Chuck 'n' Duck

"I'm a very optimistic person. When you're optimistic, the good opportunities, good fortune, good everything will come with it." - Jae Seo Chuck 'n' Duck: the New York Mets from an Eternal Optimist's P.O.V.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Top o' the Morneau

Although everybody's jumped on the Mike Jacobs bandwagon, I must say I'm not quite sold yet. Did he hit .310 and eleven homers in 100 at-bats? Absolutely. Does that translate to sixty over a full season? You bet. But let us not forget that he's twenty-four, most scouts that have seen him play say his ceiling is as a backup C/1B, and that Shane Spencer set New York afire in 1998 with a .373 batting average and ten homeruns in sixty-seven at-bats.

Do these things amount to anything? Not really, no. I'm just not convinced that he's the answer to our first base problems. I like the guy, and his swing is a thing of beauty, but he could just as easily put up Jason Phillips numbers next season. And not the good season ones.

Besides that, perhaps I've stumbled upon an answer to our first base problems.

Justin Morneau.

Hear me out. Apparently, the Blue Jays and Twins have been talking a Morneau for Koskie swap. The Blue Jays have Aaron Hill on the horizon to play third base, and the Twins are looking for some offense. Morneau had something of a down year last season -- .239/.304/.437 with 22 homeruns and seventy-nine RBIs in 490 at-bats. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

But his minor league numbers tell a different story. One of a guy who hit .310 for his minor league career, or hit 41 homeruns in 568 at-bats over AAA and the Majors last season. And his first go at big league pitching was pretty impressive -- .271/.340/.536 with nineteen homeruns in 280 at-bats. He's long been predicted to be a power bat that will hit for average and -- gasp -- get on base?! Coming into the season, everybody assumed he was the next great Twins power hitter and RBI man. Now, the Twins are looking to deal him.

What would the Mets need to give up for him? Well, apparently not much. Corey Koskie, if you were unaware, went .249/.337/.398 with eleven homers and thirty-nine RBIs in 354 at-bats, and hit just as bad after he came back from his injury then before it. Add that to the fact that he'll be 33 next season and in line for 5.5 million, and you have to think the Mets could offer better than that.

It would almost certainly have to be a package, and the Twins being the Twins won't be interested in taking on a lot of salary. Victor Diaz could be a part of it. Perhaps throw in a guy like Steve Trachsel who can give the Twins some nice innings for the very Twins price of 2.5 million a year. It won't be as much as the Mets would have to give up for Lyle Overbay or Sean Casey, and he might just match -- or exceed -- their potential.

All I know is I'm not interested in another year in which our first basemen hit .210 for the better part of the year.