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Matsui and Percival Sign, Mets Move Milledge

A couple of moves since last we spoke:

The Houston Astros signed Kazuo Matsui to a 3 year deal worth around 15 million.

Troy Percival signed a 2 year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays for 8 million with a chance to earn 12 million.

Lastings Milledge was traded from the New York Mets to the Washington Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church.

Matsui will start at second, but this is a pretty poorly thought out deal by Ed Wade and the Astros; Matsui's .288/.342/.405 line looks decent as a second baseman - that until you realize he only hit .256/.305/.370 on the road. Matsui's 16.9 VORP is his highest since 2004 when he had an 18 VORP year. The deal may allow the Astros to trade away Chris Burke - this after Mark Loretta appears to be heading either to Colorado or New York.

The signing of Troy Percival was all but official until today but questions remained on when the 38 year old would pitch, the answer is the 9th inning per Rays manager Joe Maddon. Percival had about as good of a season as a 37 year old returning from a year off can have - posting an ERA of 1.8 and a WHIP of 0.85. Nobody expects him to be that quite that good next year, but the Rays now have a much better crew ending games than they did last year; Dan Wheeler, Al Reyes, and Percival instead of Shawn Camp, Brian Stokes, and Reyes last year. Assuming Percival's arm doesn't fall off - and it might - it's likely a decent signing.

Finally we reach what might be the worst trade for a team in a while. The Mets made their second bad deal of the week - just days after trading cash for Brian Stokes - by dealing the Human Trade Rumor for two guys who likely won't improve the team by much. The Mets now have three catchers on their roster - Schneider, the recently acquired Johnny Estrada, and the re-signed Ramon Castro - and added Church to an outfield featuring Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Gomez; surely the Mets can't give Church at-bats over Gomez can they? I suppose it allows Omar Minaya to deal away one of the catchers in a package with Gomez for a starter, but at the cost at the 22 year old Milledge who hit .272/.341/.446 in 59 games for the team last year? Minaya knows what he's doing - I guess.