Mets send Milledge to Nats for Schneider and Church

November 30, 2007 at 12:53 pm 12 comments

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We all knew the New York Mets were going to trade outfielder Lastings Milledge this offseason but we all thought it would be for pitching. We were wrong. The Nats acquired Milledge in exchange for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church. The Mets finally get their catcher but at the cost of young, cheap talent that has superstar potential.

The Nats are starting their youth movement. They got a star quality young outfielder in Milledge. The trade of Schneider also makes it seem as if the Nats will give the starting catching job to Rule-V draft pick Jesus Flores. They will be joined by youngsters Ryan Zimmerman, Felipe Lopez, and veterans Dmitri Yong and Ronnie Belliard. Not too far off will be starting pitcher Ross Detwiller, Jordan Zimmerman, Justin Maxwell, and Chris Marrero. Nick Johnson should return healthy in 2008 as well.

The Mets get a starting catcher that can actually catch. Schneider is a good fielding catcher that has a good arm as well. He calls a good game and is a professional in the clubhouse. He won’t hurt you with the bat and this move might make the Johnny Estrada trade look better. They can now non-tender Estrada and they got rid of Guillermo Mota and his $3M+ salary for free. Ryan Church will give the Mets OF depth and could start or be a good bat off the bench. Church is an average COF and can play CF when Beltran needs a rest.

This deal was a deal out of necessity for the Mets. When you deal out of necessity you usually get less value but you fill holes, that’s what the Mets did in this trade.

The Nats can give Milledge a fresh start (his “baggage” problems are so overblown as well, not nearly what Delmon Young or Elijah Dukes carry) and can play everyday. If Milledge fulfils his potential that’ll give the Nats two guys they can build around in Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman.

The Nats have also expressed interest in Tampa Bay outfielder Elijah Dukes and I think they should pull the trigger on that trade. That will give the Nats two young, cheap OF options that they can build around. By 2010 or 2011, OF prospect Michael Burgess could be ready and the Nats would sport and OF of Milledge, Dukes, and Burgess. All three outfielders went to school in the Tampa Bay area and two (Dukes and Burgess) graduated from the same high school (Hillsborough) as Gary Sheffield, Dwight Gooden, Carl Everett and many others.

The Nats get the better player in this trade without giving up any young talent or any player they plan to build around. The Nats win this trade, in my opinion, hands down.

Here is the source of the article:

The New York Mets have dealt outfielder Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

The Nationals announced they would hold a news teleconference at 3 p.m. ET to announce a trade.

Milledge, in parts of two seasons with the Mets, has a career .257 batting average (90 for 350) with 40 extra-base hits and 51 runs batted in.

Church, in 144 games last season, hit .272, one point higher than his career average in four seasons with the Expos-Nationals franchise. Last season, he had 128 hits, including 43 doubles — tied for the team lead with Ryan Zimmerman — and 15 home runs, and 70 RBIs.

An eight-year veteran, Schneider hit .235 with 21 doubles in 2007. In the field he had 53 assists, six errors and a .992 fielding percentage. He has a career .252 batting average in 757 major league games. –ESPN news service

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie Nehl  |  November 30, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Now, I like this move by the Mets. Milledge should really find a team where he can play everday, where he can with the Mets. I like Brian Schneider a lot. He’s a top notch defeneder while carrying a light bat. With the rest of the bats in that lineup, you can sacrifice a little offense for a BIG defensive upgrade. Ryan Church will fill in nicely as their 4th OF as well (assuming others are resigned and healthy). I really don’t see Church as an everyday player, but getting out of RFK will only help his batting.

    Now who’s going to get unloaded? Estrada or Castro? It’s a tough pick honestly, but I’d rather keep Castro as the backup, the only redeeming factor of Estrada is the fact he’s a switch hitter.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I just fixed the Estrada situation in the article. They will probably non-tender or trade him now. It makes the Mota-Estrada deal look really good because they unloaded Mota’s contract for nothing.

    Reply
  • 3. Aaron Boynton  |  November 30, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Great move by the Mets. They get rid of a guy who doesn’t play hard, runs his mouth, and is more hype than talent.

    Mets will get rid of Estrada. There is a reason he’s had 4 teams in 4 years.

    Church is a great pickup to be a 4th outfielder. Carlos Gomez should be their starting right fielder next year with Chavez and Church on the bench.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I wouldn’t call this a great move at all by the Mets. The Mets got busted in this deal. The only way this deal isn’t a bust is if Milledge doesn’t pan out which I wouldn’t bet on.

    Reply
  • 5. Aaron Boynton  |  November 30, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Mets made this move mostly because Milledge is nothing but trouble on the field and the clubhouse. He’s not a team player, doesn’t hustle, and goofs off too much.

    Reply
  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    They could’ve gotten much more for him. He’s not nearly as bad as Dukes or Young.

    Reply
  • 7. Erik  |  December 1, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I have mixed feelings about this deal. First I like Milledge… I think the kid has a lot of talent. but once he made his rap debut and shook hands with fans after his first HR his days in NY were numbered. I definitely think his stock plummeted from what it was a year or so ago cause who knows maybe he would have helped bring the Mets the Haren or Blanton from the A’s which was widely rumored. He showed flashes of being good and with Manny Acta in Washington Milledge will be playing for someone he knows. So for the Nationals who Bowden loves those potential 5 tool players gets a chance to start and play one of the 3 OF positions probably patroling CF to make sure Wily Mo Pena doesn’t botch anything in LF and Austin Kearns in Right. With Nook Logan being the 4th outfielder there. The move also lets Jesus Flores become the starter who is a good defender as well and has more of a bat. (Hmmm are the mets entire farm system going to be on the Nationals by June?)

    Brian Schneider is a solid defensive upgrade at catcher and he occaisionally hit. He helps the Mets in their defense of throwing runners out… Guess now Reyes will steal more against the Nationals with a better success rate than 13%. So Add more SB to Reyes’ total… Maybe he can challenge Ricky Henderson’s mark.

    Church was a throw in in this deal and Church becomes the 5th OF. Gotta give Endy Chavez the 4th spot just because he is more of a back up for Beltran and Alou and Randolph tends to go with the better glove. I think Church can suprise some people and I agree getting out of RFK is a blessing.

    Estrada will either be traded again or non-tendered. Estrada has a decent bat… but he clashes with teammates and management which is why he has been on 4 teams in 4 years.

    It is a decent deal for both teams. No Edge yet in my opinion but I’d say in the long run the Nats get the better end of this one.

    Reply
  • 8. Aaron Boynton  |  December 1, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Omar Minaya stated yesterday on Mike & The Mad Dog (WFAN New York) that Ryan Church will most likely be their starting RF at the beginning of the season.

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 3, 2007 at 9:44 am

    He is an upgrade over Shawn Green. He’ll need a right handed platoon partner though.

    Reply
  • 10. MikeMcGinnis  |  December 6, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    why do i see milledge coming back haunting the mets and sticking it to them everytime he sees them. a dangerous move for the mets in my opinion and a solid one for the nats….

    as for elijah dukes shessh! that guy could hit 30 homers drive in 90 and steal 20 bags and still cause major headaches down there….scary

    Reply
  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 6, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    That Nats OF is going to look good in the near future if those guys can stay out of trouble. Dukes, Milledge, and Kearns/Pena (Burgess in 2010 or 2011).

    Reply
  • 12. erik  |  December 7, 2007 at 1:39 am

    Ha Mike and the Mad Dog! Mike Francesa is probably still crying over Torre being sent to Dodgertown and Mad Dog Russo thinks SF Giants will win the World Series every year out of Spring Training.

    Reply

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