Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mets acquire Gary Matthews Jr. - Will the second time around be a charm? reports that the New York Mets have acquired outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. from the Los Angeles Angels for relief pitcher Brian Stokes. In addition to paying off a $500,000 obligation for trading Matthews, the Angels will pick up $21.5 million of the $23.5 million remaining on his contract. Matthews signed an albatross of a contract after having a breakout season in 2006 with the Texas Rangers, batting .313 and earning a spot on the American League All-Star team. He has hit .252, .242. and .250 in the three seasons he played with the Angels after signing the $23.5 million dollar contract in the 2006 off-season.

This is Matthews' second tour of duty with the Mets, as he was signed in December of 2001 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played in two games for the Mets in 2002, going hitless in 1 at-bat before being traded to the Orioles for pitcher John Bale. Matthews was acquired to fill the centerfield void left by Carlos Beltran who will be out until May following knee surgery. He will be in competition with Angel Pagan for the starting centerfield spot throughout spring training.

Matthews initially spurned most trade requests this year because he couldn't be guaranteed playing time. Mets GM Omar Minaya said Friday during a conference call that Beltran's injury provided an opening for Matthews, "There's an opportunity for him to come into New York and hopefully be able to get more playing time," Minaya said. "I think the key for him is going to be playing time."

The Mets have taken a low risk option in acquiring Matthews, as the Angels have picked up most of his salary. They say things are better the second time around, but with Matthews' recent performance and his age (35), signs point to Matthews offering the Mets very little in terms of power and average.


  1. Nobody really liked the Mets' pickup of Gary Sheffield last year, either. Maybe this will work out too.

    I just hope that they'll be willing to release Matthews if he proves to be a problem.

  2. I thought about Sheffield as I wrote this because it was about a year ago that they signed Sheffield. You are talking about a 500+ homerun hitter versus a 1-time all-star. I was more concerned about Sheffield staying healthy and how the Mets were going to use him. I don't think a healthy Matthews adds to this ballclub, but maybe I will be surprised.