Let's review the transactions here:
- Brewers traded Johnny Estrada to the Mets instead of non-tendering him.
- Brewers acquire Guillermo Mota in the deal, along with his $3.2MM salary for 2008. Mets fans rejoice.
- Mets get a better catcher and non-tender Estrada. That's what we probably would've done, so the Mets literally dumped Mota's contract on us.
- We have a roster crunch and have to non-tender Matt Wise. Mota may be the worst pitcher in the pen right now, so we basically kept Mota instead of Wise.
- Mets sign Wise, probably for less than half of what the Brewers will pay Mota.
The only way this is defensible to me AT ALL is if the Brewers know something about Mota or Wise that we don't know. Maybe Mota is ready to bounce back (though he doesn't have that lengthy of a good track record) and maybe Wise really is done after hitting Pedro Lopez in the face. I guess we'll see. It's also possible that, when Melvin traded for Mota, he couldn't imagine that he'd be able to get three more superior relievers in Gagne, Riske, and Torres, and didn't think Mota's acquisition would mean we couldn't keep Wise.
But, regardless of the thought process, this doesn't make me happy. I wasn't happy about losing Wise before, but losing Wise to the Mets is even more obnoxious.
For the record, my projections have Mota pitching 68 innings with an ERA of 4.48, 25 walks and 48 strikeouts. Wise projects with an ERA of 4.56, 61 IP, 20 walks and 42 K's. I would've thought Wise would come out a little better, but that's a projection for Miller Park with the Brewers defense, so it's probably almost identical if you neutralize everything. I'd certainly bet on Wise to have the better year. Either way, even if the results are similar, the Brewers are going to pay more for their middle reliever.