and see what he has to offer as a Met. The idea of him patrolling the outfield with Beltran and Diaz while Wright and Reyes defend the infield as Petit and Humber are throwing the Mets first no-hitters really sounds intriguing.