Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mets Make Deal with Mariners & Indians; Get More Bullpen Help

Earlier today, when I wrote about K-Rod joining the New York Mets I said the Mets still needed to make substantial improvements to their bullpen. The Mets have done just that.

The Mets acquired Seattle Mariners closer J.J. Putz along with middle reliever Sean Green and outfielder Jeremy Reed. The Mariners received middle reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and four minor leaguers from the Mets. The Mariners also received outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe received infielder Luis Valbuena from the Mariners and reliever Joe Smith from the Mets.

The centerpiece of the deal is Putz. He will become K-Rod's set up man. Putz was the Mariners closer in 2006 and 2007 saving 36 and 40 games respectively. However, Putz was injured for much of the 2008 season and only had 15 saves although he pitched effectively when healthy. If K-Rod falters the Mets have a fallback guy in Putz. The Mets are going for broke in 2009 after narrowly missing the playoffs in 2007 and 2008.

However, I think the Mariners get the best of this deal getting prospects, a good defensive outfielder in Chavez and I think Heilman will be more comfortable pitching in laid back Seattle than in the unforgiving New York market. But I think Gutierrez will blossom in Seattle after underachieving with the Indians. At 25, he's still young enough to turn things around. A bold prediction. Gutierrez will supplant Ichiro Suzuki as the face of the Mariners.

No comments: