Sarge for Stokes

Mark it down. January 22nd of 2010, the impossible has happened. Tony Reagins actually found a trading partner for Gary Matthews Jr! Obviously Omar Minaya couldn’t just sit back and let Dayton Moore sign Rick Ankiel and not react. No, surely The Contest trumps all and Minaya must have immediately begun searching out a way to put the hammer down on Moore. Of course; Matthews! Was Vernon Wells not available?

The above was the instant reaction for most people I saw as the news worked its way around the internet community. Taking a step back though, and much like yesterday’s Ankiel signing, I don’t think this is an awful deal for the Mets.

The details as currently reported says that the Angels are eating $21.5 million of the $23.5 million owed to Matthews over the next two years so the Mets are essentially getting Matthews on a 2-year, $2 million contract. In return, the Mets are shipping Brian Stokes back to Anaheim.

Now, Matthews Jr is awful. Do not assume I am defending him here, though he might get a minor tick better playing CF again. Stokes is not good either however. He struck out 45 and walked 38 last season and overall, he’s a below average 30-year-old reliever. He’s also coming off a decent season, ERA-wise and set to make about a half-million in 2010 and then enter arbitration.

End result? The Mets pay Matthews $1 million in 2010, expected to produce pretty much nothing. The Angels pay Stokes about $0.5 million in 2010, expected to produce pretty much nothing. The Mets certainly could have found a better player to be Carlos Beltran insurance, and so the wasted roster spot has some cost, but that would be based on how the Mets actually utilize Matthews rather than a variable of the trade itself. In terms of just this particular swap, I feel that its impact to both teams bottom line win and salary totals are close to a wash. It might be a pointless trade, but I don’t see either team getting the upper hand.




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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


91 Responses to “Sarge for Stokes”

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  1. Worth noting that Stokes is almost certainly not one of the top 7 relievers in the Mets org. I don’t think he would have made the Opening Day roster, barring injuries. It’s almost like they traded an old, garbage prospect for a guy who will take up a big league roster spot and perform at replacement level.

    I do mostly agree though – it’s generally a wash.

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    • Me says:

      Rob Neyer notes that Matthews cost the Angels over $5M-worth of wins since they started playing him.

      “But according to Wins Above Replacement, in the first three years of that five-year deal, Matthews has been worth negative $5.2 million.”

      How is this not a loss for the Mets? Even a replacement-level player is a loss if traded for a guy with negative value. The only possible way this isn’t a bad deal for New York is if Matthews improves substantially — but you can’t used results-based analysis to rate a trade, can you?

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      • Felonius_Monk says:

        No, but you can use things like scouting, medical history and advanced projection systems to predict that a player might, going forward, out-perform his recent history, and thus make the judgement that Sarge may be an above-replacement-level OF over the next 2 years.

        Of course, I’m not convinced that the Mets actually employ any of these tools in player evaluation, so he’s probably just pretty much trading for someone that he’s heard of who he remembers used to play some centrefield at some point in the past…

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  2. Michael says:

    Had the same thoughts on the trade. The Mets are paying like they’d expect little to no production out of GMJ, so I can’t get too mad about the deal.

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  3. RonDom says:

    It’s a wash on everything except The Contest.

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  4. RKO36 says:

    When I first heard the news I couldn’t believe Omar Minaya could be stupid enough to trade for Matthews Jr. and his hideous contract, but when I found out the Mets will only pay $2 million over two years I realized it’s not too bad. Omar could have done better, I suppose, but on the other hand he could have done a lot worse.

    Tony Reagins basically admitted failure and handed Matthews Jr. off. There really isn’t much he could have done with a severely overpaid bench warmer.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      I sympathize with LAA on this one (a little bit). I don’t know that they could have or should have known that so much of L’il Sarge’s production was via PEDs.

      However, the “breakout seasons” by a middle aged prospect is generally a red flag.

      There could also be other aspects, but the PED issue seems to be a rather large component … unless you’re one of those that thinks PEDs don;t make a big difference. But, Jose Canseco, Ken Caminiti will tell you otherwise, and we can infer what type of affect they had on Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire (and numerous others).

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Whether it was via PEDs is kind of irrelevant. As you said, the one-year spike should have been evidence enough not to grant him a five-year deal like ’06 represented his true talent level.

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      • rh146 says:

        I don’t think Kem Camaniti is telling anyone anything in part to PEDs among just regular Ds =/

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  5. NEPP says:

    You really think Stokes wouldn’t have made their Opening Day roster? He was one of their more reliable relievers last year and they haven’t signed any relievers either. Yeah, he was replacement level but its not as if the Mets have a dominating BP.

    Minaya, the gift that keeps on giving.

    The Mets have a better player to replace Beltran…Angel Pagan. There’s also the issues of Sarge Jr reportedly being a huge cancer in the Angels clubhouse and him wanting more playing time.

    Completely pointless trade that probably actually helps LA more than NY.

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    • SteveM says:

      Absolutely correct, NEPP.

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    • Francisco Rodriguez, Pedro Feliciano, Ryoto Igarashi, Bobby Parnell, Sean Green, Kelvim Escobar, maybe another lefty , Maine/Perez/Figueroa – that’s 8 pitching options better than Brian Stokes. Not to mention Clint Everts who might be better. I love Stokes but he was no lock to be one of the 7 best relievers.

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      • NEPP says:

        Ranking Escobar up there is ballsy. He’s pitched like 11 innings in 2 years. He’s a complete question mark at this point.

        I thought Maine and Perez were gonna be starters….its not as if they have anyone else to start.

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      • SteveM says:

        Nope! Maine and Perez (unfortunately) will be in the starting rotation for sure. Figueroa is a spot starter/minor league shuttler. Sean Green flat sucks. Rodriguez, Feliciano, Parnell and (I guess) Escobar and Igarashi will likely be there, barring injury. Stokes would have made the roster barring a tragic spring training.

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      • Matt says:

        I suppose that the Mets aren’t going to signing any more SP this off season. There is a good chance that the get Sheets and with the money they would have spend on Molina, some one like Garland. That would leave Perez or Maine in the bullpen… even if they get one more starter Perez or Maine will have to compete Jon Niese… who had looked pretty good until his fluke injury.

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    • crix says:

      I agree, pointless trade for the Mets. What is Minaya doing trading for Gary Matthews when he’s got Angel Pagan?

      And yes, the Angels got better just by getting Matthews out of Anaheim even with buying out his contract. They would’ve had to give him the money anyways, atleast this way they can see what someone else can do in replace of Gary.

      Omar Minaya has my vote for top three worst GM’s in baseball.

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    • alexperez84 says:

      They havent signed any relievers? they added ryoto igarishi. I dont think i spelled his name right but boston was looking to add him to. they also added kelvim escobar.

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  6. SteveM says:

    Did any of you watch the Mets last year (I don’t blame you if you didn’t)? You’re wrong about Brian Stokes.

    Barring injury or truly awful performance, Stokes was a lock to make the roster. If you look at his game log, you’ll see that he had about three or four bad appearances. In 69 games. The sample size is small so the results are skewed, but Stokes was a valuable contributor out of the Mets’ pen, and his absence will hurt them. Mind you, he’s far from irreplaceable, but for the Mets to have given up a functional, contributing player for one who, well, isn’t, is classic Omar.

    Omar lengthens his lead, and Moore fades into the distance.

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    • NEPP says:

      Watched probably 20-30 of their games. He’s replacement level as a reliever but he had value to them. Its not as if they have a ton of depth in relief pitchers.

      Though a quick signing could help them…say someone like Chan Ho Park or any of the other relievers still available. Its not as if the Mets don’t have cash to spend.

      Still, an odd trade to make given the alternatives.

      I love Omar Minaya.

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    • NEPP says:

      Think about that defensive outfield of Bay-Sarge Jr-Francouer…that’s a lot of balls falling in the gaps in Citi Field.

      GMJ was absolutely brutal last year in CF…I believe his UZR/150 was something like -37.8 in about 432 innings there last year. He used to be a good defender but he isn’t even that anymore…not in CF at least. Bay and Frenchie aren’t exactly known for their range either.

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      • R. Johnston says:

        That outfield is scary bad on defense. Mets pitchers better all be working on their sinkers in spring training. I’m guessing that after the three stooges give up three inside-the-park home runs on opening day, Johan Santana demands a trade.

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      • MBD says:

        How does NEPP’s comment get 10 thumbs down? An OF of Bay, GMJ, and Frenchy has little chance of being better than awful, and only 1 of the 3 can hit at all. They need Beltran to come back soon and come back strong.

        Note that Frenchy’s range has decreased each of the last 4 years, which is a bad sign for a young guy, and his arm hasn’t made up for it the last 2 years after an outstanding campaign in 2007.

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  7. sabes says:

    The trade is better for LAA since they will have a player on their roster that they’ll actually use. Matthews is preventing a player who can actually contribute from being on the major league roster. It’s a minus for the Mets.

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    • Chris says:

      I actually disagree here. I think F-Mart could use the extra time in AAA, and having Matthews will prevent them from rushing him to the majors and letting him develop.

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  8. Sonny R. says:

    I doubt GMJ ever plays one game for the the Mets.

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  9. NEPP says:

    I love how a Mets fan basically went through and gave every single one of my comments a thumbs down. How about responding with a rebuttal instead? Bay, Matthews, Frenchie is a pretty bad defensive OF.

    UZR/150 for 2009

    LF Jason Bay: -11.2
    CF Gary Matthews Jr: -37.8
    RF Jeff Francouer: -5.9

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    • SteveM says:

      Wasn’t me, NEPP! I agree with all of your comments, and (God help me), I’m a Mets fan.

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    • NEPP, I didn’t bother with the thumbs, I never do so that wasn’t me. I am a Met fan and I don’t disagree with your reasonable suggestion that the outfield you put forth is bad defensively.

      What I personally consider the flaws in your assertions are these: that Matthews Jr. will be starting, and that Stokes was a lock to make the team.

      I either witnessed in person or on TV roughly 140 Mets games last year and saw Stokes to be what he is, a marginal 30 year old middle reliever. The Mets have organizational depth comparable to Stokes to replace him with.

      What they don’t have is organizational depth at CF. With Pagan, normally a back up thrust into starting duty, the Mets needed a back up CF, and they got one by trading a reliever who last year when I was watching had a WHIP of 1.564 and who despite a fastball in the 94-95 mph range struck out only 45 batters in 70 innings, while walking 38.

      Matthews Jr. is in NY only to step in in the event Pagan goes down before Beltran returns, and to keep Fernando Martinez in AAA where he belongs at this stage of his career. If you recall he was only called up last year due to a lack of OF depth.

      So it’s my opinion that the Mets traded from organizational depth at one position to create organizational depth at another.

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      • SteveM says:

        Except the HAD some OF/CF depth before they let Cory Sullivan and Jeremy Reed walk, and when you look at that system, please show me the BP depth you see. Acquisitions like RA Dickey and Jay Marshall indicate an absence of such depth.

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      • Steve your assessment of the bullpen is fair. Is it safe to say that the deck chairs on the Titanic are fairly interchangeable? I believe they are. You have every right to disagree. But the Mets/Titanic have more bullpen deckchairs than they do CF deckchairs.

        As you note, they HAD depth recently but I submit that they non-tendered that depth before Beltran suddenly required surgery, and in the midst of Beltran’s setback that former depth was signing with other teams. They simply used an interchangeable part from a deeper pool of relievers to fill a their shallower pool of CF.

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      • JoeyO says:

        GravediggerHebner,

        Your logic doesn’t really make sense. The Mets didn’t need CF depth, they needed a backup (or even platoon partner) for the void in Right and someone who could provide a real threat with the bat off the bench.

        With Beltran on the DL, Martinez or a minor-league free-agent CF would have been able to be called up to back up Pagan. That player would likely provide similar production to GMJ at half the dollar cost. The Mets also would have had their one remaining OF roster spot to add the real bat they desperately lack on the bench instead of the new poor-fielding, poor-hitting waste of space.

        Matthews makes absolutely zero sense here. It cost them more money and a useful BP arm for similar production to that which is readily available, while simultaneously forcing them into a bench of 2 back-up CF with questionable track records when Beltran returns. GMJ is now just one of 4 replacement level (or below) players on the Mets bench to back up a lineup already sporting three replacement level or below players (Francoeur, Murphy and at Catcher) and two players off major surgery.

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    • JayCee says:

      Aren’t you busy telling us how adding Contreras is brilliant for a bullpen … that just happens to be the Phillies?

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      • hk says:

        Not sure how Contreras is relevant to the conversation or even what you’re trying to say, but he has produced an average of about 2.5 WAR per season through his 7 year MLB career. Unless the Phillies overpaid in dollars or years, Jose’s probably a good pick up for them as a hybrid reliever / starter.

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      • bflaff says:

        Not in this thread he isn’t.

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    • rh146 says:

      NEPP, I agree with everything you’re saying as I am a Mets fan also, but I truly believe that GMJ is going to be the 4th OF come opening day because Pagan is just that much better than him at this point. I think everyone is going to laugh at GMJ during spring training on how awful he is and they’ll just use him in case of terrible injury (again)

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  10. Mitchell says:

    The ticker in times square reads: “Mets trade Brian Stokes for Gary Mathews and 21.5 million dollars.” I love how they tried to make it look like a great deal.

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  11. LongTimeFan says:

    Contrary to what most of you think, this is good trade for the Mets. I think some of you really need to expand your thinking. In Beltran’s absence, Mets needed second CF option and they filled it the best way under the circumstances – via trade. To even suggest that someone such as Ankiel would opt to sign for a month of starting, is just silly.

    Every team needs at least one bench player capable of playing CF, and until this trade the Mets had absolutely no one capable of playing CF in back up or platoon with Pagan. When a trade or free agent signing occurs, I would recommend fans take a step back and consider the full picture from player and team perspectives, rather than responding via initial visceral level only.

    Relying and responding as heavily as you all do on numbers, inevitably results in significant omissions of both skill and value in context. The game is indeed played on the field, not on paper ever capable of substituting for it.

    Regarding Stokes, he’s a capable reliever with mid 90′s fastball, who, if not overused or overexposed, is solid reliever as he was for the Mets, albeit, at times, inconsistently.

    The Mets however have bullpen arms to spare and hence traded surplus for a need they obtained at low cost. If it doesn’t work out, they can release Matthews. Stokes deepens the Angels pen. Good trade for both teams adding depth that, quite simply, is needed through long season.

    And to Nepp, correct me if I’m wrong but it surely doesn’t seem you bothered with research before falsely claiming the Mets obtained no relievers this offseason. They have in fact signed three to major league deals.

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    • LeiterWagnerFasterStrongr says:

      All well and good, except Lil’ Sarge apparently is aiming at– and expecting– a starting role. (Check Dave Cameron’s 10/27 article on this very site.)

      So, in essence, he’s like Kenny Lofton or Gary Sheffield… minus any sort of value, bat or glove.

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      • LongTimeFan says:

        I get the impression he wants it but isn’t necessarily expecting it. As long as he doesn’t cause trouble like he did in LA, what’s wrong with a hungry player who’ll play his heart out and wants to be in the lineup every day? This passion will only make Pagan and Francouer and the Mets that much better. The prevailing thought is the Mets don’t have enough passion yet here they add a player who has it and people still complain.

        Now should he continue to be malcontent, he can be released. I think this is win-win for the Mets at little financial consequence to them should it not work out.

        He might even be someone who could learn some first base and expand his value and playing time.

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    • SteveM says:

      Let’s start with the bullpen depth. I can think of two pitchers they got for the pen this winter; Igarashi and Escobar. Both are giant question marks at best. I hope you’re not referring to RA Dickey or Jay Marshall. They have zero chance of contributing to a major league team. Longshots before the trade to make the 25-man roster. Stokes was a known quantity, and like you said, a capable if inconsistent reliever. Useful.
      Depth in the bullpen? I sure as hell don’t see it.
      As for a bench player to play CF, Angel Pagan is the starter, and until recently, they had Cory Sullivan and Jeremy Reed, both capable CF’s for the bench. Sullivan signed to a minor league deal just this week. He’s a better player today and tomorrow than GMJ has any dream of being.
      NEPP is to be excused for ignoring the inconsequential acquisitions the Mets made for the pen. By May, we’ll all be trying to forget about them.

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      • LongTimeFan says:

        Steve M, both Sullivan and Reed were non-tendered.

        I personally think Gary Matthews jr is a better athlete and all round player than either, provides power threat the others lack and is definitive upgrade.

        The third pitcher I refer to is Clint Everts who’s now healthy and had a whole lots of interested suitors in pursuit this offseason….15 at the winter meetings.

        He was 5th overall pick in the 2002 draft as starter, had TJ surgery in 2004 and has transformed himself into a fine reliever. This past year split between A-Advanced-AA-AAA, he was 8-1 with 1.65 era and 1.250 WHIP in 44 games. 10.2 K’s per 9. 3.9 BB’s. They signed him to major league deal and seems to me if he has decent spring, he’s likely to earn roster spot right out of the gate. He’s a young man at 25, with great arm ready for the majors if he can achieve more consistent command. I have no proof of such but I think his presence in particular made Stokes expendable.

        I don’t think Everts, Escobar and Igarashi are inconsequential by any means. A healthy Escobar is to the pen like Sheets would be to the rotation.

        The other two are unknown quantities but that doesn’t make them inconsequential. How they perform as Mets will ultimately be the determinent.. There’s never guarantee about anything. Frankie Rodriguez stunk in the second half, and Brad Lidge stunk the entire season for the Phils coming off zero blown saves in 2008. I always look at talent, ability, drive, tools and athleticism, and remain mindful that any such player can succeed or fail at any time.

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      • JoeyO says:

        “Steve M, both Sullivan and Reed were non-tendered.

        I personally think Gary Matthews jr is a better athlete and all round player than either, provides power threat the others lack and is definitive upgrade.”

        The bench seems to stack up like this

        Coste
        Anderson
        Cora
        Matthews
        Pagan

        Let me ask you this, who is going to pinch hit?

        Pagan is the only player who should be expected to provide anything resembling league average with the bat, so I guess it has to be him. Problem there is that Pagan has a whopping .173/.189/.212/.400 career line in pinch hit opportunities.

        The Mets have what amounts to one of the worst benches in the game right now, and sub-replacement level Matthews does nothing but waste a roster spot that desperately needed to go to a player with an actual bat. And if the Mets experience even half the injuries they did last season, this will be a disaster of a year for them since Omar has somehow managed to make the depth even worse then it was in 2009.

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    • MG says:

      The Mets have bullpen arms to spare? Really? After KRod and Feliciano, I see alot of mediocrity in the Mets’ pen and yet another year of so-so middle relief for the Mets. You have to go back to 2006 for when the Mets had a talented and deep bullpen and everybody is gone from that group except Feliciano.

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      • SteveM says:

        Beltran’s physical issues were not a new discovery. Having zero organizational depth at CF, and non-tendering the two guys on the ML roster capable of playing the position off the bench is EXACTLY what got the Mets into the mess they’re in.

        To quote Buster Olney, the general thought is that Matthews “can’t hit for average, can’t hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors, and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative.”

        Omar Minaya is a moron.

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      • JoeyO says:

        “Having zero organizational depth at CF, and non-tendering the two guys on the ML roster capable of playing the position off the bench is EXACTLY what got the Mets into the mess they’re in.”

        With Beltran and Pagan on the ML roster, they dont need more CF depth on the 25-man, they need it on the 40-man so they can call it up as a DL replacement for Beltran while he is out. What they need on the 25-man is someone with an actual bat to give Francoeur (and sometimes Bay) time off.

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      • SteveM says:

        Knowing that they don’t have a ML-ready CF option in the minor leagues, and that their CF was coming off a season on the DL with chronic knee issues – leaving aside the gross mismanagement of Beltran’s injury – makes their decision to non-tender the players on the 25-man completely indefensible. Pagan is a solid backup; having ZERO depth beyond him is simply stupid.

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    • Felonius_Monk says:

      Centre field options (assuming you count a “centre field option” as being someone who can put up a >-20 UZR in centre) who were available for $1m or less this off-season who are better than Gary Matthews Jr:

      Jeff Fiorentino
      Austin Kearns
      Norris Hopper
      Cory Sullivan
      Jeremy Reed
      Reed Johnson
      Endy Chavez
      Gabe Gross
      A chair

      Omar Minaya is an idiot.

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  12. charityslave says:

    How in the hell did this guy get 50 million out of an otherwise good GM?

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    • Large Talons says:

      He hit free agency in the wake of a 4.2 win season preceded by a 3.2 one?

      Don’t let the randomness of production spikes or the fact that hindsight is 20/20 get in the way of your internet snark.

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      • Steve says:

        are you really trying to argue that it wasn’t a terrible contract the minute it was signed? it was.

        this isn’t hindsight. it was a gross overpay and everyone said so at the time.

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    • TheQuestforMerlin says:

      Also just a note, he was signed by Bill Stoneman. The previous GM to Tony Reagins who was appointed in 2007 (Matthews Jr was signed in Nov 2006). Bill Stoneman wasn’t a bad GM, but he did make some silly mistakes. This being one.

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    • Felonius_Monk says:

      He signed a contract that paid him to be a bit better than league average over 5 of his peak years. His performance in 2005 and 2006 suggested there was a good chance he’d be that, at least. There were maybe some signs that he’d been a bit lucky in those years, but (somewhat like Vernon Wells, albeit with a much smaller deal) I don’t think anyone expected him to nosedive QUITE as badly as he actually has done.

      There was every chance that deal would work out OK (albeit very little chance that it’d provide massive surplus value).

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  13. MG says:

    This wasn’t a “good trade” for either team and it hurts the Mets a bit if GMJ becomes a distraction/nuisance in the clubhouse during spring training about getting more PT.

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  14. LongTimeFan says:

    Steve M, there’s also Fernando Nieve, Clint Everts, the possibilty of John Smolz, surplus starters, and others yet unnamed. I don’t think there was any guarantee Stokes would make the Mets opening day roster, therefore, being out of minor league options made him tradeable.

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  15. Bob R. says:

    It seems to me that the issue here might be less what his value is but rather opportunity cost. Are there other available center fielders who could be had at a comparable cost but who promise greater productivity?

    It is always difficult to know what the specific players demanded or whether another trade was possible, but it would be interesting to know whether the Mets considered Reed Johnson, who made $3 million last year, or Gabe Gross whose salary last year was $1.255 million. Other free agents include Amezaga, Endy Chavez and Baldelli. Although all have their flaws, I think any of them are better options for a 4th or 5th outfielder than Matthews is.

    My guess is that none would have required the Mets to commit roster space for more than one year, and given the market now, all are probably reasonably priced. It would also be interesting to know whether the Mets investigated trades. I think Fernando Perez of the Rays could be available for a price in talent, while likely more than Stokes, that the Mets could consider reasonable, and while he probably is fated to be a major league backup, he certainly brings some very specific talent to a team, an important consideration when filling a roster.

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  16. walther says:

    The Angels could have dealt him and ate a lot less of that contract if he had a good spring (easy) or hot start with the bat to start the season (luck). It was stupid to deal him now considering they had wasted a prime roster spot on the exact same skill set for years.

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    • the Dude says:

      well that’s just, like, your opinion man.

      color me skeptical. GMJ has one of the worst contracts in baseball. i’d be shocked if anyone else would touch it.

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  17. NM says:

    I really don’t see what the purpose of this trade was for Omar; I mean its not that bad as this article rightfully states, but a better use of resources would have been to dump Stokes off for a minor league body and signing Randy Winn for 1 year, $2M.

    Oh well, its really not a big deal, and I’m actually happy they got rid of Stokes, who really isn’t that good. This opens up a bullpen spot for another reliever to be added, which is a good thing I suppose.

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  18. NM says:

    Here’s something to think — wouldn’t it have been better for the Angels to take back Castillo (thus saving $9.5M in comparison to what they ate), and then eating as much as that $9.5M to ship him to another team (Cubs?) for something?

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  19. R. Johnston says:

    The Mets gave up a replacement level player making essentially the MLB minimum (i.e. a player due to be paid exactly what he’s worth). In exchange they’re getting a sub-replacement level player who they’ll have to pay three times the MLB minimum.

    The costs and benefits of Stokes’ contract are as close to a wash as you get. The best thing the Mets can do with GMJ is to release him before he ever plays a game. That means that in effect this trade amounts to a cash transfer from the Mets to the Angels of $2.5million in exchange for absolutely nothing.

    The Mets would be no worse off simply setting $2.5 million in cash on fire.

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  20. As long as they don’t trade me, I’m fine by it! One less right-handed reliever in the bullpen. Although I may be at my most excellent as a spot-starter (or in Triple-A), I will do anything I can to help the team, which will likely include a spot in the bullpen when the team is fighting for the best record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs come September. I am excited to meet Gary, and I wish Brian well in California of Anaheim. Godspeed! Look at my No-Chin!!!

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  21. acerimusdux says:

    While it’s true the Mets needed CF depth, it’s still a pretty damning indictment of Minaya that this is the best he could do. Just over a week ago, the Yankees signed Reid Gorecki to a minor league contract, while the Red Sox signed Darnell McDonald. Both of those guys would likely be as useful big league reserves as Mathews right now. What is the Mets excuse for not having a capable minor league veteran CF in AAA to call up?

    They’ve known Beltran’s knees were a potential problem for awhile. Why haven’t they addressed this organizational need for outfield depth sooner? They’ve had all offseason to find another CF.

    Maybe this won’t prevent the Mets from making another move. They could still sign Randy Winn, or Rocco Baldelli, or Gabe Gross for example. But, it’s still not a great use of resources. Stokes isn’t anything special, but he throws 95 mph with a decent breaking ball. He struggles with command enough to still make him a marginal pen arm, but he’s still valuable depth there. You do end up needing more than 6-7 relievers over the course of a season, and the Mets really don’t yet have great depth there either, unless they want to start rushing guys like Holt and Mejia to the majors before they are ready.

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  22. JayCee says:

    This trade is better than losing Max Ramirez for the privilege of paying Mike Lowell $3 million for 1 season of 300 ABs or so as a RH DH/backup 1B. But Texas’ GM is favored and Minaya is Minaya so lots of people pile on here.

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    • Steve says:

      are you really trying to play the “Minaya isn’t getting a fair shake” card?

      he’s terrible.

      in a vacuum, this isn’t a terrible trade. and if another, more competent GM, made the trade, you’re right, the reactions would probably be different.

      but it’s another pointless move in a series of pointless moves.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Uh, no, not really. Despite his injuries, Mike Lowell’s still a useful piece. I did think Max Ramirez was a high price for hm, but he’s apparently lost some of his luster (and I’ve heard that in other places, not just here).

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  23. jon says:

    First of all, I am thrilled that I found a web page with intelligent postings and interesting articles. The national web pages espn, fox sports and even most of the local dailies are filled with childish posts that are more in line with the schoolyard. OK
    I am a Met fan and saw plenty of games last year. Brian Stokes although not the best solution was in my opinion more than adequate out of the pen. As I see it especially to people that live and die for hard stats and all these amazing calculations there a few things that are overlooked. Determination cannot be measured in numbers. Neither can heart. If memory serves me correctly and I will take a small time out to double check Brians stats on MLB.com
    His stats in 08 were more impressive. He started one game and saved three. Although the league batted 280 against himhe did get 26 strike outs in 33 innings.
    Last year he appeared almost 70 times. His walks went up quite a bit as a matter of fact most of his stats were unimpressive but I dont recall him utilized in any difficult situation. I think given the general malaise that had befallen the Met bullpen he didnt do such a bad job.

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  24. SteveM says:

    FWIW, according to Buster Olney, in reference to GMJ, the general thought is that he “can’t hit for average, can’t hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors, and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative.”

    Statistics bear this out. I would not pick him up off the waiver wire. More subtraction by addition.

    Welcome to the Mets…

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  25. Steve says:

    Judging by the “thumbs” on this page, it looks like someone showed Omar Minaya the internet!

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  26. Steve says:

    Just a heads up, the link in the article takes you Sarge Sr’s stats.

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  27. Gina says:

    As a mets fan the issue with this trade. Is the fact the mets still thought it made more sense to trade a living player for someone as awful as GMJ when they were plenty of options still available in FA who aren’t as awful. GMJ is going to be our 4th outfielder until Beltran gets back, and with the rate mets players get injured, and the fact no one in the mets front office apparently has any idea how to evaluate talent, he could certainly see a fair amount of playing time. Not to mention the fact with so many injuries last year, and knowing about Beltrans knees, we’re still susceptible enough to injuries that at some point our up the middle defense could be cora as ss, castillo at 2nd and gmj at center. With a 140 million dollar payroll.

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  28. Nitpicker says:

    Just like to point that the Gary Matthews Jr. link goes to his dad’s page fangraphs page.

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  29. funketown says:

    I can’t wait to watch that outfield. Here’s to hoping sarge gets the nod over Angel Pagan.

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  30. sausagemcbiscuit says:

    Angels pretty much DFA Matthews but got paid 2 million to do it

    also I doubt this Stokes guy even makes the Angels 25 man roster. THey just wanted to be rid of Matthews, period

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    • NEPP says:

      Exactly…what does that tell you about his presence in that locker room? The reports of him being a cancer are probably understated if they’re paying that much for him to play in NY.

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      • Mitchell says:

        I think it has more to do with GMJ being below replacement level the last 2 years.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        It’s revealing.

        What we know is his team paid $20M to get him off their roster. There’s no other way to take that, than insulting.

        But, we don;t know if just provided little to no on-field value, was a jerk, or some combination of the two.

        Not many teams keep big contract “nice guys” if they don’t provide value on the field.

        So, I would’t read too much into it regarding his “jerkishness”, because teams will tolerate a jerk if he performs on the field. They just won;t tolerate non-performing jerks, or non-performers in general.

        It might just be an “out of sight, out of mind” thing regarding the value (lack of), the contract, etc. Just cut ties and move on.

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      • JayCee says:

        So what does that make Eric Byrnes?

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  31. JayCee says:

    The Boston Herald says the Red Sox offered Mike Lowell for GMJr before Lowell’s thumb injury killed the deal.

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  32. NEPP says:

    Odd for Theo. He’s usually a pretty smart guy. Besides, they don’t really have a need for him, even as a 4th OF.

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