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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Friday, November 30, 2007
Nats - Acquired Milledge
Washington Nationals - Acquired CF Lastings Milledge from the New York Mets for OF Ryan Church and C Brian Schneider.
While the initial reaction is revulsion, it’s not really as bad as the Kazmir trade as the Mets do get a worthwhile player back in Ryan Church. It’s still pretty bad, though, as Brian Schneider’s arm is still living off the reputation he garnered in 2003-2004 when he threw out more than 50% of baserunners (he’s been down around 30% the last few years) and while his platoon splits are large, he doesn’t really hit righties all that impressively either; he’s just that much worse against lefties. He’s an inferior player to Castro and while $5 million a year isn’t a crippling amount for the Mets, why pay it for a player who should be a backup catcher?. This would have been a better trade for the Mets if it was straight up for Church, though not a good deal by any stretch. Hell, it would have been a better trade for the Mets if they picked up John Schneider with the intention of making a straight-to-DVD-thriller “Bo Duke and the Thundercats in The Prisoner of Zenda.”
I like Ryan Church. He’s a solid player in a corner, not a star, and not really a centerfielder, either. He was treated rather shabbily with the Nats who thanked him for his 287/353/446 rookie season by giving Brandon Watson his job for no particular reason after Church didn’t have a great spring. Even after his best professional season, most of which was wasted toiling in the minors and off the bench, again for no particular reason, the Nats acted like they were doing a favor by letting him get at-bats.
All this being said, I’d rather have Milledge. Milledge is a good player now, has tremendous physical tools, is 7 and a half years younger than Church, and has less service time to boot. Yes, there have been some questions about Milledge in center and while I don’t buy them, we know that Church isn’t a centerfielder.
I don’t think I have to even go into detail why this is good for the Nats. The Nats get the cheapest player in the trade, the most valuable player in the trade, and the player with the least service time in the trade, and the player that most fills a need for their new team in the trade.
Oh, wait, I forgot. Milledge likes rap music, said an expletive, and doesn’t always wear his baseball cap to complete professional standards. Whoop-de-doo.
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