the dump's sportslog - baseball analysis


Mets trade Alomar to White Sox for prospects.

The Mets traded 2B Roberto Alomar to the Whitesox for minor leaguers INF Andrew Salvo and Ps Royce Ring and Edwin Almonte.

Wow. I got home today and checked my email and this was the first thing I saw. I haven't looked up the players yet, but my immediate reaction is rebuilding. Since it looks like the Mets are still going to be paying upwards of 90% and maybe all of his salary, it doesn't seem to be that impressive of a dump. With someone else paying the contract, almost every team in the league would take a chance on a perennial all-star like Alomar.

Living in New York, I've heard the media pick apart Alomar's every move. Everything from being on the wrong side of thirty to not being a New York player to not being a national league player was used to justify his lackluster play. Frankly, I have no idea which it could be. I have this sneaky suspicion that Alomar will return to near superstar caliber on the south side of Chicago. New York fans of every sport have seen players like Alomar come and go. The great player who comes in with a lot of fanfare and puts up some stinky seasons and then is traded away and becomes great again. Luc Robataille anyone?

So right off the bat, its great for Alomar and the White Sox. He gets to play with his brother in the AL central and gets to get away from a New York team that wasn't going anywhere. He'll also get to hit somewhere in the midst of Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez who will provide slightly more protection than Cliff Floyd and Jeromy Burnitz. Chicago is two games under .500 but only 3.5 out of a playoff spot, so this could well be the "final piece" that helps them overcome both the Royals and the Twins in the "comedy central." It's funny because all the teams are mediocre, but they're all the same level of mediocre that it creates a good rivalry.

Back when Colon was traded to the White Sox, there were some baseball people who suggested some sort of back room dealing with Seligula in order to help a team compete and beat the Twins so that they would be easy fodder for contraction. I can't find the posts now, but if someone wants to point me to them, I'll be happy to link. With the amount of money involved in this trade, I'm pretty sure it has to go to Selig's office, and while a fantasy commissioner wouldn't allow a trade like this, Selig will let it pass. It's probably nothing, although it might be interesting to some people.

Lastly, there's the Mets. I say lastly because they are in last place. Which is ironic, because there's nowhere further to drop, though if there was, they'd find it. That's what happens to a team when your best options at second base are Joe McEwing and Jay Bell. That's just disgusting. A major league team should be ashamed of themselves for having that happen. There's also Marco Scutaro and perhaps Rey Sanchez will get some time there now that Jose Reyes has found himself firmly planted at short. It is going to make life tough for Reyes, as he'll have to deal with a defensively inferior second baseman. That'll create confusion on double plays and steal attempts and all sorts of things that a rookie shortstop shouldn't have to worry about. Poor kid. Poor Mets.

Then there are these three prospects. As soon as I saw the deal, I raced to find my 2003 Baseball Prospectus to look them up, which I assume many people will also do. Well, don't waste the time - they aren't there. The infielder, Andrew Salvo is an A baller who is 23. The White Sox have a higher level second baseman, Aaron Miles, who is 26 and putting up a decent season in AAA, with 9 homers and a .323 clip. I suppose the Mets had a good reason for not asking for him.

Anyway, I decided to start back checking my emails from Baseball America's "Prospect Report" - its a terrific service that I'm not going to schill for, as most of you probably already get it. In the June 15th edition, we finally reach one of the prospects, Mr. Ring, who pitched a third of an inning and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits. Apparently he had given up only two in the prior 30.1 innings, and that outburst raised his ERA to 1.76. The article says that his ERA is up to 2.52 now, but if he ever puts up a string like that again, he'll become a darling. No, not Ron Darling. However, he is 22 and is being groomed as a closer, which is very awkward at an AA level. He was the White Sox' first pick in 2002, so it seems like he was a college player somewhere, which is more positive. He's the youngest of the prospects and probably has the highest upside.

Ring also shows up in the June 8th edition with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts, his ERA then is 0.64 - before that, he's there on May 26th, posting his 12th save with a scoreless inning with an ERA of 0.41 - with one earned run and 30 Ks in his last 22 innings. Still no mention of Almonte or Salvo. Same for May 24th, where he picked up his 11th save. Still no mention of Almonte or Salvo, and now I'm tired of looking.

So it is quite dark now for the Mets and their fans. The only question is whether it is going to get any darker before it starts to dawn, or if its as dark as it gets. Unfortunately, I have no answers, just idle stipulation like usual.