Nats score big with Milledge 

November, 30, 2007
11/30/07
3:17
PM ET
Lastings Milledge is still one of the better young outfield prospects in the game. By dealing him for an awful player in Brian Schneider, the Mets sold low on a former first-round pick with a lot of upside and committed two years and too much money to a catcher who can't hit.

The Mets get ... nothing, or close to it. Schneider will earn $10.3 million over the next two years to sit behind the plate when the rules call for it, and to make 300-odd outs at the plate while hitting .230/.320/.330 or thereabouts. He is the definition of replacement level -- his offensive production was roughly as valuable as what Guillermo Quiroz did in eleven plate appearances for Texas last year -- and paying him $10 million is bad enough. Giving up something of value to acquire that contract is horrible. It would be better to pay Johnny Estrada $3-4 million to be bad for one year than Schneider over $10 million to be worse for two years.

There's a small silver lining for the Mets in the acquisition of Ryan Church, a capable platoon bat in left or right field if you have a right-handed caddy for him. Unlike Schneider, he has value on a big league roster, but even swapping Milledge straight-up for Church wouldn't make sense because of Church's struggles against lefties, his long history of minor injuries, his age and his expense as a super-two player this winter.

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