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Defending JJ

Read this entry at Gotham Baseball, but here's the operative quote:

Given the Mets' repeated interest in Rockies' pitcher Jason Jennings, Colorado figures an even-up swap of the two players would be an even deal. They would be figuring wrong. "Minaya's not getting rid of Milledge," laughed on Mets' insider. "Well, at least not for that package. He likes Jennings, but there are plenty of other options out there as good as Jennings that (can be signed) and not have to give up any players."

Plenty of other options out there as good as Jennings?

  1. Barry Zito $20 million
  2. Jason Schmidt $16 million
uhm... let me think, he said plenty of them...
  1. Vicente Padilla, maybe? $12.5 million

That's it. Go ahead and check out their careers. None of the other free agents are as good as Jennings, and Padilla is his only equal,  not Lilly, not Meche, not Suppan. Not even Padilla can match JJ's durability. On his own staff Minaya has exactly one pitcher who you can reasonably expect to be better than JJ next season in Pedro and his health is such a concern that Jennings might add more value over the long haul of a 162 game season anyway. What about El Duque? Well, if you trust an arm that remembers the Bay of Pigs... Oh, and Jennings in 2007 costs at least $7 million dollars less than any of the other options on the table.

Do you know what you call a 21 year old who hits .241 with an OPS of .690 in his first major league season? A prospect. Certainly not equal to Carlos Beltran, who had an OPS of .783 his 21 y.o. rookie season, and if Milledge is clearly only at tops an above average but not quite All-Star center fielder but possibly not even that, why on earth would we trade our best starter for only him, and we sure as hell aren't going to trade him for less. Yeah, you go ahead and enter the season with Pirates reject Oliver Perez and Orioles reject Scott Maine, Omar, but don't come crying to us when the Braves and Phillies laugh all the way into the playoffs next October. See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.