Former-Met Scott Hairston was dealt on Monday to the Washington Nationals after struggling mightily with the Cubs in 2013. While in hot pursuit of free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, Chicago swept Hairston out from under the feet of the Amazin’s front office, forcing Sandy’s “What Outfield?” Mets into the spotlight. Many, myself included, criticized Alderson for allowing the veteran to walk, especially on such an inexpensive deal. However once spring arrived and a new season was underway, it became quite clear that the Hairston that produced 20 home runs for the Mets in 2012 was unable to do the same in Wrigley.
Scott Hairston represents just the tip of the iceberg in a laundry list of now-former Mets who have struggled in their respective new homes after parting ways with New York this past winter. In fact, outside of Jason Bay who has 11 homers with the Mariners, almost every 2012 Met no longer with the team has found themselves in less than desirable spots since their departure from Queens.
When R.A. Dickey was traded to the Toronto just before Christmas, he was widely regarded as the final piece that put the new-look Jays over the top as the favorite in the AL East, yet to this point, he has failed to put up numbers even close to his 2012 Cy Young Award winning season. Going 8-9 with a 4.77 ERA, Dickey has become one of the many top-tier acquisitions that has yet to live up to expectations in 2013.
Also coming over in the Blue Jays deal was the catching duo of Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. A pair known for a combined sub-par performance in their respective Met careers, leading many to believed they truly belonged in Buffalo rather than Flushing. Ironically, that is exactly where they ended up in 2013, pairing up once again behind the plate, only this time with the now Toronto-affiliated Buffalo Bisons.
Mike Pelfrey‘s roller coaster Met career came to a conclusion this past winter when he was non-tendered rather than going to arbitration. The 2005 first-round pick was signed by the Minnesota Twins to a one-year, $4 million deal; a bargain. Pelfrey, coming back from Tommy John surgery, has since struggled to regain any sort of command, pitching to the tune of a 5.36 ERA over 15 starts.
Angel Pagan was dealt to the San Francisco Giants on the night of December 7th in return for RHP Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres. Both were expected to play prominent roles in the 2012 season for the Mets, however as both were unable to rise to the occasion, they were let go by the Amazin’s and promptly re-signed by the club that traded them just one year ago. After posting an ERA north of 11, Ramirez was granted his unconditional release and is currently in the Rays minor league system. Torres, although not exactly swinging the bat well with a .661 OPS, has managed to find himself regular time in San Francisco, starting in place of Pagan, who is out for the year with a hamstring injury.
Jon Rauch was one one of the more reliable arms for the Amazin’s out of the ‘pen in 2012, however took his talents to South Beach for the 2013 season. His tenure with the Marlins was not long lived as he was released after posting a 7.56 ERA in just 15 outings.
Starter Chris Young signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, and after going 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA in Triple-A Syracuse, found himself out of a job.
A number of the Mets core performers of 2012 were not renewed for this year, and now at halfway through this season, it appears that Sandy Alderson made the right move in choosing to let them walk. While purging what turned out to be the right players, Alderson has also brought back guys like Jeremy Hefner who have contributed positively to the 2013 squad. Now if only he could get an outfielder…