Talk about overhauling your bullpen! For specifics on this mega-massive deal, check here or here.
Obviously, Putz is the important piece in this deal. What an impressive move by Omar Minaya. He essentially gave up one quality reliever, one very unsteady pitcher, a fourth outfielder, and a minor leaguer to get Putz, who was one of the better closers in baseball.
The upside for the Mets is obvious here: our bullpen was absolutely terrible last year and under no circumstances will that happen again. If Putz and K-Rod perform as expected, the Mets have the ability to shorten the games to only seven innings. The culture of the Mets and their bullpen needed to change. Mission accomplished. The message to the fans: we got K-Rod and Putz, you all can keep your sanity.
For the Mariners, this deal boils down to the potential of Aaron Heilman. I would still love to see Heilman get a chance to start for the Mariners because of his fantastic stuff. Plus, I don't think he is cut out for the bullpen and while he accepted that role, Heilman always wanted to start. It would not surprise me at all to watch Heilman succeed as a starter, a potentially great one.
Sadly the Mets gave up Endy Chavez in this deal as well. Chavez has been nothing short of a God at Shea Stadium since his INCREDIBLE catch in the 2006 NLCS. But there is no denying it: Chavez is not a starter and never will be. He is a fourth outfielder at best, who succeeds because of his defense and speed. I would love to see Endy play center field at Safeco Park for the Mariners, just to watch him cover ground and cut off balls in the gap.
I'll be honest, I never saw Joe Smith being traded. Smith was one of the Mets best relief pitchers last season (not saying much) and he was great against right handed hitters. But like Chavez, he is what he is: a right handed specialist who does not do well against left handed hitters. Great pitcher, great guy, and I'm sure he will thrive with the Indians. Good pickup, Mark Shapiro.
The Mariners picked a terrible time to want to trade their closer. Coming off an injury plagued season in a market littered with closers, now was a tough time to get maximum return on Putz. From the looks of it, they did alright, but this deal will come down to Aaron Heilman. The ceiling on Heilman is high and if he achieves his potential as a starter, this will a huge success for the Mariners.
Gotta love three team trades, especially when it involves a guy named Putz (who by the way is a very cool looking dude...right)! There is nothing better than a dude named Putz pitching in Queens, NY. Now all we need is a Mench...Kevin Mench!