Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Byrnes, Baby, Byrnes

Ew, I feel all dirty for using a Sterling-ism in my headline. I promise it will never happen again.

Bob Klapisch wrote the following in today's Record:

The Mets have expressed interest in the A's Eric Byrnes as a replacement for Mike Cameron while the center fielder recovers from wrist surgery, according to an industry source.

With the number of available outfielders dwindling this winter, Byrnes, a left fielder, appeals to Met officials because he can play all three positions, has both power and speed and is cheap enough to keep alive the Mets' pursuit of Carlos Delgado.

In return for Byrnes, the Mets would likely have to give up a minor league prospect such as Yusmeiro Petit or Lastings Milledge, a swap that, in the short term, would benefit the Mets. Byrnes, 28, batted .283 with 20 homers and 73 RBI, and stole 17 bases in 18 attempts.

Now, Eric Byrnes is a nice player, a player I happen to like a lot. But is it worth giving up one or two of your best prospects for him? Let's take a look:


  • Over the last three seasons Byrnes' OPS has gone from .717 to .792 to .814 with much of that being in his plate discipline.
  • He's a gritty, hard-nosed player who reminds me a lot of Ty Wigginton when he first came up, is a fan favorite in Oakland and would sure become one here in NY with his style of play.
  • ZiPS projects a .279/.345/.459 line for him this year. Not too shabby but not what you really want out of a corner outfielder.
  • Furthermore, Brynes is already 28. He should have had his breakout season by now, one that would be fairly difficult to come by if he moves to to the NL and Shea.
Now if the Mets had, say, Carlos Beltran in center, perhaps they could skimp on the other two positions but Brynes is really more suited to a power bat off the bench role on a deep team. Then there's the cost to consider.

Yusmiero Petit is the only star hurler (aside from Humber, if he ever signs) we have that's close to the majors and Lastings Milledge was recently rated the #15 prospect in baseball by If you're going to trade one of these guys, you'd better be getting an All-Star in return.

If Omar Minaya could put together a package of any of the others: Heilman, Seo, Musser, Keppel, Valent, Phillips, or even Aaron Baldaris who's blocked by David Wright, I'd say go for it. But if Beane wants to get rid of Byrnes because he doesn't want to pay him, that's his fault. The Mets certainly don't have to play ball here.

And the bottom line is that Beane's asking price is just too high, and if Omar isn't careful, he could get Byrned.


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