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Delgado for Jacobs and Petit

I lost my article from before... the server ate it. Lousy excuse for a lousy article, right?

The sequel to the incredibly popular Fire Sale: A Marlin Saga, Fire Sale II opened on a hot stove near you earlier in the week when the Marlins dumped Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett, sending them to Fenway. Like in the first one, the Mets were major players again, jumping on the opportunity to acquire Carlos Delgado.

This particular incident worked out pretty well for the Marlins. They paid Carlos Delgado $11 million, in essence, for an MVP caliber season. How does this work?

The useful Cot's Baseball Contracts has the answers.

Delgado's deal breaks down like this, basically:

  1. $4M
  2. $13.5M
  3. $14.5M
  4. $16M
Buyout: $4M

The Marlins are sending $7 million to the Mets to compensate for the contract. In terms of burden sharing:

Marlins: 1y/$11M
Mets: 3y/$41M

Most likely, the Marlins got the best year out of those 4, based on the fact that Delgado managed to crush the ball in a pitcher's park, hitting .301/.399/.582 (I'm supposed to put cards that we have here, but I can't quite get the uploads to work).

[EDITORS NOTE: I got your back Dan. Also, DPT = Doubles + Triples]

Considering how valuable Delgado was, the Marlins got a hell of a deal at $11 million.

But wait, there's more! Not only did the Marlins get a high-quality season from Carlos Delgado at a mere $11 million, they ALSO get two intriguing young players from the Mets: Mike Jacobs, the young 1B/C with a very successful cup of coffee (.310/.375/.710 in 100 AB), and Yusmeiro Petit, perhaps the greatest example of the prospecting community's greatest schism - the all-important tools v. performance debate.

Essentially, then, the Marlins spent $11 million on a very good year from Carlos Delgado and two prospects. Aside from the fact that the great year from Delgado did not bring in a playoff run or a pennant, this is a fantastic deal for the Marlins.

That, however, does not make it a bad deal for the Mets. Trading is not really a zero-sum game -- both sides can come out ahead if the trade suits their needs.

The Mets get Delgado at 3 years, $41 million, and for two young players. Unlike Jacobs, Delgado is a proven commodity, and Delgado's current performance level is probably a longshot for Jacobs to ever attain, much less in 2006, "the year" for the Mets. Jacobs is a much better fit for the now-rebuilding Marlins than for the Mets.

The real question, though, is what you think of Yusmeiro Petit. If you side with the scouts who don't like his stuff and think he might struggle to crack into a big league rotation, you'll think that the Mets got a pretty good deal out of this. If you love Petit, though, you'll think the Mets probably overpaid, when a platoon of Jacobs and Nady might have been able to approach what Delgado would do, considering that decline is all but inevitable for the 34-year old Delgado.

Petit's a wonderful prospect, statistically. As a 20-year old in AA, Petit was somewhat dominant. He allowed a 2.91 ERA in 117.2 innings, and he struck out 130 batters while walking only 18. The only concern would be the high home run total; 15 is an awfully large amount at that level, and those HR struggles carried over to a brief stint in AAA (5 allowed in 14.2 innings). Scouts worry about his "stuff," saying that he's dominated with deception rather than with real projectable skill. Honestly, I don't know who to believe.

This is a prototypical Met move - play for now and worry about the future then. Considering the makeup of the team (Pedro, specifically), 2006 should be their "target" year. The lineup looks awfully strong, at this point, although it would be better to wait and see what happens at catcher and second base, and with the logjam in the outfield (Floyd, Beltran, Diaz, Nady are all out there), one might be moved.

It's difficult to say that this is a "bad move" for the Mets - they could be the prohibitive NL East favorite at this point. In the big picture, the Marlins got great value. Considering, though, that trading Delgado is breaking out the white flag, we could be seeing Expoesque attendance figures in Miami for the next couple of years.

It's tragic, to an extent, that the Marlins are doing this again and that baseball hasn't survived in South Florida, but from a baseball and cash standpoint, I like the move from Florida's perspective. The Mets do well here, too; they added that huge bat that they needed. For how long will he hold up? Does he have real "old player skills?" Will THAT catch up to him? There are many questions with this, and we can only wait and see what the answers will be. The Marlins probably have a few more things planned this offseason. The Mets certainly do as well. And, of course, Happy Thanksgiving.