Trade Analysis - LHSP Mike Antonini for IF Chin-ling Hu

Mack Ade
Trade: Mets acquire SS Chin-lung Hu from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for lefthanded pitcher Mike Antonini

Mets loss: Antonini is a great guy, but had no future as a rotational guy for the Mets. He was one of many Mets minor leaguers that would only qualify as an SP5 candidate. Yes, he was a lefty, but he has had difficulty breaking the AAA level, going 12.27 in 2009 (2 starts) and 5.11 in 2010 (6 starts). I expected him to be traded, but as part of a package deal, not the primary player. Like I said, he’s a really great guy, but don’t expect much for him on this trade.

Mets gain: First, he will play 2011 at 27-years old. Secondly, the last thing the Mets needed in 2011 was another high level minor league shortstop. They already have, on paper. Ruben Tejada, and Jordany Valdespin at AAA, Wilmer Flores (yes... he is rumored to be moving to either third base or the outfield, but, as of right now, he's quoted in recent interviews that he wants to remain at short and that's where he is right now... ) and Rylan Sandoval at AA, and Robbie Shields at A+.

Okay, so there’s always second base, right? Well. AAA has Reese Havens and Russ Adams, and AA has Jonathan Malo and Matt Bouchard. Hu would be an upgrade at Binghamton, but that’s going the wrong way.

So, is there potential here for the majors in 2011? Well, he did hit .317 (208-AB) at AAA in 2010… and .294 at AAA in 2009… and .295 in AAA in 2008… AND .325 at AAA in 2007. That’s 4 years at AAA! He did get a shot with the Dodgers and pulled a Tejada: .181 in 161-Abs in 2008.

He does play both second base and shortstop, which puts him in the mix for a utility infielder in 2011, but there really isn’t any room for him at AAA, where Tejada, Valdespin, and Havens need to play and mature. Unless, there is a future deal involving at least one of them in the works.

He's also out of options, so that ellimintes him as a Bison from the get-go. He has to make the 25-man or he's up fro grabs.

Trade Grade: you lose an SP you weren’t going to use, create an SP opening at AAA you have no one to fill, and trade for a non-prospect infielder you have no place to play. Same as the old boss: C


Robert said...

I guess you do not believe in the possible change of scenery arguement

Mack Ade said...


Oh, sure I do.

My only comments were why did the mets need more competition for a backup infielder?

Isn't there enough of them on this team and shouldn't the team move on to other needs?


Hobie said...

>> … why did the mets need more competition for a backup infielder? >>

I think it means they want Tejada playing every day while they evaluate extending Reyes and they want to see if Wally can get Valdespin’s head screwed on.

So in Queens they want someone who can back up adequately at SS & 2B short term—and that’s not Luis, Murph, Emaus or Turner. It means that for this specific job, someone grades Hu over Hernandez or Adams (the same guy who grades Emaus over Turner ??).

Mack Ade said...

Morning Con:

I hear what you're saying..

My guess is:

Tejada is a lock for AAA.

If healthy, Havens is a lock for AAA...

Murphy is a lock for the 25-man.

So is Emaus (backup 3B as well.

That leaves Turner, Hernandez, Castillo, and Hu fighting it our for 2 utility spots in Queens.

Your backup first baseman would be Murphy (and either Duda or Evans if either maes the team)

Depth so far:

1B: Davis, Murphy
2B: Murphy, Emaus
SS: Reyes
3B: Wright, Emaus

Robert said...

I think Hu was brought in to first compete for the open 2nd base competition and then as a back-up infielder if he loses...imagine he starts hitingt a bit in the 8 hole. The Mets will sure have a great defense up the middle.

Collins probably was very instrumental in getting this guy to compete for the position because of his days with the Dodgers.

Also the Mets might not have a true backup SS on the MLB roster if Tejada is going to play AAA next year. Remember, Hernandez broke his leg last year and may not be able to come back full strength for Spring Training, the others could not fill in for more then a game.

This is nothing wrong with this small move in my opinion.

David Rubin said...

I had a chance to see Hu live, both in the minors and with the Dodgers. He is def a very good fielder, but like Tejada seemed very over-matched at the plate (in the majors). He's another cheap alternative for infield depth, and since he really didn't cost anything, there's always the chance that he could "right" things as a Met. Also, Terry Collins is VERY familiar with Hu from his time with the Dodgers, as is DePo, so maybe they think they know something. Finally, maybe the Mets will eventually pull the trigger on a deal that will clear out some of the depth in the middle infield in the minors prior to the season so who knows? At least we didn't trade any prospects that were being counted on, so to speak.

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