The Mets made two big trades this evening, picking up Kris Benson from the Pirates and Victor Zambrano from Tampa Bay. The Mets essentially gave up Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson and Justin Huber for Benson (Huber was traded to Kansas City for Jose Bautista, who was sent onto Pittsburgh). And they gave up lefty phenom Scott Kazmir and minor leaguer Joselo Diaz for Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.
The Mets paid heavily for these two pitchers. Kazmir, Peterson and Huber might have been their three top prospects, now that David Wright is in the majors. But this is obviously an acknowledgement that their rotation is long in the tooth. Benson and Zambrano are 29 and 28, respectively, and they’re both flyball pitchers who will likely do well in Shea Stadium with Cameron in centerfield (though Zambrano still needs to work on his control). Fortunato is another good young arm for the bullpen (though his actual age is a bit of a question mark, I guess).
For the Pirates and Devil Rays, these are high risk/high return deals — appropriate for both of them. I particularly like the players the Pirates picked up for Benson. The most interesting aspect of these deals is that they return Jose Bautista to the team that lost him in last winter’s Rule V draft. He made “stops” in Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and New York along the way.