Monday, May 08, 2006

Mets Need a Pitcher. How about Zito?

The Mets need pitching, there's no question about that. There is also no question that the Mets have a legitimate chance of playing baseball in October.

However, they already have 2 of their 5 starters hurt. One of the worst pitchers ever in their roation now. Pedro is always a little bit of an injury risk and Glavine is quite old (although I don't see that as a disadvantage).

The A's are only one game out of first place, but the fact is that they do not look like a good team or a team going anywhere in October. They always start slowly, so they don't need to give up, however they also aren't going to be resigning Zito after this season, as he becomes a free agent.

This is why dealing him to the Mets makes so much sense. The A's would obviously ask for either Mike Pelfrey or Lastings Milledge in a deal for Zito.

I will propose the deal (to whomever would like to accept it or reject it from either side) of Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez for Barry Zito. Gomez was ranked the 6th best prospect by Baseball America, but has not performed well at all this season. This gives the A's the chance to get one of the top outfield prospects in baseball for a player they are going to lose.

Zito has had mixed results this season. In his 7 starts he has allowed either zero or one run in four of them, and five or more runs in the other three.

However, the National League hasn't seen Zito so he should have a large advantage by switching leagues. The upgrade for the Mets is huge, as it's an upgrade from Jose Lima to Barry Zito. As far as giving up the prospects, that's what you do when you're close, and there is extra reason for the Mets to do it this time.

It's commonly assumed throughout baseball that Zito wants to sign this offseason with either the Yankees or the Mets. He wants to come to New York. He's good friends with Jason Giambi and of course was teammates with Johnny Damon as well. If the Yankees and Mets both went after Zito (and we don't know if the Yankees are interested), the Yankees would get him. However, if the Mets trade for him, they would have no problem getting him signed before free agency. He wants to be in New York, they could keep him there. So for the Mets, it's not trading for just a hired gun.

They would have a rotation headed by Pedro, Glavine, and Zito, and that's formidable. If the Mets can get a deal done, without it involving Pelfrey or a Major Leaguer, I think they have to find any way possible to get it done.


Sully said...

Barry Zito is one of the most over-rated pitchers in baseball. I wouldn't give up my top prospect for him.

Ross said...

I'll admit I've almost never been impressed with Barry Zito, with the exception of his ALDS game 3 loss to Mike Mussina, 1-0.

However, the reason we may not be impressed by him, is because he's horrible against the Yankees and Red Sox.

Since 2002, Barry Zito has had a 3.60 ERA. Due to an unbalanced schedule, Zito doesn't face the Yankees and Red Sox that much. When he does, he gets hammered, which is what we see.

Despite not facing the Yankees and Red Sox that much, since 2002, Zito's ERA in games when he is not facing the Yankees and Red Sox drops all the way down to 3.33. An ERA about 1.2 better than the league average. Put him in the NL, and I wouldn't be surprised if he thrived (at least at first).

As far as Milledge, I'm not that high on him, but quite possibly for the same reason you thing Zito is overrated. The Clippers were just playing the Tides, and I was checking the box scores every day. While my man Melky was raking the ball against the Tides, Milledge was taking daily 0-fers against the Clippers less-than daunting pitching staff.

Ross said...

Also, let's not forget about Zito's durablilty, which could be a big help to the Mets. He's thrown at least 210 innings every season since his rookie year. Even his rookie year he was over 190 between the minors and the majors.

He's averaged 223 innings per year for the past 5 seasons. At age 28 he's past the most likely injury years.

I believe his next start is against the Yankees.

Warren said...

First of all, the Mets have said they wouldn't give up Milledge, Pelfrey or Gomez for Dontrelle Willis, who is better than Zito and much further from free agency. I don't believe that completely, but I think that this makes a Zito trade less likely.

But the main problem is that I still think the A's will at least be in the playoff hunt this year, and they're not going to trade Zito, especially when their starting pitching has been so bad so far.

For the A's, this isn't such a bad start - usually they're much further out of first place by now. It's not like the Angels are looking too hot themselves.

As for Milledge, he could be a bust, I guess, but he's hitting about as well as Melky, despite what you may have seen in a couple of box scores. I would be very surprised if Melky has a better career (although maybe you're not suggesting that - Milledge could have a halfway decent career and still not live up to expectations).