Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Worst Player Acquisitions in Mets Recent History

On February 3, 2009, Oliver Pérez signed a three-year, $36 million deal to return to the Mets. Could this shape up to be the worst contract the Mets have ever committed themselves to? There's some stiff competition for that title. Here's some other bad Mets acquisitions:

Roger Cedeno
The deal: In December 2001, Steve Phillips signed Roger Cedeno to a four-year, $18-million contract. He hit .260 in 2002 and .267 in 2003, with a combined 39 stolen bases, in a tenure also marked by sloppy defense. Tom Glavine was caught on camera rolling his eyes after one botched Cedeno play.

Some lowlights: In June 2002, Cedeno got into a fight with Roberto Alomar in the Mets clubhouse. In November 2002 Cedeno was arrested and charged with driving under influence. In July 2003 Art Howe said Cedeno could steal more bases if he slimmed down. In December 2003 Jeff Cirillo rejected a trade to New York for Roger Cedeno.

The exit: Finally, in April 2004 Cedeno was traded to the St Louis Cardinals for future Hall of Famers catcher Chris Widger and shortstop Wilson Delgado.

Bobby Bonilla II
In 1999, the New York Mets acquired Bonilla from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Mel Rojas.
Lowlights: During Game Six of the 1999 NLCS where the Mets were eliminated by the Braves in a gut-wrenching eleven inning game, Bonilla reportedly sat in the clubhouse playing cards with teammate Rickey Henderson.

The exit: When the New York Mets placed Bonilla on unconditional waivers in 2000, they agreed to pay out the remainder of his contract by deferring the remaining $5.9 million. Instead of paying him upfront for that money they came to an agreement where the Mets would pay him 25 equal payments of $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 until 2035. Bobby Bonilla essentially lent the Mets six million dollars at an interest rate over 20%.

Mo Vaughn
In December 2001 the Mets traded pitcher Kevin Appier to the California Angels of Los Angeles for first baseman Mo Vaughn, committing $42 Million for the next 4 years, to a player that had missed the entire previous season to a biceps injury.

Lowlights: In April 2002 Mo Vaughn was sidelined with a broken right hand just one week into his Mets career. That year, he hit .259 with 26 home runs, 72 runs batted in and 145 strikeouts in 487 at-bats. He also made 18 errors. In the first month of 2003, he hit .190 with 3 homers and 15 RBIs and 22 K's.

The exit: In May 2003, Mo Vaughn went on the disabled list with an arthritic left knee and never played baseball again.

Tom Glavine
The deal: In 2003, the Mets signed Glavine to signing a four-year, $42.5 million deal.
2003 Record: 9-14 4.52 ERA
2004 Record: 11-14 3.60 ERA
2005: 13-13, 3.53 ERA
2006: 15-7, 3.82 ERA

The Mets stupidly signed Glavine to another one year deal in 2007, when he couldn't get one from the Braves. That year he went on to pitch in one of the worst games in Mets history. Needing a win to either win the division or force a play-off game with the Phillies for the division, Glavine allowed 8 runs while recording only one out. Afterwards, he was incredulous as to the notion that the loss was devastating.

Vince Coleman:
The deal: Before the 1991 season, the Mets signed Coleman to a four year deal worth $12 Million
In 235 games over three seasons, Coleman hit .270 with a .336 on base percentage and just 99 stolen bases. Coleman was one of three Mets named in a complaint of rape filed by a 31
year old woman in Florida, though prosecutors did not pursue the charges. In April 1993, Coleman injured Dwight Gooden's arm by swinging a golf club in the clubhouse. In July 2003, Coleman threw a lit firecracker into a crowd of fans outside Dodger Stadium, injuring three children. He was put on "administrative leave" for the rest of the season.

The exit: At the end of the season, the Mets traded him, with cash, to the Kansas City Royals for Kevin McReynolds.

Art Howe:
The deal: When the Mets couldn't land Lou Pinella, they instead hired Art Howe to a four year, $9.4 Million deal to be their manager. Howe's tenure lasted just two years, when the club went a combined 137-186.
The exit: In a fittingly mis-managed manner, in mid-September 2004 word leaked to the media that the Mets had fired manager Art Howe. Still, the club elected to keep him on as a lame-duck for the final 2½ weeks of the season.