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Baseball Told the Right WayIn-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!
I'll trade my trash for your trash.
Dodgers trade Kaz Ishii and cash to the Mets for Jason Phillips.
The Mets needed a fifth starter (which they already had) and the Dodgers needed a catcher (which they didn't get). What's not to like about this trade.
Phillips had a great rookie year, hitting .298/.373/.442 in 403 ABs filling in at 1st in 2003. That was a great season, but anybody with a brain (and internet access) would have known that Phillips overacheived in David Newham-like proportions. In over 2000 minor league at bats, Phillips only hit .279/.347/.427. So it shouldn't have suprised the Mets when Phillips stunk up the place in 2004. The easy road would be to split the difference between 03 and 04 and say that Phillips is probablly about a .250/.320/.400 hitter in Shea Stadium. Not too bad for a catcher, and its much better than anything the Dodgers were expecting out of the Paul Bako/Cody Ross combo. Only Phillips isn't really a catcher. Or he is, in the same way Scott Hatteberg is a catcher.
So its a pretty low risk move for the Dodgers, as long as they aren't planning on having a decent glove behind the plate. They also lose Ishii's $3.2M salary in 2005, and they'll now avoid having to buy out his 2006 salary for $2.2M. They didn't need Ishii, and thats largely because Ishii isn't really any good.
It's true, the Mets have no need for Jason Phillips, so you can't blame them for dumping him when people still remember 2003. The problem is the Mets weren't dumping salary here, the Dodgers were. Phillips was practically free, and Ishii is not. Considering what the Mets will be paying Ishii over the next 1-2 years, they are getting negative value from this trade.
Not to mention Rick Peterson now has the task of fixing three pitchers this season. Glavine and Pedro will pretty much pitch themselves, but Peterson has already said he will fix Victor "The Wrong" Zambrano and Kris "Remember when I was the #1 Pick" Benson. Now he must take on the ominous task of fixing the only pitcher in Major League baseball who walks as many batters as he strikes out (98 BBs vs. 99 Ks in 2004). I mean at least Victor Zambrano strikes out some of the batters he doesn't walk.
The other problem I have, and the biggest one really, is the Mets have several replacements for Steve Traschel (out at least three months) that are probablly already better than Ishii. The Mets could run out Aaron Heilman, Matt Ginter, or Jae Seo (in that order) and most likely find 200 league average innings among them. With Ishii, they wont. They're guarranteed to find 200 nail biting innings. Nope, forget that, they wont get 200 innings from Ishii, because he'll be out of the rotation by the All-Star break.