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Transaction Reactions: November 14-15

So the Mets today acquired "Not That" Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins in exchange for two relievers, both who were the source of many useful vile puns.

I'm a little surprised by this move, to say the least, given that Minaya went looking for an outfielder who's very much Lastings Milledge-lite. The case for Johnson is made about his athleticism, and it's probably better doing that than waxing poetic about his .236/.324/.441 career line, spanning parts of the last two seasons with the Padres.

Johnson's track record, even as a hitter, though, is far from mediocre. In 472 AAA PA in 2005, Johnson mashed 25 HR. The case against him is mostly that he really hasn't shown that power in the big leagues, despite having parts of two seasons to show off his ability in San Diego.

And yes, he has come a long way since his time as a Canadian sprinter testing positive for stanazolol during the 1988 Summer Olympics. Glad I got that one out of the way.

I'm inclined to think that Johnson, despite his offensive transgressions, was probably the big piece of this deal, as opposed to Adkins, who was marginal this season for San Diego, but is considerably older than Johnson.

Adkins (who has that athletic look to him, no?) has pitched a bit for the White Sox, including a season in 2004 where he served up a whopping 13 HR in 62 innings of work, which translates to 1.88 HR/9, a number even worse than Steve Trachsel's rate this season.

Nevertheless, Adkins had something resembling a full season of work this year, and pitched okay. He did allow more than a hit per inning and his walk to strikeout rate (20:30) was Trachselesque. Adkins' WHIP, though, was a somewhat promising 1.38, which shows a stark improvement from his 2004 and 2005.

Bell and Ring aren't huge losses. Both of them had showed potential, and although the luster had somewhat faded from Heath Bell's star, I would have liked for Ring to be a part of the '07 pen. The breakout season of Pedro Feliciano, though, made Ring #2 on the team's LOOGY depth-chart.

It's also worth noting that both Bell and Ring are from the Southern California area, with the latter living in La Mesa.

On the whole, I'm not sure what to think of this trade. It conjures up memories of the Seo/Hammer for Sanchez/Schmoll trade, except that Minaya is dealing players of qualities less known than those of Seo and acquiring those with lower ceilings than Sanchez.

The biggest question, though, is about what this trade means for the Mets' outfield. Johnson is a right-handed bat who has traditionally played his best while in right field. Accordingly, there's a good chance that Minaya is using this move to try and build an elaborate OF platoon situation for 2007. A Chavez/Milledge platoon in LF and Green/Johnson platoon in RF seems very feasible come opening night in the STL.

I regrettably do have to confide in you guys, though, that I'm not terribly in favor of this move. Bell and Ring are expendable, sure, but Adkins will not break camp with the big club and Johnson won't do more than be an upgrade over Ricky Ledee/Eli Marrero.


Other moves:

-The Mets re-signed RHSP Orlando "Hell Duckie" (maybe my Spanish is off there) Hernandez, for 2 years and $12MM.

It's difficult to remember whether or not I like this move. On one hand, El Duque was the Mets' most consistent starter down the stretch in 2006, but on another note, he is probably a card carrying member of the CAARP (that's Cuban AARP), which you enter into by your 93rd birthday.

In all seriousness, he is very old and has not logged many innings since the late 90s with the Yankees. I can't say that I see this move working out well for the Metropolitans. However, $12MM over two years is probably cheaper than getting Daisuke Matsuzaka to throw out the first pitch at a charity softball game.

-The Mets claimed RHRP Jason Standridge off waivers from the Reds.
I have really no reason to object to this move, so I won't. Risk-free, but don't expect Standridge to finally live up to his first-round pick status as a Met. If you want to get some history, though, on this former quarterback, check out this article on Adam Rubin's blog.

-The Red Sox paid $51.1 million to have lunch with Scott Boras in vain hopes of setting up a sushi stand at Fenway Park.

This move really doesn't make any sense to me, but I will pat myself on the back for saying that the Matsuzaka bid would be won by the Red Sox when the rest of the world said he would be a Ranger or a Yankee. Ignore the fact that I said it would be $12 million. I just don't understand- the Red Sox pack Fenway every night and already have the second-best worldwide brand awareness, behind some team in the Bronx. Stupid.

-The Cubs signed everyone who has ever played the game of baseball before.

Maybe it was actually just UTIL Mark DeRosa (for 3 years, $13MM) and C Henry Blanco (for 2 years), but I thought I might see some other action in the market.

-The Yankees re-signed RHSP Mike Mussina.

Oh, well.

-The Devil Rays won the posting bid for 3B Akinori Iwamura.

Iwamura suddenly requested to be trampled by Godzilla.

-And somebody who will spend next season in the Yankees' broadcast booth won Manager of the Year.

Excuse me while I vomit. Wait, so it wasn't Michael Kay?
I don't understand how Girardi won it, given the fact that he was undoubtedly handed a very talented but untested team and won about half of his games. I could do that. Watch me.


How about the Rangers last night? Marcy Hossa, you made my day. Henrik's also really coming around, which should be music to the ears of every Ranger fan.


A little note on the future of this blog:
-I'm going to work on redesigning the layout over Thanksgiving weekend, but I will be at my keyboard with whatever goes on regarding the Mets, Jets or Rangers.

Thanks much for your continued patronage.

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