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Don’t Hold on to Your Prospects Too Tight

By Mike Silva ~ March 18th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

I can’t (actually I can) believe that my morning musing about why the Yankees and Twins should at least talk about a Joe Mauer trade caused a stir. You had all sorts of comments on Facebook, Twitter, and the site. One recurring theme is the fans love of prospects and their unwillingness to give them up.

I view prospects and a farm system as an asset. If I were a general manager all players would be fair game to be traded unless they were “can’t miss” talent. In the case of Montero, Hughes, and Chamberlain you have far from a “can’t miss”, even with Montero who, as of right now, doesn’t even have a position. To say the Yankees wouldn’t need one of the best players in baseball who can catch is patently absurd.

Mets fans too mocked the deal, citing an earlier proposal I made about how Omar Minaya should go “all out” to acquire Adrian Gonzalez. Again, Gonzalez is a gold glove first baseman with 50 home run power, do the Mets, or Yankees for that matter, have any prospect that profiles that way?

I think a lot of the younger fans (college age and below) are more attached to the prospects than my “25-54″ talk radio demographic. Whether it’s a connection to home grown talent, or their advanced metric ideology, they seem to value prospects more than perhaps they should. For every David Wright, Derek Jeter, Jose Reyes, and Andy Pettitte, there have been duds like Phil Humber, Yusmeiro Petit, and Rickey Ledee. Funny how we still talk about how great Hughes and Joba can be (and maybe they will be), but by the age of 24 Andy Pettitte already had won 20 games and pitched one of the best games we have seen in the last 15 years (Game 5 of the 96′ World Series). To put it in perspective Joba Chamberlain at the same age needs to get ripped by his manager to “get up” for a spring training start against AAA players.

The funny thing is I am not a proponent of giving kids away (see Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano), but I am talking about acquiring elite players like Joe Mauer and Adrian Gonzalez. I was actually skeptical about the price for Curtis Granderson, who I didn’t see as a sure thing. This would not be the case whit Mauer. Say what you want about how much of an upgrade Roy Halladay is over Cliff Lee, but the Phillies didn’t allow potential from realizing they could win now. I trade the prospect for the elite player nine times out of ten.

The Red Sox have used their farm system to acquire players like Josh Beckett and Victor Martinez, established players that could help them win now. I would like to win with all young, cost controlled, home grown players, but that is utopia and winning in the real world of MLB is hard enough. World peace might be an easier achievement.

So before you get crazy about Ike Davis, Jesus Montero, and Jenrry Mejia, or hold on to Hughes and Chamberlain too long, remember this is about winning. Give me a championship today for the promise of tomorrow. Be smart and don’t give away your prospects, but don’t hold on to them too tight – remember they might break.

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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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1 Response to Don’t Hold on to Your Prospects Too Tight

  1. NCMetFan

    I totally agree in the case of a guy like Gonzalez for the Mets. The only guy in their system I would hesitate with if Mejia. But if Gonzalez could be had for a package like Davis, Niese, Holt, Flores & anyone in the organization that can play 1B for a year until Davis is ready (Jacobs, Carter, Murphy) I would do it. Is that group too light? Imagine a middle of the order of Reyes, Castillo, Beltran, Gonzalez, Wright, Bay, Francouer, Barajas, Pitcher. At least make the offer and see what happens.

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