Earlier today, after much sarcastic speculation by Mets fans all over twitter, the Mets signed Jose Bautista to a major league deal. It’s the most Mets thing in the Mets playbook. Sign the ageing veteran to as little money as possible and hope the name itself draws fan interest and the player has a moment or two left in them. When does it work? Marlon Byrd, who eventually got pinched for steroids.
My old college roommate text me and we got to talking about all the carcasses the Mets have acquired over the course of their history. Some players were old and predictably their careers ended in Flushing. Others were acquired with some life left in them, but went full Mets and their careers were destroyed. So I compiled a list of the Mets graveyard, inspired by Jose Bautista.
Willie Mays – After 21 years in the Giants organization, the New York legend came home to put together a whopping .238/352/.394 in 135 games over 2 seasons. He was on the 1973 NL Champs team. Overall his time here was very uninspiring. And the Mets unofficially retired his #24 from being in circulation, with the exception of Rickey Henderson and… Kelvin Torve?
Roberto Alomar – Alomar came to the Mets in a blockbuster trade at the age of 34 and chased 12 straight all star seasons with a .703 OPS in 222 games for the Mets. He went on to play 123 more games with the White Sox and Diamondbacks, where his AIDS finally finished him off.
Jason Bay – Bay sucks. We don’t have to reiterate his time here. One of the worst signings in Mets history. The Mets could have gone after Matt Holliday but decided to make a push for Jason Bay because he would be “a better fit at Citi Field.” But we all speak Wilpon, and we know that was bullshit and they got him because he’d cost less. After leaving the Mets he played a handful of games with the Mariners that made his time with the Mets look Piazza-like, before he finally tapped out.
Rick Ankiel – Ankiel was an integral part of the 2000 pennant winning team when he decided to forget how to pitch while a member of the Cardinals I guess the Mets owed him one when they signed him in 2013 to play outfield. He hit .182 in 20 games before walking off into the sunset.
Gary Sheffield – Sheffield came here as a 40 year old to help open Citi Field. Although he as a player wasn’t terrible. The team was. He hit his 500th home run here, but never played again after the season.
Jeff Conine – Former Marlins great Jeff Conine came to the Mets as a 41 year old in the second half of 2007 and was part of the biggest bed shitting in Mets history. In 21 games he hit .195 and was never heard from again until he was fired by Derek Jeter from a job that no one knew he had.
Julio Franco – Franco was signed by the Mets are 61 years old, and was nothing more than a glorified singles hitter. His bat was so slow that he started it at the wind up and still could only hit the ball opposite field. After being cut by the Mets in the middle of 2007, he played 15 more games for Atlanta, before playing 12 more leagues on islands all over the Caribbean.
Jason Isringhausen – The Mets traded highly touted starting pitching bust Izzy for Billy Taylor, who is one of my least favorite Mets of all time. He went on to be a fairly successful closer, including 2 all-star appearances. He also got a ring on the 2006 Cardinals. It’s partially his doing the Mets lost. He got hurt, forcing the Cards to use Adam Wainwright as their closer and I’ve said too much. So after not pitching for 2 seasons, the Mets decided to give him another shot in 2011, because 38 year olds who haven’t pitched for 2 years always age well. He went on to pitch one more season with the Angels.
Marlon Byrd – More dumpster diving by Sandy Alderson. This one actually turned out pretty good. Then Byrd tested positive for steroids the next season, and we knew it wasn’t really Sandy Alderson being a genius with that signing.
Mo Vaughn – Another brilliant Mets move, they decided to bring in a 34-year-old fat guy with an arthritic knee. He played 166 games over two seasons. Hit a couple of bombs, then retired because his knee cartilage finally disintegrated. He went on the become a slumlord in Brooklyn.
Jose Lima– He literally died after leaving the Mets
Bobby Bonilla – After being a piece of shit during his first stint with the Mets, Bonilla was brought back in 1999 to help solidify the bench for the teams stretch run, where he crushed it, hitting .160/.277/.303. His best work that season was during Game 6 of the NLCS, when he was holding pocket aces in the locker room in a heated card game with Rickey Henderson. Every July 1, Darren Rovell and every other loser on twitter make sure to point out that the Mets pay Bonilla 1 million dollars as part of a buy out agreement. This lasts for 25 years and is being paid for with winnings they earned in the Madoff Lottery.
I’m sure if I keep digging I can find more. I bet I missed some obvious ones too. It’ll be a matter of time before Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista make this list. The Mets are destined to sign the recently released Phil Hughes, and eventually their big offseason get will be free agent Felix Hernandez at 37 years old.