Banny Banishded for Reliever

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There are reports that the Mets are close to a trade that would send starting pitcher Brian Bannister to the Kansas City Royals for reliever Ambiorix Burgos. Burgos is looked at as a kind of Oliver Perez of the bullpen: high upside but yet to consistently perform to his potential.

The move is not a bad one in terms of strategy. The team is rich with starters to compete for the back end of the rotation (John Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber) but the bullpen will be a bit thinner at the start of the season. Duaner Sanchez is working his way back from an injury. Guillermo Mota will need to sit out his 50 game suspension for a failed drug test. Roberto Hernandez has left for Cleveland via free agency.

There are some thoughts that this deal may be a precursor to a bigger deal involving Aaron Heilman. I don’t normally like to speculate too much on rumors like this but there may be something to this. Heilman would still like to start but is not likely to get a chance for the Mets unless something dramatic happens. If Omar Minaya can spin Heilman in a package to land a front line starter it may be worth doing.

In this week of the winter meetings anything is possible.

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