With the 2018 officially starting tonight, we will see a number of former Mets in the postseason. Some of these players have starred for the Mets in the postseason, while others have sought their own glory elsewhere. In any event, these players mere presence on each roster may motivate fans to root for or against certain teams:
Boston Red Sox
Alex Cora – Coming off a career best year, the former World Series champion was brought to the Mets in 2009 to fortify the bench. Cora played one-and-a-half years with the Mets before being released in August 2010.
Oliver Perez – Once, Perez was a beloved Met who made clutch starts in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS and the final game at Shea. After that he signed a big contract, and he was terrible. Eventually, he became a pariah and was released. After a year in the minors, he reinvented himself as a left-handed reliever with varying success.
Neil Ramirez – After Ramirez struggled with a 8.71 ERA with the Giants, he was released, and the Mets picked him up. The team stubbornly held onto him for nearly three months until he was finally released. Like Perez, he has pitched much better with the Indians.
Collin McHugh – In 2013, the Mets traded McHugh to the Rockies for Eric Young who would would lead the league in stolen bases. After a brief stop in Colorado, McHugh was moved to Houston where they better utilized his superior spin rate on his curveball. First, he was a part of a rotation which began Houston’s resurgence. He’s now a key piece of their bullpen.
Joe Smith – A year after being the Mets 2006 third round draft pick, he was in the majors and contributing int he bullpen. He would be included in a three team trade which netted the Mets J.J. Putz. As Mets luck would have it, Smith was the best reliever in the deal.
New York Yankees
Neil Walker – After the 2015 pennant, the Mets obtained Walker in exchange for Jon Niese. After an up-and-down 2016 season, which ended with Walker having season ending back surgery, Walker accepted the qualifying offer from the Mets. He would have an injury plagued 2017 before being traded to the Brewers for Eric Hanhold.
Lucas Duda – Believe it or not, Duda is the Mets all-time leader in HBP. After beating out Ike Davis for the first base job in 2013, he really became one of the more polarizing players among Mets fans. Where some fans saw a 30 home run hitting first baseman who carried the Mets in that series in 2015, other fans saw a player who went cold for prolonged stretches and who threw the ball and the World Series away. He won’t get that chance now with him being a pinch hitter stuck behind Freddie Freeman.
Rene Rivera – Rivera was an important part of the 2016 Mets team as he was the defensive catcher who helped Noah Syndergaard get through his issues holding on base runners. With his reputation as a defensive catcher, he has found himself picked up by postseason teams the past few years. At the moment, it is not likely he cracks the postseason roster with Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers ahead of him on the depth chart.
Curtis Granderson – Granderson was a leader for the 2015 Mets team who made that surprise run to win the pennant. In that 2015 World Series, Granderson was the best player on the field hitting three homers. Last year, the Mets traded him to the Dodgers for Jacob Rhame. After a tough postseason, he was left off the Dodgers World Series roster. Granderson will now get another crack at winning that elusive World Series ring in what could be his last season.
Junior Guerra – After being released by the Braves and being out of baseball for a year, the Mets signed Guerra to a minor league deal. Despite pitching to a 2.28 ERA in his time between Kingsport, Brooklyn, Savannah, and St. Lucie in 2008, the Mets would release him. He bounced around the minors and foreign leagues before re-emerging with the White Sox in 2014. Finally, he was picked up off waivers by the Brewers in 2015, and he has been a solid contributor for them.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Erik Goeddel – Goeddel was an effective but injury prone reliever during his time with the Mets. In the last offseason, with the Mets having a 40 man roster crunch, the Mets designated him for assignment while keeping players like Rafael Montero. Goeddel began his season in Seattle, and he would land with the Dodgers where he was terrific before suffering another season ending injury.
Justin Turner – The story of Turner has been long documented leading to much debate among Mets fans. Suffice it to say, Turner has been a very good player since joining the Dodgers. To just add fuel to the fire, just like Murphy, Turner has an NLCS MVP under his belt.
Cory Mazzoni – On the eve of the 2015 season, the Mets traded their former second round draft pick to the Padres for Alex Torres. Mazzoni has bounced around between a few organizations over the past few years. He pitched well in limited duty for the Cubs this year, but he has not appeared in a Major League game on July 28, and as such, he is not going to be a part of the postseason roster.
Daniel Murphy – Murphy went from postseason folk hero to Washington National and Mets killer. After two All Star seasons, he had an injury plagued 2018 season, which helped facilitate a disappointing season for the Nationals. He’s now with a Cubs team who he annihilated in 2015 en route to winning the NLCS MVP.
Taking all of this into account, I am rooting for a Brewers-Indians World Series. My motivation for rooting for the Brewers is my wanting to see Granderson win a World Series ring before he retires. Looking at the American League side of the ledger, while I did like Smith with the Mets, I would like to see Indians fans see a World Series victory due to their 70 year drought punctuated by heartbreaking losses.
Looking at the former Mets in the postseason, are you motivated to root for or against any particular team? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.