back in february or so, i read an article somewhere -- at hardball times or baseball analysts or some such -- wondering why in god's name the mets traded two starting pitchers for setup men: jae seo to the dodgers for duaner sanchez, and kris benson to the orioles for jorge julio. one injury in that rotation, the article predicted, and the mets will regret those trades.
well, now they've had not one but two injuries in the rotation -- are the mets sorry? benson is providing bulk innings for baltimore and has a 5-3 record and an era in the 4.3s; seo is 1-2 with a 5.31 era. they're serviceable pitchers, but in the short run they're not vast improvements over the replacement-level arms -- john maine, jeri gonzalez, jose lima -- new york can simply call up from the minors to hold space in the rotation. and for the longer term, the mets can probably find someone as good as benson or seo on the midseason trade market (jason marquis, anyone?).
meanwhile, sanchez and julio have teamed up with billy wagner and aaron heilman to give new york a formidable bullpen. in 80 combined innings these guys have allowed just 64 hits while striking out 93; their aggregate era is 2.70, and it would be a lot lower if julio hadn't got lit up in his first four outings.
for the time being it is likely a wash, but by season's end -- and in the postseason, if the mets get there -- new york may well be happy they made those trades.
for the met-centric view of things, head on over to amazin avenue -- usually a lotta chatter going on over there.