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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Orioles - Acquired Benson

Baltimore Orioles - Acquired P Kris Benson from the New York Mets for P Jorge Julio and P John Maine

The Orioles are in a division with 3 smart teams that are willing to spend money.  The other remaining team, tends to accidentally use their young talent, especially on offense and have a new front office and owner.  The Orioles, on the other hand, while they make the right decision in cashing in a disappointing reliever and a meh prospect everyone got too excited about, they get the worst possible kind of player - another league-averageish starter, the one thing the farm system actually can sort of develop.  There is no reason for this team to be acquiring any player that was alive during the Carter administration.

The benefits are more obvious for the Mets - they should probably be in the header instead of the O’s.  They save a bunch of money and improve the rotation simultaneously by getting Heilman in there instead of Benson and get John Maine for their trouble.  Julio will either be at the back of the bullpen, fighting it out for a job with guys like Bart Fortune.  ZiPS likes Maine surprisingly much - no doubt due to his periphs in Ottawa during his disappointing 2005 not as bad as you would think from the ERA.

2006 ZiPS Projections
—————————————————————————————-
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
—————————————————————————————-
Benson     9 11 28 28 171 182   88 21 51 96 4.63
Julio     3   4 64   0   66   61   35   9 31 64 4.77
Maine     10   9 29 28 153 137   70 17 61 143 4.12
—————————————————————————————-

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:52 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#1832448)
I thought this was an ok deal for the O's. I understand Benson isn't the best of starters and that he's above 30, but at least he's got some experience. I mean, what else could you get for Julio and Maine?

That said, the O's offseason makes me think a lot about the Pirates' or the Royals' offseason. A lot of moves that won't pay much in the end. Sad.
   2. Johnny Tuttle Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#1832454)
I am glad you still call the Blue Jays smart.
   3. DL from MN Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#1832456)
That's a lot of strikeouts projected for Maine.
   4. greenback likes millwall, they don't care Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#1832458)
Don't the Mets really need an extra averagish starter?
   5. RP Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#1832459)
If Maine comes close to that projection I'll donate $100 to BTF.
   6. Johnny Tuttle Posted: January 22, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1832463)
You might think so, greenback, especially after Seo's departure for middle relievers.

A hallmark of good teams is using younger starters as relievers -- this is great insurance against injury or declining performance. Seo's & Benson's being traded mean that Seo and Heilman can't be on hand for insurance. Was Julio a converted starter?
   7. PooNani Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#1832470)
hahaha that Maine projection is hilarious
   8. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#1832483)
While I understand Dan's disappoint in the Orioles complete lack of direction, this move makes very little sense for the Mets, unless it's a precursor to another one.
   9. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#1832488)
So the Mets essentially traded Justin Huber for Maine and Julio. We'll see.

Maine looks like another guy who can't find home plate. Maybe Rick Peterson can fix him in twenty minutes.

The Mets have taken a very cavalier approach to their starting pitching. I don't think that there have been too many .500 teams that took major steps forward after downgrading their starting pitching. They didn't help their starting pitchers by trading Cameron either.
   10. Runscreated Posted: January 22, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#1832541)
I agree with Dan. This trade makes sense for the Mets-less salary and I believe Heilman is ready to start. Heilman has been waitng in the wings for a few years now since his stellar collegiate career. He has done better as a reliever, but that doesn't mean he is not ready to step it up as a starter.
   11. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1832630)
I just have a hard time believing the Mets front office have turned face on the question of Heilman starting so abruptly. Did his "start me or trade me" threats really lead them to ditch Seo and Benson just to create an open spot for him? That seems extreme.
   12. Rob Base Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#1832637)
I don't think that there have been too many .500 teams that took major steps forward after downgrading their starting pitching.

You said this before and it didn't make any sense then either.

2005 rotation:

Pedro
Glavine
Benson
Zambrano
Ishii/Seo/Trachsel

2006 rotation:

Pedro
Glavine
Heilman
Zambrano
Trachsel

What downgrade exactly?
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#1832650)
What downgrade exactly?

I'm not sure the Mets are done making moves on this front, but for what it's worth, I wouldn't count on Glavine being as good as last year or Trachsel pitching enough to obviate the need for another starter to throw a significant number of innings. That was fine with Seo and Heilman in the quiver, but Heilman's probably going to start anyway, and Seo's gone. Heilman's likely to be a moderate upgrade over Benson, but at best this strikes me as a wash.

That said, there are of course Jeff Weaver and Barry Zito rumors pinging around all over the place; if one of those things happens, we'll have to rejigger our calculations completely.
   14. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#1832651)
You don't think Heilman is a big fat question mark?

You don't think Zambrano is worse than Trachsel? If Trax can pitch, he'll be better than Z.

Some don't think Seo's ERA was real because it was 90 IP. But they do think Heilman's was - at 108 IP. That's a little iffy, in my book.

I think Seo was a significantly better bet than Heilman, so that's a downgrade.

OTOH, I guess I agree - it isn't a downgrade yet. Not keeping Seo is the mistake - I really see a lack of upgrade - no downgrade.
   15. Rob Base Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#1832673)
I didn't say the rotation had problems, but I also thought it had problems last year. It's misleading to say that these trades downgraded the rotation. Now, maybe it's a downgrade on what the rotation should have been last year and this year -- I would have liked to have seen Seo, not Ishii, for the entire year, and perhaps Heilman over Zambrano. But you can't pretend all of those starts wasted on Ishii didn't happen.

They should have upgraded the rotation this offseason and clearly didn't, but I don't see it as appreciably worse off than the rotation that actually was last year.
   16. Rob Base Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:56 PM (#1832677)
Of course I meant to say "I didn't say the rotation didn't have problems." Bleh.
   17. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#1832695)
I think why people like Heilman better than Seo is that H struck out 106 in 108 innings last year, while Seo struck out 59 in 90 innings. Seo's K/BB was a little better, but I'd rather have the guy with more K's when both guys are hovering around 3.00 K/BB
   18. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 22, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#1832763)
One possibility that no one's mentioned (and I didn't think of it either, my friend Chris did) is that perhaps the Mets can put some of the money saved by getting rid of Benson into getting someone to take Kaz Matsui off their hands.
   19. Ska Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#1832889)
What I find exceedingly ironic is that the Mets continue to put all of their proverbial eggs in the Rick Peterson basket, although he's revealed himself to be a miserable failure. They acquire Julio with the hope that Peterson can turn him around. Of course, they are giving up Benson, a pitcher that didn't make any strides thanks to Peterson. Indeed, no Mets' pitcher has developed due to Peterson. They got rid of Seo, a guy that Peterson disslikes, but one who did well. They still have Zambrano, who has not been helped at all by Peterson as he is still wild, still inconsistent and, at best, a back of the rotation starter. Peterson helped him so much that by the end of the year, Zambrano was out of the bullpen and relegated to long relief. Suddently, Zambrano's place on the staff is gold. I don't get it. But that's not the point. The point is that Met management doesn't get it with respect to Peterson.

s.
   20. Rob Base Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#1832897)
They acquire Julio with the hope that Peterson can turn him around.

Ah, false premises. Sure you're a lawyer?
   21. Шĥy Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#1832899)
perhaps the Mets can put some of the money saved by getting rid of Benson into getting someone to take Kaz Matsui off their hands.

They already have to pay Matsui's salary so they could only save money in a Matsui trade. They're not going to pay a team to take Matsui while the Mets pay his full salary.
   22. Ska Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#1833078)
Mr. Base:

I am sorry that I am not some small time guy that would be better suited for cleaning toilets. I would refer you to Julio's stats from last year as it is quite clear that he needs to be "turned around". Of course, being a loser in your own field, a near 6 ERA may seem like a wonderfully acceptable thing to you.

s.
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#1833139)
They already have to pay Matsui's salary so they could only save money in a Matsui trade. They're not going to pay a team to take Matsui while the Mets pay his full salary.


I think the point was that the Mets might be willing to take on a more significant chunk of Matsui's contract in order to make a deal now than they were previous to this trade.

-- MWE
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#1833254)
I am sorry that I am not some small time guy that would be better suited for cleaning toilets. I would refer you to Julio's stats from last year as it is quite clear that he needs to be "turned around". Of course, being a loser in your own field, a near 6 ERA may seem like a wonderfully acceptable thing to you.

RDF.
   25. Шĥy Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:15 AM (#1833321)

I think the point was that the Mets might be willing to take on a more significant chunk of Matsui's contract in order to make a deal now than they were previous to this trade.


But that doesn't make any sense, which was my point.
   26. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#1833368)
I am sorry that I am not some small time guy that would be better suited for cleaning toilets

What do you have to say to those of us who aren't failures but can still detect the odor of blithering idiot about you?
   27. Rob Base Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#1834050)
Mr. Base:

I am sorry that I am not some small time guy that would be better suited for cleaning toilets. I would refer you to Julio's stats from last year as it is quite clear that he needs to be "turned around". Of course, being a loser in your own field, a near 6 ERA may seem like a wonderfully acceptable thing to you.

s.


Come on, Ira, I'm young. Maybe with hard work and guile, I too can someday be a real estate lawyer on Long Island. And then I can invent Rick Peterson conspiracy theories on the internet!
   28. JPWF13 Posted: January 23, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#1834444)
ZiPS likes Maine surprisingly much - no doubt due to his periphs in Ottawa during his disappointing 2005 not as bad as you would think from the ERA.

My quick dips calculator came up with a 3.77 for Maine in AAA last year (actual ERA 4.56)
he let 72 runs score on just 128 hits and 41 walks (13 HR)
that is a bit high, either his bullpen support was brutal or he had a knack for giving up hits with men on (or both)

Personally, as a Met fan, I look at Maine's career numbers and think, well losing Gaby Hernandez will probably not be a big thing afterall
   29. Bmore Boy (Thailand edition) Posted: January 24, 2006 at 07:11 AM (#1835537)
I guess I'm alone here, but I'm kind of glad to have gotten Benson. I don't know if he's worth the money - or especially adding Maine into the original deal - but I think he's a better pitcher than he was last year. What's more, I think he's a classic Mazzone special - a guy who's got great stuff, shown flashes of brilliance, but always underacheived. I think we could see Benson's career year, simply through the Mazzone affect.

And, while we have some more young pitchers on the way, they aren't ready yet. A year or two of a decent pitcher over 30 is something we kinda do need (veteran presence is usually overplayed, but I don't think we had anyone over 30 on the staff save Chen. When you've got a bunch of young kids, it does help to have at least one guy to show them the way things're done. Not that Benson is going to be some Clemens or Key kinda role model - but he sure makes Ponson look like... well, Ponson).

If anyone thought Tejada was mouthy, get ready for the era of Anna. She is going to hate it here (for both real and imagined reasons), and we're all going to know about it soon enough.

Of course, Angelos will surely be disappointed by Benson because I doubt he takes time to consider park and league affects - factoring those in, if Benson just holds his ERA, that's almost equivalent to Mazzone's .50 ERA reduction. Yet I could see the 2006 roundup going like this:

PA: I don't like this Mazzone. He's costing me an arm and a leg and what's he done so special?

MF: Well, almost every pitcher we had showed marked improvement compared with 2005.

PA: Oh sure, our young guys improved, but they're young, that's to be expected. How about this Benson? You told me to go get this Benson, Mazzone would fix 'im, and his ERA increased!

MF: No, it didn't, Benson actually pitched -

PA: What do you mean it didn't?!! I've got it right here!!!!

MF: That's unadjusted-you have to remember Shea is a pitcher's-

PA: Are you talking imaginary and hypothetical numbers again?!!! I told you never to do that!!! I want facts, not those stupid imaginary numbers!!!

MF: Am I fired now?

PA: Damn straight. And take that Mazzone trash out with you.
   30. Free Rob Base Posted: January 24, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#1835693)
Don'y know why you think Benson has "great stuff." Didn't notice that while he was with the Mets. Have you seen him pitch?
   31. Sam M. Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#1835775)
What's more, I think he's a classic Mazzone special - a guy who's got great stuff, shown flashes of brilliance, but always underacheived. I think we could see Benson's career year, simply through the Mazzone affect.

I disagree. To my eye, Benson already does almost exactly what Mazzone preaches: he's a classic low-and-away, contact pitcher. Easy delivery, reliably repeatable. I think Benson is already getting as much out of his stuff as the Mazzone principles will allow; he just got there without working with Leo directly.

His problem is that he doesn't maintain his stuff well either in games, or throughout the season. I wouldn't be surprised if he's outstanding in the first half of the season -- and everybody jumps on the Mets for the trade and/or credits Leo for helping him -- but then by the end of the year, he's the same old Kris Benson. OK, but nobody's top-of-the-staff guy.
   32. PJ Martinez Posted: January 24, 2006 at 04:54 PM (#1835790)
"I wouldn't be surprised if he's outstanding in the first half of the season -- and everybody jumps on the Mets for the trade and/or credits Leo for helping him -- but then by the end of the year, he's the same old Kris Benson. OK, but nobody's top-of-the-staff guy."

If this actually happens, the O's could make out like bandits if they trade him in July to some team who thinks he's finally blossomed.

That would probably require, of course, that the O's not be even near the WC by the season's mid-point-- otherwise they'll probably trade a prospect for veteran help or something.
   33. Rob Base Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:05 PM (#1835814)
If this actually happens, the O's could make out like bandits if they trade him in July to some team who thinks he's finally blossomed.

Helllooo Suppan trade.
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 24, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#1835992)
I wouldn't count on Glavine being as good as last year or Trachsel pitching enough to obviate the need for another starter to throw a significant number of innings.

It is an even-numbered year, so the Mets have that going for them.

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