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How Billy Wagner Can Help the Mets & Yanks

By Mike Silva ~ August 18th, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

We are a mere two weeks from September and, with that, postseason rosters must be finalized. This is a moot point for the Mets, but for the Yankees, the playoffs seem inevitable. Despite their position, the curious case of Damaso Marte has created a need for a second lefty out of the bullpen. Normally this wouldn’t be an easy piece to find after the trade deadline, but across town the Mets have exactly that in Billy Wagner. Conversely, the Yankees have something that the Mets could use: Juan Miranda, a potential replacement for Carlos Delgado at first base.

Phil Coke is doing a fine job this year, but Brian Cashman has stated repeatedly he would like to get him some help. What better option than a hard throwing former closer? I understand that Wagner has a spotty postseason resume, but all you will ask of him is to get one or two hitters out in a big spot. There will be no pressure of closing games in the Bronx. He is also is not your typical lefty specialist since right handed batters are hitting .186 against him for their career. Obviously the Yankees will need to see if Wagner can still get big league hitters out. The good news is that they will have about a week to find that out before the 31st.

Why would the Mets want Juan Miranda? First, Carlos Delgado is probably done in New York. Even in the unlikely event he shows you he can hit in September, you have to think the Mets will want to move forward like they did with Pedro Martinez. Next, Daniel Murphy has done a nice job defensively, but has yet to produce the kind of offense you want out of the position. Last winter I said Murphy’s greatest value would be in the role of “super sub” ala Kevin Mitchell on the 86′ team. That is a far better role for him because, quite frankly, I am unsure you can rely on him to give you more than part time production in 2010. Finally, Miranda is an inexpensive piece that can hit for power and average. He may not be as good defensively as Murphy but, if he gives you the same .871 OPS that he has produced this year at Scranton, not many will mind. Save money on a first baseman and you can reinvest it in a cleanup hitter or a #2 starter.

This would be a trade of two players who don’t have any future with their current team. Wagner has worked hard and deserves a chance to compete in a winning environment. There is also little chance the Mets pick up his 2010 option with K-Rod in the fold. See if you can get something of value for him. Juan Miranda is stuck behind Mark Teixeira the next seven seasons. He will already be 27 next year and there is little left for him to prove at AAA. Historically these teams don’t like to trade for fear of being burnt. This deal doesn’t pose that type of threat. It can’t hurt if it doesn’t work out, and could be a huge benefit if it does.

Oh, as for the Phillies, who might be interested in obtaining the Mets closer, you can have Billy, but he will cost you J.A Happ or Michael Taylor. Pay up or put your playoff run in the hands of Mr. Lidge and his 7 plus era. Division rivals don’t get away cheap.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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13 Responses to How Billy Wagner Can Help the Mets & Yanks

  1. steven gerrard

    Yeah, I really want to trade Billy Wagner for some 26 year old career minor leaguer first baseman. Who has a translated .353 OBP.

  2. Mike Silva


    Honestly, what do you think you can get for Billy? Do you know anything about Juan Miranda? He very well was slated to be the 1B if Teixeira went to Boston. Look at his MILB #’s. And what is wrong with a .353 OBP? Last I looked it better than Daniel Murphy.

  3. Rick B

    I agree with Mike here.

    Steve- Delgado is a free agent after this year, I don’t see Murphy as more than a stopgap first baseman. With Wagner being a free agent after the year as well, wouldn’t you rather get something for him, then just letting him walk and get nothing?

    As a Yankee fan, I’m not sure I want to see Miranda go. Especially for a post-surgery, already spotty, aged ex-closer…. but by the time Tex’s contract is up Miranda will be 35. There’s no sense in holding onto him while his value diminishes.

  4. Abe

    u couldnt get a bag of balls for wagner right now. they’d do back flips if they could add someone like miranda

  5. steven gerrard

    Actually, I think you could get someone younger than Miranda for Wagner. We have a perfectly good first baseman in the minors, Ike Davis.

  6. Alban

    Last I heard, Wagner is a type A player, so the Mets could get 2 compensatory draft picks for him. Not that it matters, since they’re pretty terrible with drafting/signing worthwhile players. But that aside, there is value to holding onto him.

  7. Mike

    How about John Mayberry Jr for Wagner? Mets need the bat, and the Phils need a closer, and fan favorite. A little more likely than J.A.Happ.

  8. Robocop

    Why don’t you just have the phillies throw in chase utley and ryan howard too? Clown. That’s far too much from the yanks, let alone what you’re asking for from the phillies.

  9. MetsKnicksRutgers

    Robocop — Juan Miranda? Youre kidding right? A 27 year old 1B in AAA who doesn’t even really rake for his position? Wagner isn’t worth much but he is worth more than your typical AAAA player.

  10. Mike Silva

    I am not sure you can get much more than Miranda for Wagner. I am not even sure the Yankees would even do a Wagner for Miranda deal. Brian Cashman is very much a GM that wants to make a “value type trade” and he probably wouldn’t trade a potential starting 1B for 6 weeks plus of Billy Wagner.

    I think those that scoff at Miranda are either unfamiliar with his game, or doing it out of a hate for the NYY. Both are understandable since they are probably Mets fans that spend more time with their teams farm system. Miranda has hit for power, a decent average, and driven in runs at every minor league level. He probably would be starting for a number of teams, including the Mets, if he were not stuck behind Teixeira. You can’t trash his age since he defected from Cuba.

    This would be a great pickup (Mayberry Jr. doesn’t sound bad either, but Mets/Phils would never deal) and give the Mets a decent 1b. Who knows how Ike Davis translate to AAA. He still might be a year or two away. Nick Johnson is about the only decent 1b on the FA market. Not sure the Mets want to use their budget on that type of player when a cleanup hitter is desperately needed. Miranda would be an inexpensive piece that allows them to persue an impact hitter.

    Honestly, I am kind of surprised how this proposal has rubbed people the wrong way.

  11. steven gerrard

    Look, Wagner should be held on to because of the draft picks, and, seeing as we have our pick protected that would give us 3 picks (at least) in the top 50. Omar and co should be able to draft someone. Right?

  12. Mike Silva

    Omar and Co could draft someone, but will they sign them? That remains to be seen. Not signing the 5th and 6th pick in this years draft may be something that comes back to haunt them.

    Nothing wrong with holding on to Billy for draft picks, but I wonder if he can help improve next years team.

  13. Don W

    The Mets would have to offer arbitration to Wagner in order to get draft picks. That is NOT going to happen because he would accept it immediately, take his raise and hope to have a great year so he could get a nice deal the next year. Nobody is going to give him a multi-year deal or a deal worth anything like what he’s getting paid this year.
    Forget the draft picks Mets fans.

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