Looking Back on Omar’s Last Deadline Deal

The 2009 trade deadline has come and gone and once again Omar Minaya has stood pat and held onto all of his players.

It’s been three years since the last time the Mets made a big trade at the deadline. Turning back the clock, Omar Minaya woke up in a GM’s worst nightmare scenario.

During the early morning hours of the trade deadline Minaya learned that his coveted setup man, Duaner Sanchez, had been seriously injured in a taxicab accident in Miami, and most likely would not pitch the rest of the season.

Fearing that his bullpen did not have enough depth Minaya felt that he had to add an arm to the team to better the team’s playoff chances.

Throughout the day Minaya desperately worked the phones and tried to make a deal. That afternoon, Minaya partnered up with the Pittsburgh Pirates to reacquire a familiar face who had been with the team for the 2005 season.

That face was forty-one year old reliever, Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez had been pretty successful in his first stint with the club, going 8-6 with a 2.58 ERA.

Unfortunately, the deal came at a price and the Mets were required to ship outfielder and fan favorite, Xavier Nady, to the Pirates.

Nady, 27, had only been with the club for a few months and was in the midst of having a nice season with the Mets. He was arguably one of the most popular players with the fans. Despite hitting only .264 at the deadline, he had 14 long balls and 40 RBIs, which had just about eclipsed his career highs.

Seems like a pretty steep price to pay for a mid-season rental? The Mets felt the same way so they requested that the Pirates send another player in the deal, which they did. That ‘throw in’ player was none other than Oliver Perez. At the time, the 24 year old southpaw was in the midst of a dreadful season.

On average, Perez was allowing over six runs per nine innings, and had already lost ten games by the deadline.

The deal was completed and announced around an hour before the deadline.

There was talk that Omar was going to immediately going to package the new Met Perez and reliever Heath Bell and send them to the San Diego Padres for Scott Linebrink, however that never came to fruition.

Interestingly enough, the Padres went onto acquire Bell from the Mets for practically nothing in the off-season.

For entertainment purposes let’s look back on how the three player involved in the deal helped their respective ball clubs.

On the Pittsburgh side of the deal, Xavier Nady spent the remainder of 2006, as well as all of 2007 and part of 2008 with the club. In those two plus years Nady was very dominant and helped form a formidable offense with the likes of Nate McLouth, Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez.

Throughout his Pirates tenure Nady compiled a .301 batting average along with 36 home runs and 152 RBIs, which are clearly respectable numbers.

On the flip side of the deal, Roberto Hernandez only spent the remainder of 2006 with the Mets before departing for free agency. Throughout the final two months of the season he was solid sporting a 3.48 ERA in 20.2 innings while fanning 15. He also pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief throughout the NLCS against the Cardinals.

Oliver Perez’s results have been somewhat of a mixed bag. Perez continued to pitch poorly with the Mets throughout the 2006 regular season. However, due to injuries in the pitching staff, Perez found himself starting two crucial games in the NLCS. This included a solid outing in Game 7 where he held the Cardinals to just one run over six innings.

In 2007, Perez had his best year with the Mets. He won 15 games and had a staff-best 3.56 ERA. Unfortunately, despite glimpses of that success in 2008, Ollie was very inconsistent to the point where he was not reliable. This season, obviously has been no better as Perez has struggled with his command as well as injuries all year.

Now onto the question which side got the better deal in the deadline trade? The Mets did well in the trade in the short term, as they got the solid arm in the bullpen that they needed to replace Sanchez with, as well as two important post-season starts out of Oliver Perez. However, long term wise the Pirates did better on this one.

Not only did Nady play well for the Pirates, but he was also a key piece in the deal that netted them highly touted prospect Jose Tabata.

All in all, the Mets also could have benefited from Nady’s presence, especially last year when they had a void in the outfield following the season-ending injury to Moises Alou.