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Benson to O's for Julio and Maine

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Postby HiddenIdentity » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:19 pm

The Mets better turn another trade after this one. :-t
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Postby williesd » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:20 pm

Got this from mlbtraderumors.com

Benson Dealt To Orioles; Zito Implications?

Many of you have already noticed by now that Newsday is reporting that the Mets traded Kris Benson to the Orioles for Jorge Julio and John Maine. A tip of the cap to Orioles Hangout; I'm pretty sure they confirmation first.

The question on most people's minds is this: is the Benson swap the initial movement indicating a trade of Barry Zito to the Mets? If you recall, my Mets source indicated yesterday that Benson would be traded to Baltimore to acquire a prospect to Billy Beane's liking. I've got word out to a couple of sources to see if anything has changed. In the meantime, let's see what we can deduce.

First off, would the A's have use for John Maine? The 24 year-old righty starter was ranked 6th in the Orioles' organization by Baseball America entering the 2005 season. According to BA back then, Maine needed to refine his command and had a ceiling as a #3 starter. They also mentioned that he was "probably a #4 or 5 guy on a first-division club." Maine pitched kind of like a #4 starter in 128 innings at Triple A Ottawa in '05. He posted a 4.56 ERA with improved control while maintaining a solid K rate.

I haven't projected Maine myself yet, but ZiPS thought he'd throw 153 innings of 4.41 ball in his first extended trial with the Orioles. I think that's great value for the price. For basis of comparison, Maine's 2005 doesn't look terribly different from Danny Haren's 2004. Haren was certainly better, but it's a fair comparison. Interestingly, Baseball Prospectus lists these comparables for Maine: Joel Pineiro (2002), A.J. Burnett (2001), Juan Marichal (1961), Bob Gibson (1960), and strangely, Jorge Julio (2003). I know the A's already have a stable of starters, but Maine probably needs a little more time and a team can never have too much starting pitching depth.

I would speculate that the Mets would hang onto Jorge Julio to serve as Aaron Heilman's replacement. While most analysis today indicates that the Benson trade simply means Heilman starts for the Mets, I am skeptical. According to MetsBlog earlier this month:

"The problem is that the only person who seems to see Heilman as a starter is Heilman. Nearly all scouts and experts that I talked with all explained the same thing: Heilman's repertoire is too hittable during his second time through a lineup."

Should Minaya package up Victor Diaz with someone to acquire a top flight prospect suitable to the A's, I could really see this Zito deal coming to fruition.

here's the link...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:33 pm

DK wrote:Unless this is a precursor for something I'm pretty disappointed. Julio doesn't make our bullpen better unless he can turn around his ERA trend (which has consistently gotten worse). I don't know enough about Maine but Benson was a pretty darn good pitcher last year, although he blew up a few outings. I think his ERA was something around the low 3's last year until he started fading down the stretch and ended with a 4+.


Benson was league average...nothing to sneeze at, but some things to keep in mind. Stats show he was "luckier" than average, with his predicted ERA being about half a point higher than actual. His K/9 dropped dramatically (to 4.9) and his HRs rose dramatically (to 1.24, far above his career average of 0.97). Those are dangerous signs.

Maine's numbers were excellent through the minors, but his stuff is not overpowering. Sickels rated him a B- prospect at the start of last year. He has 4 good pitches that he mixes well to keep hitters off balance. If he can learn to use them to keep major league hitters as off-balance as he did in the minors, he's go at decent shot at being a #3 starter. He did struggle last year in AAA, though some of that may be park effects. Reasonable projections put both him and Benson in the 4.25 to 4.5 ERA range next year. Given age and Benson's scary drop in peripheral numbers last year, I'd much rather have Maine over the next 5 years...especially considering their cost.
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Postby stevethumb » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:49 pm

phillibuster wrote:Just read a rumor that Olney has the Mets signing Weaver to a 1 year deal.
...weaver back in the Big Apple ? and amazin...isnt it true that alay soler hasnt pitched in organized ball for almost 2 1/2 yrs now ? i doubt he is a rotation candidate...boy do the mets need bzito
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Postby The_Met_Threat » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:11 pm

The mets keep trading away their rotation when that is what they need to fix, but im thinking this is a precursor for another trade. It was a decent salary dump, and if we can turn around and grab Zito or Weaver or someone like that, then I'd be happy.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:38 pm

stevethumb wrote:
phillibuster wrote:Just read a rumor that Olney has the Mets signing Weaver to a 1 year deal.
...weaver back in the Big Apple ? and amazin...isnt it true that alay soler hasnt pitched in organized ball for almost 2 1/2 yrs now ? i doubt he is a rotation candidate...boy do the mets need bzito

He just pitched in the PR winter leagues but yes there was a gap in playing time because of the visa problem. He definitely is a rotation candidate according to the Mets. They haven't given him the job but both Soler and Bannister will be given a shot to win a position in spring training.
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Postby pepperoncino » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:02 pm

i like this trade for the mets - the bullpen is downright awesome now, salary has been dumped. now they could add weaver - maybe a trade for zito?

they really need to get another good starter... not just to fill out the pitching staff, but i feel like there's a good chance pedro misses some time at some point this year, and they'll need to get by without him.
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Postby Lofunzo » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:16 pm

Any small value that Benson had is gone now. :-°
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:22 pm

Lofunzo wrote:Any small value that Benson had is gone now. :-°


Not a believer in Mazzone's magic?
;-7
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Postby Lofunzo » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:23 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:Any small value that Benson had is gone now. :-°


Not a believer in Mazzone's magic?
;-7


If he can turn Benson around in Baltimore, I will start calling him Houdini.
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