Hello from the most active offseason since Omar Minaya reeled in Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez.
You are no doubt in receipt of reports today that the Mets have reached a massive 3-year deal with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer after making successful bids late last week for veterans Starling Marte, Mark Cahna and Eduardo Escobar. And with trades, relief-pitching, depth deals and a new manager still ahead, that’s a mighty heavy workload for newly arrived GM, Billy Eppler.
Scherzer has worn 31 in Washington and in LA, but with Mike Piazza having taken that out of the Mets’ rotation, we’re tentatively anticipating he’ll take it up a notch the 32. That figure belonged most recently to Aaron Loup, who departed to Anaheim on a free-agent deal following Noah Syndergaard, who made the very same move.
Syndergaard’s departure marks the final end to a durable, multipronged trade chain dating back to Tim Bogar, who debuted with the Mets in 1993, was traded to Houston for Luis Lopez, who went to Milwaukee for Bill Pulsipher, who went to Arizona for Lenny Harris, who went to Milwaukee for Jeromy Burnitz, whose trade to Los Angeles yielded Victor Diaz, who was traded to Texas for catcher Mike Nickeas, who was sent to Toronto in the Syndergaard trade.
Noah departs as the Mets’ all-time leader in winning-percentage and strikeouts among Guys Who Wore 34. He was three wins short of Mike Pelfrey for the victory title.
Marte is a sports-car enthusiast (true story: I met his car-dealer at a convention in Las Vegas) who looks to take over center field duties as Brandon Nimmo slides over to left field and Canha takes over in right. Marte has worn No. 6 with Pittsburgh and Miami and No. 2 with Oakland and Arizona. One or both could be available depending on whether change-ofscenery trade candidates Dom Smith and Jeff McNeil survive Eppler’s dealmaking in the weeks ahead. Cahna has worn 20 with Oakland and will need a new issue. Escobar, a switch-hitting infielder who looks likely to take a role similar to Jonathan Villar last season, has worn 5 most often in his career and so encounters a retired number in New York. Scientists project he could wind up in 7 here.
More to come!!
So Tim Redding showed up today at CitiField and received a pinstriped Mets jersey with his name and No. 44 on the back.
Interesting in that it makes three Mets on the current 40-man roster who have a claim to that jersey, even though its not likely two of pretenders, Eddie Kunz or Brandon Knight, make it back right away. But a small part of us will be rooting for Knight, who is on the fast-track to McKnighthood having already burned though two numbers in just four appearances and is now poised for a third.
Knight you may recall arrived from Class AAA in late July to take a start in place of Pedro Martinez who was away on bereavement leave. (That game eventually turned into the stupid, 10-8, 14-inning loss remembered for Albert Pujols’ home run off Aaron Heilman). Knight was wearing No. 28 then. He shortly was back to New Orleans and then to the Olympics, and by the time he’d returned in September, Daniel Murphy was a sensation in the same No. 28 jersey and Kunz had made a brief appearance in No. 44, which was subsequently assigned to Knight. Mets rosters though today continue to list Knight as the possessor of 44, with Redding and Kunz listed as the everpopular —.
Thanks to astute reader Rich for pointing that out. And thanks to our friends at No No-Hitters for the assist on the new uni-number graphics, which look a million times better than the old ones wouldn’t you say?
The Mets tonight welcome a healthy Pedro Martinez back to the team, hopefully to stay awhile but you never know. To make room they optioned newly activated reliever Carlos Muniz. Claudio Vargas in the meantime got a sudden introduction to his new role as a long man, mopping up for irritating lefty Oliver Perez after the Giants bashed Perez for six momentum-eviserating runs in one-third of an inning Monday.
The arrangement saves a starting assignment for Mike Pelfrey, who, for all of his struggles has turned in more quality starts with a lot less hype than, say, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy combined. Oliver Perez too for that matter.
Pelfrey may not ever be the guy the Mets hoped he’d be when they called his name in Omar Minaya’s first draft as head honcho three years ago this week, but finding that out is the right thing to do.
Speaking of anniversaries, it was 10 years ago this Sunday that while playing ultimate frisbee in Yonkers, I collapsed to the turf with what would later be diagnosed as a ruptured Achilles tendon. Aside from effectively ending a maniacal pursuit to become the world’s most famous frisbee player, the coming months off my feet for surgery and subsequent rehab would lead to the even stupider quest to chronicle every uniform number in Mets history.
I’m almost too cranky to post this but seems that Pedro’s shocking injury will lead him to the disabled list and trigger the first roster move of the young season. Reports this morning say Nelson Figueroa will be recalled and ought to get at least one turn in the rotation before Orlando Hernandez is eligible to come off the DL – provided he’s healthy. Figueroa suited up this spring in No. 27, most recently belonging to Carlos Gomez, hero of the Twins’ opener.
Gomez of course was badly miscast as 27 and looks sleeker and more confident in 22. Lastings Milledge in typical overconfidence kept No. 44 and Paul LoDuca is still wearing 16 in Washington. I think of 27 as a pitcher’s number — it was Swan, Cardwell, Oliver, Harnisch — and now Nelson Figueroa. I’m confident we’ll see No. 45 again in time potential employers he’ll be a free agent this offseason but until then we’ll just have to do without.
Pedro Martinez hit the disabled list for the second time this year, and for the fourth time, the Mets have recalled Heath Bell from Norfolk, helping the Mets turn this into their worst road trip since the Boston debacle in late June. With Carlos Delgado 21 radically slumping, David Wright 5transforming into a singles hitter, and Lastings Milledge 44 looking every bit the rookie he is, this could get worse before it gets better. And that’s why God created 12-game leads.
Thanks to Met number genius Ed for pointing out the comment below on Jae Seo’s “outrageous”No. 98 in Tampa had a precedent: Seo, Ed writes, wore 98 as a Met spring training hopeful in 1998.
Props also to the reader who pointed out our math below on Ed Kranepool’s tenure in No. 7 was inaccurate: Krane was 21 for his first two seasons with the Mets, and so occupied 7 for 15 years, not 17.
By now you probably know Pedro Martinez 45 returned from his summer vacation Friday night and survived a shaky first inning to defeat the Braves. Now say it with me: Heath Bell 19 was demoted to make room.
The Mets combat the Marlins this weekend with lots of new faces. Friday’s starter and loser, Jose Lima 17, was designated for assignment (again) following a regretful outing (again) Friday; his place will be taken by top draft pick Mike Pelfrey, who starts Saturday’s Game 2. Pelfrey wore No. 47 with Binghamton, but — this just in — is listed at No. 34 for his start today.The Mets have rarely had a 34 of great success, but it’s hardly been for a lack of trying: Pelfrey is the 30th Met to dress in those digits and the second this year — making 34 the 2nd most frequently issued jersey in Met history. While it may be too much to expect Pelfrey to carry on the legacy of Nolan Ryan (1966), we can hope his success exceeds that of, say, Blas Minor (1995-96) or Jorge Julio (2006). Good luck, Mike!
Pelfrey’s B-Met teammate, Henry Owens, wound up with the roster slot vacated when Pedro Martinez 45 made his mid-summer break official with a trip to the DL to rest an ailing hip (Heath Bell was initially recalled, but the retroactive dating of Petey’s DL stint prevented Bell’s activation). Wearing the No. 36 jersey last worn by Manny Aybar, Owens fired an impressive inning of mopup work in his big-league debut tonight.
Many thanks to Bob F for the scorecard scan (pictured at right) confirming Dan Frisella wearing No. 29 during his brief stay with the 1969 Mets. A few minor errors have in the meantime been corrected on the roster page: Sherman “Roadblock” Jones’ one appearance inNo. 28; Kevin Michell’s few weeks as No. 35, to name a few — thanks as always, Jason.
Xavier Nady 22 returned from the disabled list on June 18, and Cliff Floyd 30 went onto it, retroactive until June 7 with an ankle sprain. Floyd returned on June 30 as Lastings Milledge 44 returned to Norfolk. These moves came in the midst of a calamitous roadtrip that proved to chew up and ultimately spit out chubby Met hurlers Alay Soler 59 and Heath Bell 19. Soler was replaced July 3 by John Maine 33 — the next day, Bell was cashiered to Norfolk in exchange for designated clown Jose Lima 17. Seeing asPedro Martinez 45 is most likely vacationing through the All-Star Break it’s likely this week’s stretch of games leading to the break could feature Lima… or perhaps, studly young draftee Mike Pelfrey.
The Mets are expected today to introduce Pedro Martinez at a press grip-and-gin and present him with jersey No. 45, which he’ll try on over a suit as flashbulbs pop. Whether the Mets really ought to be fooling again with these kind of high-risk moves is debateable, but we have little doubt that Pedro will provide some excitement. His taking of No. 45 likely solidfies John Franco’s bid to be the first player in Met hstory to warm up a jersey number for two future Hall of Famers.
Baseball’s annual swap meet begins later this week. In case you were wondering: Pedro Martinez wears 45; Richie Sexson 11; Carlos Delgado 25; Magglio Ordonez 30 and Carlos Beltran 15.
We neglected to reveal the worst-kept secret in baseball when Kris Benson 34 finally re-signed.