Mets, Mariners, & Indians Team Up for Blockbuster

by Ben Cook on December 14, 2008

I’m a bit behind on the rumor and trade news so I’ll try to catch you up today.

The Mets, Mariners, and Indians got together on a three team deal that sent a total of 12 players to new teams.

The Mets acquired former All-Star closer JJ Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed, and reliever Sean Green while giving up Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Joe Smith, and three minor leaguers. Putz figures to slide into the setup role for newly signed closer Francisco Rodriguez. With two top flight closers finishing out games, the Mets hope to avoid the late inning collapses that plagued them last year. Also, if injured closer Billy Wagner can return to form next year, the Mets could have a bullpen of historic proportions.

The Indians received Joe Smith (reliever) from NY and 23-year-old second baseman Luis Valbuena from Seattle in exchange forĀ  giving up outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. While Valbuena is rated as a good all-around player, and Smith has two years of Major League service with a respectable career ERA of 3.51, the return the Indians got for Gutierrez is surprisingly underwhelming. Gutierrez, the 25 year old outfielder, had been hailed as a “cant-miss 5 tool player” with the Dodgers before being traded to Cleveland for Milton Bradley.

The Mariners received the largest haul, getting Gutierrez, Chavez, Heilman, Vargas, and the three minor leaguers from the Mets (including Matt Carp, a highly rated prospect) while giving up the aforementioned Putz, Reed, Green, and Valbuena. The Mariners have a LOT of needs as evidenced by their 100+ loss record last season, and several of the players acquired will be plugged into the starting lineup immediately. Obviously giving up an All-Star at any position is difficult for any team, but the trade is a big first step in the rebuilding process that’s needed in Seattle.

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