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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Colorado Rockies/New York Mets/Milwaukee Brewers
Trade a lot of players to each other. As simple as I can make it:
New York Mets: Traded P Glendon Rusch, 1B-3B Todd Zeile, UT Lenny Harris and OF Benny Agbayani for P Jeff D’Amico, OF Mark Sweeney, IF Lou Collier, OF Jeromy Burnitz, 1B-OF Ross Gload and P Craig House.
Milwaukee Brewers: Traded P Jeff D’Amico, OF Jeromy Burnitz, IF Lou Collier and OF Mark Sweeney for P Glendon Rusch, OF Alex Ochoa and UT Lenny Harris.
Colorado Rockies: Traded OF Alex Ochoa, 1B-OF Ross Gload and P Craig House for 1B-3B Todd Zeile and OF Benny Agbayani.
Wow, that’s very complex. I’ll make it a lot simpler. The differences in value essentially break down into 2 small trades:
- Mets trade Rusch for D’Amico
Where’s Jeromy Burnitz and Benny Agbayani? I honestly don’t think a realistic expectation of a 2002 for Burnitz is all that much better (if any) than that of Agbayani. The Mets would have had the 1997 and 1999 versions of Burnitz if they had kept him the first time, but they’re getting 2002, not 1999 and Burnitz is older and much slower than he was the last time he had a really good season. Agbayani has the most recent bad season of the two, but he also has the most recent good season of the two. While the media is hailing the addition of Burnitz as the Mets’ answer to Sheffield, I don’t see it. The Braves upgraded from a likely average player to a superstar; the Mets upgrade from a likely average player to a likely average player.
Where’s Lenny Harris, CLUTCH SUPER PINCH HITTING SUPERSTAR OF THE WORLD? Left off intentionally as he’s really simply waiver-wire fodder and has the most pinch-hits not because of an excellent career that redefined pinch-hitting, but being a 37-year old player who spent a long career as a pinch-hitter without being good enough to have a bigger role. Harris had two great pinch-hitting stints in 1998 and 1999, but had some seasons as putrid as those two were great both before and since.
Harris, career: 271/319/350
If Harris has any kind of accomplishment worthy of any kind of accolade, I don’t see it.
Rusch for D’Amico is, I think, a trade of two pitchers of similar value, but in different packages. D’Amico is more likely to be a top pitcher than Rusch is, but he’s also more likely to get injured and be ineffective or not pitching at all. Despite D’Amico apparently being around forever, he’s actually younger than Rusch.
As to Zeile for Gload and House, that’s a good move for the Mets. They have to pay some money, but Gload while not the player that had that unbelievable month in Iowa a few years ago, is interesting enough, along with House, to save the other 3 million and get rid of a player who wasn’t going to play anyway.
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