Omar Minaya's purge of the 2008 Mets bullpen continues. The Mets dealt Scott Schoeneweis to the Diamondbacks for RP Connor Robertson. Also in the deal, the Mets agreed to pay $1.6 million dollars of the contract, which is important to note given Arizona's financial situation.
As a Mets fan, this deal needed to be completed. No doubt about it. Schoeneweis has not performed well during his stay with the Mets and towards the end of last season, Jerry Manuel grew hesitant to use Schoeneweis in a big spot (ruightfully so). Ironically, Schoeneweis gave up the go ahead home run in the Mets final game at Shea Stadium, which ultimately eliminated the Mets from playoff contention. This gave the boo birds at the now defunct Shea Stadium even more ammunition for booing Schoeneweis, which they did mercilessly throughout his Mets tenure.
Who knows if Schoeneweis could have rebounded with the Mets next season? They certainly could have used another lefty in the bullpen given the fact that the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez today. But Omar Minaya made the smart choice not to take a chance on Schoeneweis succeeding with the Mets in 2009. The time to cut ties was now and I'm glad this was taken care of.
This move helps separate the Mets further from the "culture of the collapse" and is a welcome signal that the 2009 bullpen will be fresh and exciting.
With that said, the Mets need to go after another lefty in the bullpen. In the previous two seasons, the Mets have had three lefties (Schoeneweis, Feliciano, and Wagner), but as of right now, they only have one. This division already has some very good left handed bats, especially in Philadelphia, so picking up another lefty option is a must at this point.
For the Diamondbacks, this deal could turn out to be very beneficial if he is used correctly. Schoeneweis was very good against left handed hitters last season (2.08 ERA against), but he struggled against right handed hitters, especially with his control (17/9 walk to strikeout ratio against righties). Even so, he is an upgrade over Doug Slaten and will undoubtedly play a big role in the Diamondbacks success in 2009.