Quick update on the first Met Uni Controversy of the 06 offseason: Veteran outfielder Moises Alousigned a 1-year deal today and was presented with the No. 18 jersey. That number belonged last season to Jose Valentin, who was also re-signed recently. Newsday relates that Valentin willingly surrendered the digits after learning who asked for them: “You tell him he’s got the number.”
The guess here is that Valentin resurfaces in No. 22, a number that last season belonged to Xavier Nady then to Michael Tucker.
In other news the Mets dealt Nov. 15 for outfielder Ben Johnson (No. 4) and pitcher Jon Adkins (No. 57) of the Padres: Going to Petco are relievers Heath Bell 19 and Royce Ring 43. Should Johnson make the roster, he could remain in No. 4 since it doesn’t appear Chris Woodward is coming back. The Mets further cleared their roster of homegrown relief prospects by sending a pair of hard-throwers, Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom, to Florida for two lefty projects: Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick. Owens made a brief appearance for the Mets last season wearing No. 36; we might have smelled a deal cooking in back in September when the Mets issued that number to a backup catcher, Kelly Stinnett. Vargas, who wore No. 56 for the Marlins last season is the guy with the best chance to make something of himself though he hasn’t done so yet. Bostick has yet to crack the majors.
Also: Vetejourneyutilityman Damion Easley was added as a free agent. Easley’s been everywhere, man, but most recently in Arizona and Florida, he was wearing No. 2. That number currently belongs to coach Sandy Alomar.
New outfielder Ricky Ledee arrived at Shea this evening and suited up in No. 9, last worn by chunky infielder Craig Brazell, best remembered for ruining the Cubs’ 2004 season, currently playing AA ball for the Dodgers organization. Also tonight, the Mets announced that Cliff Floyd 30 was headed to the disabled list for the second time this year and that his spot on the roster would be filled by journeyman Michael Tucker, who’s hitting 265/381/411 while wearing No. 34 down in Norfolk. Let’s hope Floyd stays disabled until fully able. Update Aug. 10 — Tucker appeared today in 22.
Thanks to Louis for the correction on Uni Controversies — the player John Franco swiped 31 from was Julio Machado and not Julio Valera. And thanks to Adam, Michael and Gordon for the Ledee news.
Editorial: If you’re a Met fan out at Shea desperately seeking attention by booing, do yourself a favor and put a sock in it. Thanks.
Ledee In; Marerro Out: The Mets on Tuesday picked up veteran reserve outfielder Ricky Ledee on waivers from the Dodgers and brought an end to the short and undistinguished Met career of Eli Marerro to make room for him. The well-traveled Ledee has frequently worn 33 but was wearing 21most recently with the Dodgers — neither number is available here. We’re guessing he appears tonight in Marerro’s old 32.
Nice to see the great ovation given to returning hero Mike Piazza, and odd to see him wearing No. 33 — his familiar 31 has been retired by his new employers for Dave Winfield. Odder still to see Jae Seo in Tampa Bay wearing the outrageous No. 98.
Shout out to Uni Watch Blog, deliverer of some recent traffic. If you don’t read it, um, you should.