Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Moment of Silence, Please

She came, she lit up all our lives, and just like that [snap!] she's gone.

I'm taking the Anna Benson trade hard.

Sure, Anna was crazy. She had a big mouth and loved to run it off. But she was probably the best thing the Mets had going. Well, her and David Wright.

Without Anna, who will be Santa's very special helper next Christmas? Why couldn't Omar Minaya think about the children before making this trade?

In return for Mrs. Benson (and her husband) the Mets receive Jorge Julio. Julio was the Orioles' ex-closer, a hard thrower who didn't last in the closer role, and whose performance has gotten worse every season since his breakout year in 2002. They also get righthander John Maine, a promising player who seems to have hit a wall at AAA.

That's not a great rate of return for Kris Benson. For all that I've criticized Benson, the trade that brought him to New York, and the Mets' subsequent market setting signing last off-season, the market finally adjusted itself to the point where Benson's contract worked out--with Jarrod Washburn and Matt Morris getting $9 million per year, and Kevin Millwood getting $12 million per year, paying a league-average pitcher like Benson $15 million over the next two years doesn't seem all that crazy anymore. Even with Baltimore picking up Benson's contract, you'd have to think he was worth more than one bad reliever (even if he's only 26 years old) and one C-level prospect.

Julio gave up one homer every five innings last season, and a 5.90 ERA. I haven't seen his PECOTAs or anything, but you'd have to think that even moving to a much better ballpark, he isn't likely to do much better than Benson's 4.13 2005 ERA--and he'll pitch 100 or so fewer innings.

All I'm saying is, Jorge Julio better have one darn hot wife...

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