Jan. 22.10: Matthews to Mets.

MATTHEWS: Brings baggage to Mets.

MATTHEWS: Brings baggage to Mets.

Gary Matthews Jr., to the Mets from the Los Angeles Angels looks like a done deal. Several media outlets have made the report, but the Mets have not confirmed the deal.

Uncertain, is who the Angels would get in return or if there is a third team involved.

I’m not a Matthews fan, and if the Angels are willing to spend $20 million of the remaining $24 million of his contract to get rid of him, what does that say about their regard for the player? Matthews hit .250 with four homers and 50 RBI, with an on-base percentage of .336 last season.

Since 1999, Matthews has played for seven teams, including two games with the Mets in 2002. There has to be a reason why he’s always been on the move.

His numbers averaged out over a 162-game schedule is a .258 average with 14 homers and 63 RBI. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

Matthews’ best season was 2006 when he hit .313 (his only .300 season) with 19 homers and 79 RBI (both career highs), for which he was rewarded with that ridiculous contract by the Angels.

Matthews’ name also surfaced in the Mitchell Report, which begs the question of what he might have hit if he were clean.

I know they need a center fielder, but I don’t like this deal.

I replaced the pitching poll with one on Matthews.

44 thoughts on “Jan. 22.10: Matthews to Mets.

  1. To me this deal shows the Mets are very pessimistic about Beltran’s return, the late April guesses being PR blather.

  2. Uh…don’t we already have a capable backup CF to hold Beltran’s spot in Angel Pagan? Matthews is not that great a hitter and his only good offensive years are clouded by well-documented performance enhancing drug use allegations.
    Is this also a tacit admission that Jason Bay’s defense is poor, so if Beltran comes back at full strength, the Mets can use Matthews in left in the late innings for Bay as a defensive replacement?
    And how much of Matthews’s insane contract is being picked up by the Angels?
    Good riddance to mediocre reliever Brian Stokes, but once again I ask: What is Omar Minaya doing to address a horrid starting rotation and shoddy middle relief corps?

  3. The deal also suggests the Mets are either going to deal Pagan or are pessimistic about his ability to play centerfield.

    As for the polls, why not just offer yes or no answers without the biased commentary? I don’t mind the Mets paying $1.5 million per year for a fourth outfielder who can actually take a direct route to a ball hit to centerfield, but I wouldn’t call him “the right player at the right time”; as such, there’s no option provided in your poll to reflect my opinion.

  4. Stokes was the one traded. (4) Tiffany, Matthews defense is vastly overrated. As a matter of fact statistically (if you believe those stats,) Matthews was a worse defender in CF, than Bay was in LF last year.

  5. i just dont see how you make this deal without insisting luis castillo being in it. give them some $$ back and tell them to take castillo.. and then sign a 2nd baseman who can hit more than singles

    i was excited when i read we acquire matthews not bc we got him but bc i thought we shed castillo. i get that we wont be paying too much for gary but i thought this was a way to rid ourselves of 2 more yrs of worse than inept defending by our 2nd baseman (his fielding stats are horrendous).

  6. They are picking up Mathews to be a 4th OF and he is probably better than anything we could have gotten out on the FA market at about he same money. I am a little disappointed we didn’t manage to dump Castillo in the deal, but other than that I don’t have a problem.

    I also don’t care that we lost Stockes.

    BTW, why do all the polls have to have such biased commentary. Who thinks picking up a 4th OF for spare parts is a great move or the “right guy at the right time”. This is a minor deal to give us another option in the OF.

    If the Mets thought that Beltran would be out all year then this shouldn’t be their answer. But if they want more protection for the 4-6 weeks he will be out especially with Pagan’s injury risk then why not.

  7. well now that we have him, why?
    i know we r all scared of injury issues but when (if?) beltran returns in beginning of may…now we have beltran, frenchy (not sold on), bay, pagan, matthews….expensive yet not great
    matthews seems to be pagan with an expensive contract so why add him…versatility?

  8. angels paying 21 mil of the 23 mil remaining…so we got that going for us..which is nice (carl spackler)

    but why not take less money and ship castillo…i guess they REALLY didnt want him
    sigh

  9. #3 I am not sure I fully agree about our “shoddy” bullpen. We have some question marks there, but I don’t see our pen as a trainwreck certainly. The Japanese kid and Escobar are nice pickups for the pen, if we add in one more arm I think we will be pretty good there.

    As for the rotation, that is still the key to this offseason. Apparently we were in on Piniero for more than the Angels and that would have been a decent upgrade. Washburn will be hard to pick up as he really wants to stay out West, so I think we are going to end up with either a trade or Sheets/Bedard.

    But this deal really has nothing to do with that. Omar has to add at least one arm before opening day, this trade has nothing to do with that. I highly doubt Stokes was going to bring in that arm afterall :)

  10. 10. Hey, James! Nice to see your name back in the posts. Problem is, Ryota Igarashi is by no means a sure thing. He has never pitched in the Majors and is coming off Tommy John surgery. As good as Kelvim Escobar was a few years back, he has pitched less than 10 innings in the bigs in the last two years. So yes, with those two, the horrific Sean Green and the inconsistent Bobby Parnell, I’d say we have a shoddy bullpen, with Pedro Feliciano the only one being the least bit reliable.
    9. Jim, you are 100 percent correct. For a fleeting moment when I heard about this deal and the name of the Met going to Anaheim hadn’t yet been announced, I actually thought it might be Luis Castillo in one of those bad contract for another bad contract deals. But of course the Mets don’t have the balls to do what they should: eat Castillo’s contract and sign Orlando Hudson.

  11. gil- couldnt agree more…..ya know kinda like the angels did signing torii hunter when they realized gary’s contract was a mistake

  12. 13 Exactly. Just as the Tigers did before the start of last season by dumping Gary Sheffield, or the D-Backs did a few years ago by axing Russ Ortiz. Sometimes teams just have to swallow their pride, admit that an expensive FA signing didn’t work out and cut their losses.

  13. Why is everybody complaining. One of the main points on this site is cost. Well, the Angels gave us the small market price for the guy so that’s a big concern that should make many happy. The Sarge and Keith are good buddies so we’ll hear the Sarge say nice things about a Met (at least those of who have to watch the Met/Philly games on the Philly network). If Beltran is out a long time or someone else gets hurt or Francoer plays like he did when Cox got sick of him the Mets have an extra average outfielder and don’t have to bring up Martinez too soon. Stokes is a below mediocre pitcher. Fast ball with no movement and no decent breaking pitches. It would have been better if the Angels took Green but can you blame them for not?
    Despite James’ optimism for absolutely no reason about Omar’s two pathetic pickups for the pen, losing Stokes won’t make the horrible bullpen any worse.
    To Delcos: What does the right choice mean? You wanted roider Ankiel and the Mets got the cheaper (for them) roider. What’s the difference?. Did you think they were going to pluck a guy equal to Beltran out of the hat? If Beltran doesn’t return, would you want Nick Evans out there?

  14. They are getting a veteran outfielder who plays all 3 position well. Those fielding stats are worthless.(just ask marty noble) for just over major league minimum. This gives Pagan some competition for the CF job. I still cant believe all the hate for Looie here. hitters with .300 avg and .400 obp dont just come around every day. And people here want to cut him? Just remember, the grass is always greener.

  15. ask marty noble? no thanks, not a fan of illogical arguments…defensive stats arent perfect but give an indication

    ray- he may have hit .300 with a .380 obp but defensively you can go to the left better than him and he is purely a singles hitter…and we’ll see if he comes to camp in shape this yr, 50/50 chance based on ’08 and ’09
    another year on those knees, count me as pessimistic on louie duplicating his ’09yr

  16. Is Matthews and upgrade over Reed or Sullivan if Pagan gets hurt again.
    Sadly I would say yes.
    But his dad today would be an upgrade over Reed and Sullivan.
    Also this keeps the Mets from even thinking about bringing up F-Mart.

  17. 20 LOL! Good one, Scott! Yeah, Sarge himself WOULD be an upgrade over those jabronis Reed and Sullivan!

  18. Spin this however you’d like, but the Mets traded Brian Stokes for a fourth outfielder and $21.5 million in cash. That must mean Stokes is something special — a $21.5-million set-up man…

  19. #12 I didn’t realize that Igarashi was coming off Tommy John surgery. I figure between the two of them we get a good arm out of the mix. Maybe we don’t, but I think Escobar and Igarashi will work out reasonably well. But it is the pen, we all know that turns out to be a bit of a crapshoot if your name isn’t Mariano Rivera. I was hoping Dotel would get added to the mix, and part of me is hoping Smoltz gets added to the mix, but our pen isn’t a disaster to me. The starting pitching is, but not the pen to me.

    As for Castillo, I just don’t have a huge problem with him and I don’t want the Mets to just dump him to sign Hudson. This is nothing like Sheffield who was a cancer in that locker room because of how upset he was at management or Mathews Jr who was useless to the team and eating all that money. Castillo gives you above replacement level performance and has a decent roll on this team in the #2 slot. Is he perfect? No. If we could trade him for a enough of his salary that we could get Hudson within or slightly above the difference would that be worth it? Yes. But to me we do not make this team better by dismissing Castillo and adding on 4-6 mil in salary for Hudson. I want that money spent on the pen and starting rotation.

    Mathews Jr for 1.5 mil for the next 2 years is better than the other options for the replacement OF that were available.

  20. Omar has been trying to dump Castillo because he wants to bring back Delgado and he cant without a 2b with lots of range to cover for him. From the reports Ive been seeing from puerto rico Delgado still cant play the field. I think with a Murphy/tatis platoon at first Looies shortcomings in the field will matter less. About him being a singles hitter, so what? Hes a tablesetter. His job is to get on base, and he does that very well. He stole 20 bases last year too, so its not like hes a gimp.

  21. Actually, Matthews really isn’t an upgrade at all over Cory Sullivan. The biggest problem with the trade is that Met fans were expecting a bigger trade than this. You know, a trade that could actually help the team.

  22. 24 How many people would seriously still want to watch the Mets this year if they trot out a Murphy/Tatis platoon? How many fans would really re-up on their overpriced season ticket plans if that’s the case?
    Omar Minaya once again has overestimated the quality of this team. Even with all of last year’s injured players back, this is — at best — a .500 team.
    And an off-season haul of Gary Matthews Jr., Jason Bay, Ryota Igarashi, Kelvim Escobar and Henry Blanco is neither impressive nor adequate to address the team’s highest priority, improving the starting pitching.

  23. are we sending andy h to them to get this guy?

    this way midseason we can get him back from their minors for fmart or niese.

  24. Minaya and the Mets are operating under the “Bring em back” strategy. They signed Jason Bay who was in the Mets minor league system.
    They trade for Matthews who had two at bats in 2002. Next up they will talk Joe Randa, who was a Met for a week in December 1998, out of retirement. He’s only 40. Finally they will cap it off with a David Segui Day to honor him for getting one HOF vote. Has the sportswriter who voted for Segui publicly identified himself yet?

    Anyone out there remember that in 1977 one of the arguments between Tom Seaver and M Donald Grant was Seaver wanted the Mets to sign Matthews Sr and Grant refused, saying “we have a fine bunch of fellows already”?

  25. tatis/murphy is not a good 1B tandem offensively or defensively… tatis is ? whether he even comes back…why not ryan garcko who kills left hand pitching

    castillo has 0 range, none….big concern

  26. living in bmore, i liked matthews when he was here

    if he is healthy he is a good OF (can play all 3 OF) and if frenchy stumbles he could be asked to do more…will he be able to? i sure hope so

    but for a total of 3 mil, this is worth the gamble

  27. (33)Jim: They could have kept Cory Sullivan at half the price with the same production and better defense. Junior just isn’t that good.

  28. the UZR ratings had matthews lower bc he was stuck in Rf on that…he is better than they gave him credit for there and i (strictly on the eye test) would prefer matthews to sullivan, 1.5 mil ain’t bad for matthews and his healthy upside

  29. i understand the mets are on the hook for 2 mill and 2 years for mathews and gave up stokes to get it.

    not bad..

    but we need pitching. a few more weeks before they start.

  30. I don’t have any good or bad feelings about this deal but jim bmore to be talking about this guy’s upside when at 35, with a career where he performed well one year, taking only he knows what is really going overboard. He only has upside if he’s on something at 35. Met fans better hope he doesn’t get several hundred ABs because if he does it means Beltran didn’t come back or Francoer returned to Braves form.
    And Original, your concern about $$$ is also way overboard on this one. You really need to become a Pirate fan or Marlin fan because if a team in NYC can’t deal with a 1.5 million salary then it needs to move to Omaha. And since Cory Sullivan came to NY on a minor league deal and left and signed another minor league deal your premise about his talent is very likely incorrect since not one team in the big leagues will even offer him a big league contract.

  31. 35. Jim, The uzr ratings also have Torii Hunter as a lousy fielder. This is the dumbest stat created yet.

  32. (37) Have you been reading Bill Madden’s coverage of the Pirates in his Sunday columns? According to him, the Pirates were one of four teams that received $70 million in revenue sharing from their fellow teams, but finished the season with a $28-million payroll.

  33. 39. Did not read it but the Pirates claim to have shown the books and have a 5 million dollar profit or something miniscule like that. They claim the money is going to scouting, drafting/signing from the draft and international players etc. Their payroll is up to a whopping 35 mil or so in ’10. There have been accusations in Western PA that they have diverted funds to other businesses and the Pirates of course have denied them!

  34. 41. The claim is that they showed the books to MLB and to MLB players association. There is credence to this story since the Marlins were pressured to raise payroll and the Pirates were not.
    Not me and not you for sure!

    42. No, the dumbest stat is the save rule. 3 run lead in the ninth nobody on base and you get credit for a save is the dumbest stat. It also has basically destroyed bullpens since no “closer” wants to pitch when he is needed most. He wants his cheap save instead.

  35. jd

    absolutely.
    look at the financial system that cost this country 2 trillion dollars last year.

    the experts all said they were healthy until they were liquidated.