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On Jae Seo

For the past few weeks the rumor mill has been softly babbling about the Mets hot pursuit of Tampa's Danys Baez. Tampa wants Aaron Heilman, a younger cheaper version of Baez, and the Mets have reportedly been dangling Jae Seo, he of the solid 2003, lousy 2004, and terrific albeit somewhat lucky 2005. Both Heilman and Seo had career years in 2005, but both are still on the good side of 30 and are very cheap, so it's easy to believe that 2005 was the start of a positive trend and not an aberration.

According to today's Newsday, the Mets are said to be on the verge of trading Seo to the Dodgers for righty relever Duaner Sanchez (link). Sanchez has had unspectacular numbers 174.0 big league innings, sporting career marks of 4.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 1.97 K/BB. He is said to have a very good, mid-nineties fastball, and he is still only 26 years old, though the usual caveats regarding Latin-born players apply.

It's possible that the proposed trade for Sanchez is just a power play to force Tampa's hand with Baez, and from the Mets' perspective Seo-for-Baez looks a lot better than Seo-for-Sanchez. At least with Seo-for-Baez the Mets should get a first-round pick when Baez leaves as a free agent after 2006. All things considered I would just assume keep Heilman as the setup man (even though he has asked to start) and leave Seo in the rotation. If the Mets really go through with the deal for Sanchez, they must believe one or both of the following:

  1. Sanchez is a better reliever than Heilman
  2. Heilman is a better starter than Seo
If neither of the above statements are true -- and I believe that to be the case -- then trading Seo for Sanchez would be a foolish trade indeed.