Lastings Milledge survived the deadline. Which is good. While I’d be fine with trading him for Zito (and only Zito or late addition to the market Roy Oswalt), I look forward to his next six-plus seasons for the Mets.
I think Omar Minaya’s strategy at the deadline changed completely with the news of Dunaer "Dirty" Sanchez getting hurt.
Instead of "let’s get creative and see if we can find a significant
upgrade at starter without losing Milledge, or a great starter worth
losing Milledge for" it became a simple case of "we can’t get worse"
When Dirty got hurt, our holes became:
#3 starter, setup man, offense vs lefties.
Omar knew the market for starters and decided to shift that second hole from setup man to #8 hitter.
He basically turned a potentially glaring weakness into a small weakness by adding Roberto Hernandez.
Not to mention we got a great 24-year old lefty project in the process. He got Oliver Perez, who has a ton of potential (Pittsburgh has a history of destroying young pitcher’s mechanics and almost all of them bounce back elsewhere. See Arroyo, Bronson; Wells, Kip just to name a couple).
We downgraded in RF by about 20 OPS points (But IMPROVED our RF defense) and did so at our least important slot in the lineup.
And as luck would have it, our top prospect, and the guy with most potential to step in and be a superstar (Milledge) happens to play that position!
Sure, it would be nice to have a great #2 starter. But none were really available at a realistic price.
My main disappointment is that we didn’t add someone who excels vs lefties, at 2B or RF. Like Ray Durham — who could be available via a waiver trade.
But given 15 hours to replace Dirty, Omar did a great job.
Speaking of waiver deals, the Dodgers designated for assignment Jose Cruz, Jr, who absolutely kills lefties. If Omar doesn’t jump at him, I would be surprised, because productin vs lefties was a weakness BEFORE we dealt Nady (who excelled vs lefties) and Cruz can fill that need if Milledge isn’t ready to drop a .875 OPS vs lefties at the MLB level