November 29, 2005


Queens Bombers (BOB KLAPISCH, November 29, 2005, Bergen Record)

Even without Ramirez, the Mets are now playoff contenders, and the thought of adding the Red Sox' slugger has everyone at Shea talking about a genuine renaissance. Can it really happen? For Cliff Floyd, Aaron Heilman and Lastings Milledge, the answer is a strong "maybe."

Minaya and Sox president Larry Lucchino have agreed to speak face-to-face next week during the winter meetings in Dallas, at which point they'll wrestle with the only remaining obstacle: Who'll pay what percentage of Ramirez's salary? One Met executive said "money would have to be moved" to accommodate Manny's $19 million annual salary, but shedding Floyd's $6.6 million per would go a long way toward convincing the Wilpons to make the economic stretch.

In a heartbeat....

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 29, 2005 8:20 PM

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Despite his flaws Manny is a tremendous hitter and makes Ortiz that much better. There is no one available that could replace Manny's bat. However, the word is that Manny will refuse to play if not traded so the Sox have to move him. Also, even if the Sox free up Manny's $ there isn't much left to go after in the market. So it appears that the Sox will have to get rid of Manny and probably not get enough in return.

Posted by: AWW at November 29, 2005 9:00 PM


They're getting an awful lot in that deal, absurdly much in fact.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2005 9:04 PM

Who are they getting?

Posted by: Bob at November 29, 2005 9:19 PM

The Mets are trading for Manny Vaughn?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 29, 2005 9:33 PM

Sounds like a good trade for both teams ... Mets get to compete for a World Series championship, Red Sox get a potentially capable reliever, a competent elderly outfielder, and an excellent outfield prospect.

Posted by: pj at November 29, 2005 10:42 PM

Here's an article that calls Heilman "The Next Keith Foulke." That's enough to cause Red Sox fans to call off the trade.

Milledge is Baseball America's #24 prospect

Posted by: pj at November 29, 2005 10:59 PM

The temprament of Bobby Bonilla mixed with the stability of Carl Everett -- the Ramirez trade works only if Wagner lives up to his billing as the closer the Mets have been lacking for the past few years. Manny on a bad team in New York that keeps squandering the leads their hitters give them is just a recipie for disaster.

Posted by: John at November 30, 2005 12:36 AM


Yes a starting 1b or LF, a dominant closer for five years, and their CF for the next ten years while dumping salary and headaches.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 8:31 AM

Lifelong Mets fan in New York here. Heilman is a long reliever/spot starter. The best you're getting with him is a Ramiro Mendoza in his prime.

Posted by: Matt C at November 30, 2005 9:57 AM

He struck out a guy per inning and thrived as soon as they sent him to the bullpen--he's a perfectly adequate major league closer.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 10:06 AM

Ooops, disregard my prior comment. I missed the 3 players.

This is much like the Colon trade a few years ago. The Indians got a guy like Floyd whose name I can't remember. He was gone by the next year. But they also got Grady Sizemore who is the best young centerfielder in the league, an excellent starter in Cliff Lee and infielder Brandon Phillips who was the Expos best prospect but has not lived up to his potential.

So, the Colon trade illustrates both the potential good and bad for the Red Sox. If Aaron Heilman and Lastings Milledge live up to their potential like Sizemore and Lee, it is an excellent trade. If they are like Phillips, then it is a disaster.

Even if they are as good as advertised though, it likely means a down year for the Red Sox next year. Ortiz' stats will decline by 20% without Manny. Plus, who will replace 40 homers/120 RBI. Not Floyd certainly.

Posted by: Bob at November 30, 2005 10:08 AM


Isn't the point that the Tribe got them all, so one not making it yet hardly matters? Would you trade Lee even up for Colon now?

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 10:18 AM

The guy is now 27 and has never established himself as a starter. His sub-90 MPH fastball does not make him a 9th inning closer type. He's the kind of guy who can get strikeouts if he finds his rhythm over a multiple-inning stint. If they make the trade, I'll take under-25 saves next year in a bet if you like.

Posted by: Matt C at November 30, 2005 11:21 AM

He'd not be likely to close for the Sox, but would have been a better option than wasting money on wagner for the Mets. He was lights out in the role last year:

Foulke's first big closer year came at age 27/28 as well and he then had five good years--it's quite common

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 11:33 AM

OJ: 2 of 3 prospects made it. If 1 of 2 prospects makes it for the Sox, is it still a success? Probably, but I think it depends how good the "making it" is. For instance, if the pitcher is not a closer and the outfielder flops, than it is not a good trade. For the best hitter of his generation, you need a star in return.

God no, I would not trade Lee for Colon. Lee is years younger and millions cheaper. Plus Lee has the fire in the belly that Colon (depite the size of the belly) has always lacked.

Posted by: Bob at November 30, 2005 12:20 PM

Floyd is a quality hitter and defensive upgrade at either LF or 1b. Heilman is a serviceable arm. Milledge is the only risk.

Recall though that the Rays like Heilman, so you can turn him around for an Aubrey Huff type, at which point it's a phenomenal deal.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 12:41 PM

Heilman is a poor man's Foulke, and Foulke is a poor man's Mariano Rivera, but he would add depth to a bullpen that has one decent returning pitcher (Timlin, though Foulke may come back and Guillermo Mota, recently acquired, and the rookie Hansen are good; the other rookie Delcarmen may help if needed).

Milledge would be the prize to the deal, the 5-tool centerfielder they need.

Floyd, whom the Red Sox had and abandoned a few years ago, is in the deal to help the Mets, getting rid of a $6.6 mn contract they no longer need once Ramirez is in town; he would be merely a temporary fill-in.

Posted by: pj at November 30, 2005 1:52 PM


.273 34 98 12 (550)

moves from a terrible NL hitters park to a good AL one and replaces at least 80% of Manny's production at bat, pluse speed, defense, and a clue.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 2:23 PM

He pitched his best at the end of the season when the Mets were effectively eliminated. You can look at that either way I suppose.

Nobody around New York was referring to Aaron "Lights Out" Heilman though.

Floyd is very very good if he stays healthy, which he finally managed for once last year.

Posted by: Matt C at November 30, 2005 2:30 PM


He pitched well in the rotation too, but because other guys were paid more he got bumped. If he'd started 35 times last year the Mets would have still been contending in September.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 2:35 PM

But let's let the Mets fans make the anti-Manny case:

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 4:00 PM

His ERA as a starter was 4.71.

He was only given 7 starts, despite Steve Trachsel missing virtually the entire season and Jae Seo being in the minors for 2/3 of the season.

Benson, Glavine, Zambrano, Pedro, Kax Ishii, and Jae Seo all had more starts, and again, nobody in New York was clamoring to start Heilman.

Posted by: Matt Cohen at November 30, 2005 5:49 PM


Yes, that was a mistake. He should have started all year. The starts for the Ishiis, Seos, and Zambranos of the world instead are one of the reasons the Mets underperformed forecasts so severely last year.

Posted by: oj at November 30, 2005 5:58 PM

Well, good luck with him if you get him.

Posted by: Matt Cohen at December 1, 2005 1:50 AM