Friday, November 30, 2007

Milledge A Nat!

Metsblog says that the Nats have traded Ryan Church and Brian Schneider to the Mets for Lastings Milledge!

If confirmed, WOW!

More later...

  • Quick 'n dirty post-sushi reaction: WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! (Did I say that already?)

    Church is what he is. He's better than what the Nats think he is, but he's not a centerpiece -- his strength is his cheapness, something that's going to start going out the window the next year or three as the arbitration process starts.

    But Milledge? This is a guy who a season or two as an untouchable, a solid power bat who got a bad rep from the pyschotic NY press because 1) he has dreadlocks and 2) he released a rap album. Other than a minor thing (literally!) while he was in high school, he's been a decent citizen, one who's unfairly maligned because he doesn't fit the imagine.

    What he is, is is every bit as good as Ryan Church offensively RIGHT NOW, plus he's 6 years younger (will be 23) and he's got a boatload of potential!

    Schneider has his lovers, for sure. He's a solid player, but one whose value is rapped up in mythos more than anything. He got lots of credit for developing young pitchers this season, even though there really weren't any young pitchers who developed this year. And he never got any of the blame for '06's disaster of a pitching staff. The next guy might (or might not) come in, do just as well. (Or it could just be Flores... we'll see!)

    And for you bean counters, the Nats just knocked about $6 million off this year's payroll and about $8 million off next year's. That's even more money to not spend!

    More money + potential All-Star outfielder! All for a fourth outfielder and a light-hitting catcher? Sign me up!

    (Brian, if you're listening, I love your condo... if you're selling, email me!)

  • Brian at NFA spits back the Baseball America scouting report of Milledge, letting us know what we're getting. "Milledge boasts one of the fastest bats in the minor leagues, allowing him to wait on pitches longer than most. He uses the entire field and has the strength to hit for average as well as power once he matures as a hitter."

  • Interesting discussion at Primer including two idiot Nats fans putting on their GM hats speculating that Milledge might be re-flipped as part of a package for one of the stud arms like Santana or Haren. Ah, a boy can dream!

  • ZIPS projections are up giving Milledge a .276/ .360/ .462 projection. Not bad! That's basically Austin Kearns.


    • That is huge. Can't wait to hear if it is true.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 1:13 PM  

    • Chris - am I going to get credit for calling this one a few weeks ago? you laughed at me ...

      By Blogger logan, at 11/30/2007 1:29 PM  


      By Blogger logan, at 11/30/2007 1:29 PM  

    • That, I did! That I did!

      I didn't think that anyone would be that desperate. There's a reason I'm not running a major-league team!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 1:30 PM  

    • this is potentially HUGE for the Nats. only potentially GOOD for the Mets. way to go, Trader Jim, if it becomes official.

      so i guess that would make Pena, Milledge and Kearns across the outfield. sounds solid enough.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 1:34 PM  

    • Svrluga has just announced the trade on his blog. Must be true. The Post don't lie, do they? (Well, except for Janet Cooke, that is. But hopefully they've raised the bar since then...)

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 11/30/2007 1:34 PM  

    • from Ken Rosenthal -

      "The Mets proposed sending Estrada along with Milledge to the Nationals, the source says, but the Nats apparently balked at the idea."

      Wow! the Mets trade for him and then all of a sudden no one likes him.

      By Blogger logan, at 11/30/2007 1:35 PM  

    • That's because the Nats know that the Mets are going to non-tender him. If they really wanted him (and I'm not sure they do), they'll be able to pick him up for less than his likely arbitration price once he's free.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 1:36 PM  

    • I think this is a good trade. I won't say it's a great trade until I know who the second and third catchers are on the 40-man roster, though. Neither of them had better be named Fick! Anywhere else in the lineup the backup wouldn't matter all that much, but due to the nature of the position the backup catcher will get a good bit of playing time, so Flores + TBD needs to be better than (or at least equal to) what Schneider + Flores was last year.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 11/30/2007 1:42 PM  

    • I think I'm only half joking when I say bring in Paul LoDuca for a year.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 1:43 PM  

    • Cool deal man. I actually just switched teams to the Nats, from the Mets. Cool Acta is my man, and Willie/Omar are just terrible. I'll be posting here from now on!

      By Blogger Michael Anthony, at 11/30/2007 2:02 PM  

    • As the proprietor of Blastings! Thrilledge, the Nationals are now my second favorite team. However, that guy you have announcing for you is unbelievably horrible, so that's a stumbling block.

      Also, I love Manny Acta.

      Fucking idiotic Mets. What's next?

      By Blogger Scaevola, at 11/30/2007 2:05 PM  

    • Here's a telling stat about Milledge.

      Vs. LHP .317 .406 .550 .956 WOW!
      Vs. RHP .250 .309 .395 .704 UGH!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:11 PM  

    • Enjoy blastings. I'm gonna miss him. Here are a few things you may not know about your new centerfielder.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:12 PM  

    • A random thought: I hope the sale rack in the team store will now be flooded with Schneider and Church shirts instead of the Castilla, Armas and Day shirts that have been there in the past. I wouldn't feel like an idiot wearing the shirt of someone who gave three good years to the team - especially if I get it cheap!

      (I should have bought that Livo shirt the one time I saw one there. Dammit.)

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 11/30/2007 2:13 PM  

    • Day's still a free agent... you never know! That shirt might be useful next season!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 2:16 PM  

    • Sweet Jesus!!

      Is it just me or does it seem like the Nats pretty much emasculated the Mets on this trade? We go one of THE most sought-after prospects in baseball for essentially nothing of value (or at least nothing we seemed to value, since Church actually is better than Rowand, but I digress).

      What was that earlier post Chris, where you mentioned that Jimbo kept asking the moon thinking that eventually some team would be dumb enough to give it? I think we just found our goats this year.

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 11/30/2007 2:22 PM  

    • I love this trade. Watch Schneids try to hit last year was downright painful. I know we're losing a good defender and clubhouse guy, but we have needed a CF for about fifteen years. Thanks Omar, that almost makes up for trading Grady Sizemore for one month of Bartolo Colon.


      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:22 PM  

    • Okay, this should mean we won't be getting Patterson or Dukes (thank god) or Andruw Jones. I think we can reasonably expect to sign at least one starting pitcher, probably whoever is cheapest. Now, can we please sign David Eckstein?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:33 PM  

    • Chris, If Estrada isn't traded, will he be waived? If so, how high are the Nats in the waiver order? Do we have a chance? I know Estrada isn't exactly Victor Martinez, but a .280 career avg seems like an All-Star improvement from Schneider. Or have the Nats officially started the Jesus Flores Era?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:36 PM  

    • It's not a case of him being waived.

      He's arbitration eligible, meaning the Mets would have to go to arbitration with him or release him -- it's basically the same decision we have to make with Felipe Lopez and Patterson.

      Because of the way the process works, Estrada's likely to make more through arbitration than he would make if he were on the open market, so the Mets are likely to release him, especially now that they have two catchers.

      If the Nats want him (and given how terrible his defense is and what an asshole he supposedly is), I don't think they do, they could freely sign him in a few weeks.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 2:38 PM  

    • Way to go! Trader Jim finally gets his man!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 2:38 PM  

    • i love this trade, but doesnt this mean no andruw? where are they gonna spend the extra money now to get to 60-70 million?

      By Blogger weckstein, at 11/30/2007 2:45 PM  

    • "i love this trade, but doesnt this mean no andruw? where are they gonna spend the extra money now to get to 60-70 million?"

      Who cares? I come to the park to watch guys play ball and (hopefully) win games, not to watch paychecks being distributed. I guess your priorities are different, huh?

      BTW, that "who cares?" is a rhetorical question. As long as they get the right guys, I don't care how much or how little they spend to do it. Now, if they were offering rebates to fans if they didn't spend as much, I would feel different about that. But they aren't.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 11/30/2007 2:59 PM  

    • "Two idiot Nat fans"

      I resemble that remark!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 3:17 PM  

    • Awesome trade by the Nats! Milledge will be in CF for many years to come at Nationals Park. So long Brian and Ryan. I appreciate all you've given this team. Your combined value gives the Nats the answer we've needed in CF since the name Nook Logan was heard from the RFK PA announcer.


      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 3:39 PM  

    • I am really excited about this trade. The Nats will have a stable outfield for the first time ever and Pena, Milledge and Kearns is nothing to sneeze at offensively! I'm equally stoked at the prospect of Jesus Flores becoming the everyday catcher. These changes, plus a more hitter-friendly ballpark, should make the Nats a more exciting team offensively.

      Now let's see where the rest of that cash know Trader Jim's not done yet!

      I'm calling Livo's return...

      By Blogger Brandon, at 11/30/2007 3:45 PM  

    • check out the comments on the svrblga. i am shocked! almost all the comments are people moaning and groaning saying stuff like they feel like their hearts got ripped out by trading these guys?!?!? what a bunch of rubes!

      that's why i can't tolerate mainstream blogs, there are just too many morons out there and too few barriers to entry for comments. the enthusiasm shown here on this thinking nats blog is a telling comparison.

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 11/30/2007 3:45 PM  

    • Don't make me break out the Bob Carpenter graph again! ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 3:48 PM  

    • Great point about how this trade frees up $14 million over the next two years.

      With additional $ available and OF seemingly not a huge need now, what free agent(s) best suits the Nats' needs right now?

      By Blogger Pilchard, at 11/30/2007 3:50 PM  

    • With additional $ available and OF seemingly not a huge need now, what free agent(s) best suits the Nats' needs right now?

      Ummm.... there's... ummm... him... no, he wouldn't work... well... ummmm....

      I dunno... Livan, Lieber, Clement, etc... try out the pitchers and hope somebody or 3 stick.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 3:51 PM  

    • Best part of this deal?

      The fact that it's only possible because we stole Jesus Flores from the Mets last year, and managed to not only keep him in the majors all year long but develop him into a promising plausible alternative to Schneider.


      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 3:55 PM  

    • WOW, keith law's blog on espn insider is already comparing this to the victor zambrano / scott kazmir deal! a brutal assessment, esp of the schneid, but hey, i guess he thinks we won!

      Nats score big with Milledge

      Lastings Milledge is still one of the better young outfield prospects in the game. By dealing him for an awful player in Brian Schneider, the Mets sold low on a former first-round pick with a lot of upside and committed two years and too much money to a catcher who can't hit.

      The Mets get ... nothing, or close to it. Schneider will earn $10.3 million over the next two years to sit behind the plate when the rules call for it, and to make 300-odd outs at the plate while hitting .230/.320/.330 or thereabouts. He is the definition of replacement level -- his offensive production was roughly as valuable as what Guillermo Quiroz did in eleven plate appearances for Texas last year -- and paying him $10 million is bad enough. Giving up something of value to acquire that contract is horrible. It would be better to pay Johnny Estrada $3-4 million to be bad for one year than Schneider over $10 million to be worse for two years.

      There's a small silver lining for the Mets in the acquisition of Ryan Church, a capable platoon bat in left or right field if you have a right-handed caddy for him. Unlike Schneider, he has value on a big league roster, but even swapping Milledge straight-up for Church wouldn't make sense because of Church's struggles against lefties, his long history of minor injuries, his age and his expense as a super-two player this winter.

      Milledge could easily be the second-best hitter in the Nationals' lineup in 2008, and moved back to his natural position of center field, he gives them two plus defenders on the field as well. Milledge has quick wrists with line-drive power, and good plate coverage. His pitch recognition is weak right now, and he's vulnerable to anyone who can change speeds. This wasn't as much of a problem for him in the minors, so there's reason to expect an improvement. He played mostly right field in the majors for the Mets and never adjusted to the different looks a fielder gets from that position, but in center field, he has plus range and an above-average arm. He's probably not a star, but he projects as an above-average bat who plays a good defensive center field, and Washington has his rights for the next five years. Milledge's value was down due to some concerns over his attitude, but those were really overblown, and Washington just picked up a good prospect for about 20 cents on the dollar.

      The only way this deal doesn't turn out to be a disaster for the Mets -- second in this decade only to the Victor Zambrano-Scott Kazmir deal -- is if Milledge doesn't pan out as a hitter, and the smart money is that he will. This is a heist for Washington, and a serious mismanagement of assets for the Mets.

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 11/30/2007 3:55 PM  

    • Also, the timing for this deal make a lot of sense from a somewhat related angle--the Rule 5 Draft. By moving Schneider and Church, the Nats free up an additional space to acquire some bargain bin steals like Flores.

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 11/30/2007 4:26 PM  

    • I don't see why this has to stop the Nationals from pursuing AJones. Getting Milledge hasn't improved Kearns's mediocrity. There's still lots of room to upgrade the OF.

      I think this removes any pressure from the Nationals to overpay for Jones because they need a CF, but if the market for CFs isn't as robust as Jones is expecting and they could sign him for 5 for 80, I don't see any downside to that. Even if he flops, so what, it's only 15mil per year. For goodness sakes, Gary Matthews is making 10 per year.

      By Blogger RPS, at 11/30/2007 4:51 PM  

    • And for you bean counters, the Nats just knocked about $6 million off this year's payroll and about $8 million off next year's. That's even more money to not spend!

      You may laugh but if Milledge is a CF then the two areas where the Nats still need help are MI and SP. And that's where the overpaying begins. It will be EASY to waste that extra $14 million . . .

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 5:00 PM  

    • I don't see why this has to stop the Nationals from pursuing AJones. Getting Milledge hasn't improved Kearns's mediocrity. There's still lots of room to upgrade the OF

      Are you confusing Kearns with Logan?

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 11/30/2007 5:03 PM  

    • I am ecstatic about this deal! I am also in a confused stupor- I thought Keith Law was contractually required to say nothing good whatsoever about the Nats. Oh, wait- that's Wilbon, who is contractually required to say nothing whatsoever about the Nats.

      I don't want to go for Andruw now. Use the money to go for pitchers.

      By Blogger Positively Half St., at 11/30/2007 5:05 PM  

    • chris - don't tell me you think n0Ok (where the 0O stands for zero offense) is mediocre? he couldn't reach mediocre career numbers with joe d's hit streak!

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 11/30/2007 5:20 PM  

    • so maybe this seems weird, but milledge is my favorite player, and i am so irate about this trade and minaya's "plan" for the mets in general that in the heat of the moment i am thinking about simply defecting as a fan to the nationals. before i do, here are some questions:
      1) jim bowden seems like an awful gm. am i in for just as much heartache and outrage from him as i am from minaya?
      2) is it fun or frustrating to root for a team with financial constraints?
      3) is your new ballpark going to be nice?
      4) do you have enough young talent to compete in the next 2-3 years?
      thanks, guys.

      By Blogger e poc, at 11/30/2007 5:22 PM  

    • Im in the same boat. Plus, Im already in DC, so its a good starting point.

      By Blogger Unknown, at 11/30/2007 5:34 PM  

    • Oh yeah, this is great! I had this horrible feeling that Nook would run out as our starting CF next year coz Jim wouldn't do anything, but he's done it, and it's awesome.

      To answer e's questions above -
      1) Just coz he looks like the guy you want to beat up in high school doesn't make him bad at his job (as long as he stays away from his old teams players, like Flop).
      2) It's fun, thanks to Chris. If it wan't for Chris, it would be frustrating.
      3) It's new, everything new is nice, til you break it.
      4) We have Flores. Nuff said.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 5:46 PM  

    • Currently on the front page of

      Sources - Mets deal young stud Milledge to Nats

      That headline links to a small Ken Rosenthal blurb which reiterates that the Nats turned down Estrada as part of the trade.

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 11/30/2007 5:47 PM  

    • 1. I think Bowden has done a pretty decent job during his tenure here.

      2.I'm not sure how much longer the financial constraints will really be there.

      3. I have no idea about the park, but it can't be worse than RFK.

      4. I think three years is optimistic for this team competing. It's only been the last 2-3 years of drafting that they've been able to really add any kind of depth to the organization. Even if the best case scenario of Detwiler, Smoker, and Zimmermann work out, it'll still be years before that happens.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 5:54 PM  

    • I'm bummed to see Church and Schneider go. I'm way too soft-hearted to get into these kinds of trades, but even so this looks like a good deal. And the thought of a Nook-free outfield brings a smile to my face any day...

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 6:04 PM  

    • "Im in the same boat. Plus, Im already in DC, so its a good starting point."

      Wow, it hadn't occurred to me that thrown in with Milledge in this trade might be (hopefully many) disgruntled DC-based Mets fans to be named later. I'm liking the trade even more now.

      Welcome to Washington at last, ex-Mets fans. In the spirit of hospitality let me share with you that you can find better deals on tickets than the $13,500 per ticket you may have seen on StubHub. Remember, you're not in New York any more, so you don't need to pay New York prices...

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 11/30/2007 6:28 PM  

    • Don't know if Milledge will still be here after next week...but WOW!
      What a difference between the proposed 2008 starting outfield
      (Pena,Milledge, Kearns) and the 2007 starting outfield lineup (Snelling/Restovich, Logan/Church, Kearns).

      Bowden, for all his questionable baseball philosophies...never sleeps!
      He's entertainment unto himself.

      By Blogger Unknown, at 11/30/2007 6:40 PM  

    • Great move by the Nats here. I came over from Metsblog because we are all sulking over how in the hell we traded this guy who was untouchable and only possibly included in deals for Zito and Manny Ramirez in the past and now ends up in a deal for Ryan Church and a poor hitting but solid defensive catcher.

      Here is what you are getting....A Star. He will be a big time player. Right now his weakness is plate discipline on the slow stuff and hitting things off the plate. He tends to swing at those things rather than wait out his pitch. But...that comes with playing. YOu will give him the time that the METS did not. I hate this trade but I assume Church is pretty good and schneider is pretty good at least defensively. But I feel fleeced. Not a good feeling for a MET fan. Oh by the way...say hello to Manny Acta and Jesus Flores from me. Tell em GoWrightGo says hello.

      Also, treat Milledge right and when he kicks my team in the you know what...I will be laughing and clapping like you will because the METS management deserves it. Stupid Front Office listened to two or three guys in the media bad mouth Millz because he looks like a thug and did not show enough respect to the media guys.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 7:31 PM  

    • Man, this is fun. I hope the buzz continues through February.

      With regard to the new ball park, I think it will prove to be a, if not the, premier installation in MLB. Will Hilary throw out the first ball in '09?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 7:48 PM  

    • I am an extremely depressed Mets fan right now. Congratulations to you all, and I hope Milledge develops into the great player I think he can be.

      Who would've thought Bowden would be fleecing Minaya?

      By Blogger dtro, at 11/30/2007 7:52 PM  

    • Surprisingly, Nats fans would have.

      Remember, your Omar Minaya is the same Omar Minaya who was GM of the Expos. The same GM who left the Nats in the piss-poor shape they're in today, the same GM who, with the MLB's help, flushed away the Expos prospects, sent Vlad to LA and sent Grady Sizemore to the Indians. He's the same Omar Minaya we have to thank for our past three seasons of mediocrity and sub-500 play as he left our farm system depleted and in tatters. This is also the man who enabled this little trade last year, when he left our new everyday catcher Jesus Flores Rule 5 Draft eligible because he thought no one would notice.

      I feel terrible for all you Mets fans out there because you're just getting to know the man who has been the bane of our existence for the last few years, and it turns out that he's more show than substance.

      That said, his prior transgressions against the Nats make this trade all the sweeter.

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 11/30/2007 9:37 PM  

    • do you think there are more trades like this in the near future? i can't think of anything specific, but this type of deal seems like a good direction for the nats at this point (although, of course, it would be a good direction for any team at any point). but it seems like cordero, rauch, and young could fetch some nice young talent maybe. any idea why bowden extended young and belliard? (sorry, i'm new to the nats.)

      By Blogger e poc, at 11/30/2007 10:48 PM  

    • Chris, you have to give it up for Bodes now. He is actually turning right before our eyes into...a good GM...

      I mean, after this trade, how can you argue?

      Go Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 11:11 PM  

    • Has anybody noticed that the Nats just traded their only left-handed starting position players?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 11:27 PM  

    • Dmitri's a switch hitter and NJ's a lefty.

      But speaking of lefty's, don't we need a lefty catcher to pair with Flores now? Anyone got any idea who it might be?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/30/2007 11:46 PM  

    • I like how you rave about the trade on your site but go wishy washy on the mets blog. Nice two face act.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2007 12:57 AM  

    • Guz and Lopez are also switch hitters (if they hit).

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2007 1:46 AM  

    • Seems like a good move for the Nats. They need pieces for a run at championship 3 or 4 years from now. Milledge could be a piece in the hard-to-find CF. That's huge.

      None of their pieces are certain except Zim but other possible pieces are Kearnes, Wily Mo, Marrero 1B, and maybe Flores. Nats are building!

      Flores is not ready yet--he probably needs AA work, to find his batting eye, work with a piching staff, locate pop-ups, keep building his confidence, etc. So they will pick up a C or two for the short run. But hopefully Flores will get a chance too in 2008.

      By Blogger EdDC, at 12/01/2007 8:36 AM  

    • this is not a good trade - milledge isn't, and never will be good. It will probably end up being a wash, and I guarantee Church puts up better numbers

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2007 11:40 AM  

    • this is not a good trade - milledge isn't, and never will be good. It will probably end up being a wash, and I guarantee Church puts up better numbers

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2007 11:40 AM  

    • Will Hilary throw out the first ball in '09?

      Hilary throws like a girl.

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