BREAKING: Melky traded to Mets!

ORLANDO (AP): The Atlanta Braves have reached an agreement in principle to trade outfielder Melky Cabrera to their division rivals the New York Mets in exchange for shortstop prospect Wilmer Flores. Mets GM Omar Minaya said that “Melky is extremely popular in New York and I will do anything to get attention and get people to come to the ballpark. Wait, did I say that out loud?”

Flores, rated the Mets’ #2 prospect according to Baseball America, hit .264 at the age of 17 for Savannah of the South Atlantic League. He joins a rich Braves farm system that however is considered to be thin in the middle infield. Upon the announcement that he had been traded, several Mets bloggers burned down Minaya’s house.

Cabrera, who played for the Mets’ crosstown rival Yankees from 2005 to 2009, was traded to the Braves this offseason as part of a package for pitcher Javier Vazquez. He is not very good.

102 thoughts on “BREAKING: Melky traded to Mets!”

  1. Ha! (well… I tried, and I’m still getting trashed as spam when I log-in and post from work, oh well… most regulars know BFedRec = CharlesP anyway I guess).

  2. The scary thing is that this is pretty damn plausible. If the Mets will take Frenchy and Acosta- and give us a player back for Jeff- they’ll believe anything!

  3. previous thread Rufino @184,

    How about Heyward striding to the plate to the original “Shaft”.

    He almost has Isaac Hayes speaking voice (deep and in control) and even looks a hair like (except for having hair and prticularly when he is in the dark shades) “Black Moses” from the early 70’s.

    Use the sequence “he’s a bad…Shut your mouth.”

  4. More on the weird case of Manny Acosta.

    You know how there was a general surprise that he had been put on conditional waivers rather than optioned? Well, at 4:54 yesterday Baseball America went to “press” with a “Prospect Blog” update on Minor League Transactions. They showed Acosta as being signed to a contract and assigned to AAA.

    I am not ragging on Baseball America’s “journalism”. In fact, I thought that they pulled this only from official Major League reports (maybe not). It just makes me think that the Braves FO really did some funny “sleight of hand” (not saying outside the rules) in this thing. They really faked everybody out (maybe, most particularly, the Mets).

  5. april fools day – gotta love it

    Oh and Bobby does appear to love melky. He actually has been hitting leadoff for about the last 7-10 games. Im sure he’ll be playing everyday somehow

  6. @11:

    If the choices are Melky or Nate, I think I’m okay with Melky for the time being.

  7. @12 – Do you think Nate’s spring stats outweigh his career ones? BTW – anyone know where to get spring training stats? Just curious what Melky is doing this spring.

  8. @13,

    Not sure about the stats, but he looked good in the few games I saw. He definitely has a clean slate with me and I hope he succeeds in Atlanta.

  9. This fan (and McLouth fantasy owner) will be upset if Melky is regularly starting ahead of Nate.

  10. Regarding my post @12 above, I sincerely hope Nate has it figured out. If he does, isn’t it a wash (I mean, don’t they have similar career OBPs)? It’s late here and I can’t be bothered to look it up.

    On the plus side, Melky is a switch hitter. His big negatives are mostly that he used to be a Yankee and when I see him all I can think of is Javy Vazquez.

  11. Nice to see Melky is in midseason form already – .286/348/.365 for ST, 269/.331/.385 career, and .274/.336/.416 last season.

  12. @20 – McClouth has much better offensive career numbers, OPS+ 109 to 88 for Melky. He carries a 10 point OBP advantage as well.

  13. I actually have a feeling that Melky will turn in a good season for us and Wren will trade him or Nate away in the next offseason.

  14. Why is Matt Diaz not getting more love to be the leadoff hitter?

    Granted he is not the prototype leadoff guy, but he gets on base (.390 last year, .358 for the career) and can go first to 3rd on a single. He won’t steal a ton of bases, but that doesn’t matter cause the braves don’t run. He wont clog the bases.

    I thought the braves played some of their best ball last year when he and Church were batting leadoff when McLouth was hurt.

  15. @25 Because Matt Diaz does not “feel” like a starter, much less a leadoff man to the organization. I think they probably have a point, given his career splits, but I would love to see him run out there every day just to see what would happen.

  16. Don’t you think his splits, ability to play RF/LF and success off the bench justify Diaz as more of a platoon player than an everyday leadoff hitter?

    3 year splits:

    v. lefty .396/.404/.571/.975
    v. righty .265/.328/.372/.700

    This is absolutely no knock on Matty. He’s without a doubt my favorite personality on the team and every team would be jealous to have as versatile and productive (and willing) a platoon-type outfielder.

  17. As I said, the Braves have a valid point in their Diaz usage – but last year, his RH split was .255/.349/.400 (roughly 100 OPS+) – more than adequate OBP skill to justify him hitting 1st. It just seems like he does fine if they are willing to run him out there every day.

  18. Jeff K.,

    The splits on Diaz you put up include the disastrous 08 campaign (probably 20% of PA’s). Throw that and the “pre new contacts” stats out and he is a solid 350 obp guy against righthanders.

    I would think he could be effective in 1 spot or 2 spot against righties and would make other managers tremble at the thought of letting a LOOGY pitch to him. So, they could LOOGY McLouth, but they would have to use another one on Chipper.

  19. But the ’08 annus horribilis (to quote Mac) affected his stats v. both LH and RH pitching. Since ’08:

    .412/.464/.640
    .255/.349/.400

    The splits are stark and hard to ignore. A .350 OBP versus righties is serviceable, I guess, for a leadoff hitter but he loses all his power. I’d platoon him in the no. 2 spot.

    P.S. – Although I do like watching him motor into 3B on singles when the bases are open in front of him.

  20. Isn’t the comparison that matters Matt against righties versus Melky against righties?

  21. And Melky’s career OBP is .331 total… and against righties it’s .332, with a slug of .395 which would make regularly playing him over Matty more puzzling.

  22. Isn’t the comparison Diaz v. RH and McLouth v. RH? I know Cox has been using Melky leadoff in several ST games, but my guess is that Nate will be the guy.

  23. @35, yes stark, but to platoon Diaz with Melky is pointless, as Cabrera is worse against RH, and there really is no other candidate. So unless/until a proper caddy is found, I would hope Diaz would be your everyday guy. I am sure Cox/Wren do not share my opinion however, so Melky is going to get his chance.

  24. So do we have 37 or 38 on our 40 man now? I have read that we snuck both Abreu and Redmond through waivers, and gave up Acosta leaving 3 slots.

    One is Heyward, one is Proctor when he’s ready.. The only other needs would be Thurston. Plus we can 60 day DL Diory, right?

    Maybe we’re leaving it open hoping to snare some guys being waived, ala Mac’s Michael Aubrey suggestion.

  25. Aubrey would be a better guy to have at Gwinnett than Canizares, but I’m not sure he merits a spot on the 40-man.

  26. @42 I hope so, but a certain managers fixation with a 7 man bullpen pretty much precludes a 5th OF, much as I would prefer it.

    Bench:
    OF Cabrera
    1B/3B/OF Hinske
    SS/2BInfante
    C Ross
    UI Conrad or Thurston

    edit – oh wait, you mean the 40 man, and have this person in Gwinnett. Well that’s possible, I suppose

  27. Honestly I don’t mind giving Melky some opportunity in all three OF positions, at least to start the year. What do you figure, about 1800 PA’s across the 3 outfield positions? 600 per spot? Give Melky and Diaz both a chance to earn 400 of those apiece, and Nate and Heyward at about 500. Let Melky take some AB’s from Nate, and Diaz a few from Heyward.

    No one is saying it, but I have my doubts about Heyward playing 155+ in the OF every year. Or even this year. That size and weight is going to lead to wear and tear. Vlad, Dawson and McGriff all come to mind. (I know they all played on artificial turf.) But McGriff wasn’t even an OF. You just don’t see many right fielders his size. He got shin splints in Spring Training.

    Against many lefties, I’ll take Diaz, McLouth, and Melky. Just keep him fresh.

  28. What do you figure, about 1800 PA’s across the 3 outfield positions? 600 per spot?

    Huh?

  29. What is the average number of plate appearances a baseball team accumulates in 162 games? Then, what is that number spread out amongst each of the 9 positions on the field? Then, taking that average, and applying it to the 3 outfield positions, what does the average outfield accumulate?

    Without doing complex math, I’m guessing 1800 plate appearances for the outfield. Maybe 1,976 is more accurate?

  30. Or even this year.

    That’s a fair point, and one I hadn’t considered. Heyward only played in 99(!)games last year for all 3 teams combined, and 127 the year before. Still, how physically demanding can playing the OF be? I mean he’s 20 years old and in obviously peak, I say peak condition, boy.

    /sorry – thinking that last sentence in Foghorn Leghorn’s voice.

  31. You know, in my optimism, I had just chalked up his missed time in the minors to the Braves just feeling that he didn’t need to push it, he didn’t need every available rep to develop, that he’d be up in the bigs sooner than later, so to always err on the side of caution.

    But then I saw how big he was. And they say he’s a true athlete and they talk about his speed and quickness. But with the kind of full-out sprinting he’ll do in RF, on balls in the gap, balls in foul territory, plus he’ll hopefully be on base 40% of the time, I just worry if that athleticism will start to deteriorate in a couple years, if maybe back and knee problems might slow him down. This is a BIG KID. I think in a few years he’ll look like Derrek Lee. And he’s one of those “He’s very fast for a big man,” types, but you still wouldn’t stick him in RF.

    Nothing to worry about now. And what a luxury to say “I’m not certain he’ll still be the best baseball player on the planet by the time he’s 28.”

    And there isn’t really much to do about it anyway. If Freeman is the prospect they think he is, 1b won’t be an option. And if Freeman doesn’t pan out, Bethancourt might, and anyway, McCann might need 1b more than Heyward does. All years down the road, and certainly not the worst problems you could have. And a million things could happen to change the plans. But I see maybe a move to LF for Heyward down the road.

    But even short term, I think aches and pains are in his near future, and time-off will help. Slot Melky in against almost every lefty, half the time for Heyward, and half the time for McLouth.

    All of this as a long-winded way of saying, I don’t mind Melky getting the opportunity early to earn plenty of AB’s later.

  32. For some reason, this is my Braves April 1st thought:

    Bobby Cox enters the ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ and loses 25 years on his age, then announcing this would not be his last season.

  33. Not to channel Bill Simmons or anything, but just for the hell of it:

    If the D-backs offered to trade Upton straight-up for Heyward, should the Braves do it?

  34. Heyward will definitely not have a .400 OBP this year. I’m guessing more of a league-average, slightly above league average player. Spring training stats, remember, mean nothing.

  35. Thanks, Johnny. I noticed a correlation of my son being born in 2007 and maybe joining Facebook in 2008 affecting my Bravesjournal usage but with the season around the corner, will circle back more.

  36. A good amount of Braves caps at the Drive-By Truckers show tonight at Webster Hall in NYC.

    Weird how some Yanks have such a Southern fetish.

  37. Ububba, how was the show? I’ll be seeing them for the first time in Norfolk in a few weeks.

  38. Shawn,
    It’s 2 hours of the big rock, tons of great songs all the way through. You’ll have a blast.

    Dunno how far back you go with them, but I’d certainly urge you to get get familiar with the latest CD, “The Big To-Do.” Not gonna review the thing for you right now—some really great story-songs, and plenty from the dark side—but you can buy it, or listen to it streaming on their site (www.drivebytruckers.com).

    Tonight’s show (which was sold-out) leaned heavily on the new stuff, but also the better tunes from the previous record (“Brighter Than Creation’s Dark”) and the best Patterson/Cooley material from “Southern Rock Opera,” “Decoration Day” & “The Dirty South.” (I never get tired of Patterson’s “Lookout Mountain” or Cooley’s “Zip City,” a really mean song about adolescence.)

    And, they broke out one of my old faves: “The Living Bubba,” a tune that, despite its inherent sadness, always reminds me of home.

    If you don’t own any DBT material, hit up youtube. You can probably find any & all the tunes you want to hear before the gig. Otherwise, kick back & enjoy it. As far back as I remember, they always give you your money’s worth.

  39. do i think jason heyward will have a .400 obp this year? no.
    is it definite? it hasnt happened…it’s not impossible. talking in absolutes while predicting future production just gets to me…sorry.

  40. @42, that was my thought when hearing the news. Acosta, while not great, has value. There’s no worse pitcher on the 40-man older than him, so, if you’re not dropping Conrad, it makes sense that he would be the one to go.

    However, we already had two spots available. Three if Diory goes on the 60. We only need one spot for Heyward. Even if we add Thurston and no injuries happen before Proctor is added, we have enough spots. Why not wait until someone better becomes available before dropping Acosta?

    I don’t understand stuff like this. What’s the rush in dropping a potentially useful guy? You never know if someone else on the 40 will get an injury before you need the slot. Also, the Mets, a team in the division, gets an upgrade on Misch.

  41. @71 – I was just looking at the schedule for this season and the Braves have the most ridiculous television package. It’s almost comical.

  42. What’s ridiculous about it? I look at it, and the only thing I see weird is that the May 22 game doesn’t have a carrier. Sure, they bounce around six different channels, but there’s nothing weird about that.

  43. I don’t understand stuff like this. What’s the rush in dropping a potentially useful guy? You never know if someone else on the 40 will get an injury before you need the slot. Also, the Mets, a team in the division, gets an upgrade on Misch.

    My guess is that there is more to the story but no one is telling it because no one is really that interested in hearing a story that centers around Manny Acosta.

    Something like he was told he wasn’t making the team, reacted badly, and the Braves decided they didn’t need the headache.

    @71 – I was just looking at the schedule for this season and the Braves have the most ridiculous television package. It’s almost comical.

    For comparison, neither the Dodgers nor Angels have a dedicated local channel here. You need to check about four different places to figure out where they are on any given night. The good news is that they are all in HD now, as opposed to last season when the KCAL-9 games were in standard def, also known as the “I’ll just check the boxscore later” channel.

  44. Im just glad that Manny Acosta isnt our solution to any future problems. So what if the Mets got him, have you seen their team? If not, lets recap

    only one SP has 3 starts in ST and an era under 5, barajas and frenchy are regulars, reyes/beltran/murphy are all on the DL, they now have manny acosta

    Im not the least bit worried about the Mets. They shouldve addressed their rotation and stayed away from Bay. Id be a little worried about their ace who has given up 4 hr’s and 26H in 14IP after coming back from surgery.

  45. @73 – What I meant was, it’s weird compared to having all of the games on TBS. I guess that is the New Media world we live in.

  46. I have no doubt Acosta pitched a little fit and the Braves decided they didn’t need the headache, as Robert first stated.

    To me, Acosta didn’t have the mental fortitude to have more than fleeting successful. Things like punching his glove when things weren’t going right, needing visit after visit from McDowell and McCann, trying to blow flat 96 mph fastballs by Major League hitters (which doesn’t work unless you’re facing Francoeur).

    Dan Warthen’ll fix ’em.

  47. I read an excerpt from the book about the Big Red Machine. In it Joe Morgan is described as an intelligent guy with eclectic tastes who isolated himself from the testosterone and sometimes sophomoric atomosphere of the locker room.

    So who is the guy we (unfortunately) see on TV all the time?

  48. So who is the guy we (unfortunately) see on TV all the time?

    ” rel=”nofollow”>This guy

  49. Interesting stuff from Verducci on SI.com
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/30/verducci.forward/index.html

    He lists Heyward as the top thing to watch this year in baseball. A few quotes:

    “Which would you rather have when it comes to the NL Rookie of the Year Award: Heyward or the field? I’m not taking the field, not even a field that includes Strasburg and Chapman.”

    “Heyward seems like a lock for 20 home runs.”

    “Forget the Fred McGriff comparisons; Heyward is far more athletic. Forget the Willie McCovey comparisons; McCovey was only a .270 career hitter. Forget the Willie Stargell comparisons; Stargell never walked even 90 times.”

  50. “West champ: Giants”

    This is the one that makes me scratch my head. I’m not saying the Giants will “definitely” not win the NL West, but it is “extremely unlikely.”

  51. Giants are kinda like Seattle—killer top of the rotation, but offensively challenged.

    Mac,
    Thanks for that link. I’d completely forgotten about Will & The Bushmen.

  52. 87 — That’s a pretty apt comparison. Lots of people love Seattle, though. (I don’t think they’ll score enough runs if their 3-hitter is Kotchman.)

  53. No surprises, from DOB:

    “Roster announced. Jo-Jo and Chavez in pen. Brooks Conrad on bench. Vinters, Sammons, Thurston, Freeman, Hicks, Lyman, Young, Gearrin to GWIN 8 minutes ago”

  54. Final spots go to Jo-Jo, Chavez, and Conrad. I’m glad for Jo-Jo, think he could really do well out of the pen.

  55. Joe Morgan seems like the kind of guy who you might think is intelligent if you yourself are not very intelligent. He talks a good game but if you really know anything about the game you realize that his talk has logic holes and circular reasoning everywhere.

    This is the one that makes me scratch my head. I’m not saying the Giants will “definitely” not win the NL West, but it is “extremely unlikely.”

    The NL West is really interesting. The Dodgers have cheaped out this season for obvious reasons. The Rockies and D-Backs are frisky but certainly not sure things. The Giants could win it I guess with pitching and defense. The Padres closed strong last season for whatever that’s worth. A real toss-up.

  56. Acosta lost out to Chavez? I hope he at least took out of couple of watercoolers. Chavez could not have been less impressive. I guess the team didn’t want it to look like they just gave Soriano away. Which of course they did.

  57. Carroll Rogers

    April 2nd, 2010
    4:17 pm
    Brooks Conrad beat out Thurston for the final bench spot. Jo-Jo Reyes beat out Venters for final bullpen spot. It’s official. They made the cuts already. More on the blog shortly

  58. Maybe Reyes and Medlen can both go more than one inning every now and then to spare the arms at the back of the bullpen.

  59. Jo-Jo’s dramatic career splits have been mentioned before, but I think they’re worth repeating:

    vs RHB (682 PA): 314/394/542, 1.06 K/BB
    Vs LHB (179 PA): 210/295/350, 2.53 K/BB

  60. I will admit that Jo-Jo’s splits make it look like he’s well-suited for a LOOGY role. But his problem isn’t that he’s too “hittable” to be a starter, or that his repertoire isn’t deep enough to face a line-up a third time or something. None of the usual reasons to fail as a starter that indicate a bullpen career is in his future.

    His problem, as we all know, is that he’s just too damn scared to throw strikes to big-leaguers. And there’s no worse place to have to throw a 3-1 fastball than in the seventh inning with two on for Chase Utley.

    If he CAN do it then, can attack and beat the Utleys and Howards in the late innings, then there’s no reason he should be a LOOGY. Because he has everything else he needs to be a middle-rotation starter somewhere.

    Maybe he’ll succeed, and it’ll turn everything around for him. Maybe it’ll click. I don’t know.

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