(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The 2010 Mets were not a team to remember. Finishing just below .500 and in fourth place in the National League East, they weren't good, but they weren't exactly awful, either. There are still plenty of familiar faces on the team, but twenty players who suited up in a Mets uniform last season are gone. A few of them appeared in only a handful of games, but many spent a significant amount of time with the club. So where are they now?
Jeff Francoeur: .308/.350/.579, 6 HR, .402 wOBA, 1.5 rWAR
Frenchy has brought his bag of
tricks illusions to Kansas City, and much like last year, he's put up some gaudy numbers in the first month of the season. It's incredibly likely that he will return to his career norms, and when that starts happening, his act will grow old on the folks in Kansas City, too.
Hisanori Takahashi: 3.65 ERA, 5.08 FIP, 4.12 xFIP, 6.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 87.2 LOB%, 0.2 rWAR
The Angels are using Takahashi out of the bullpen and paying him a lot: $3.8 million this year and $4.2 million next year. He had expressed a desire to be a starting pitcher when he was with the Mets, but he got a good deal and settled for a bullpen spot in Anaheim. As for his season so far, it's only been 12.1 innings, but fewer strikeouts, more walks, and a ridiculously high strand rate aren't good signs for the future.
Rod Barajas: .202/.250/.393, 5 HR, .272 wOBA, 0.1 rWAR
Ouch. The Dodgers botched their catching situation this winter, handing a $3.25 million contract to Barajas after non-tendering Russell Martin because of injury concerns and a difference of opinion on his 2011 salary. The Dodgers didn't believe he could bounce back, but they should have known what to expect with Barajas. In this case, a return to career norms would mark an improvement, but at age 35, it's entirely possible that Barajas won't even do that. Besides, his career OBP sits at .283. Martin still has a lot of baseball to play before proving he's back to his old self, but the early returns make the Dodgers look bad.
Alex Cora: .175/.233/.225, 0 HR, .212 wOBA, 0.0 rWAR
Omar Minaya's parting gift to the team was his release of Cora before his vesting option for 2011 kicked in. He likely would have been released by Sandy Alderson, but at least the club saved a couple million bucks. The Nationals picked him up this winter, and he's seen significant playing time as a result of Ryan Zimmerman's injury. His numbers thus far are incredibly bad, and like Barajas, he's 35 and may not even get back to his not-so-great career norms.
Henry Blanco: .000/.091/.000, .063 wOBA, -0.1 rWAR
The Diamondbacks have two options behind the plate: Blanco and Miguel Montero. It's no wonder that the light-hitting Blanco has only played in five games so far. He has drawn one walk, which is the lone time he's reached base this year.
Sean Green: 6.75 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 4.97 xFIP, 4.8 K/9, 5.8 BB/9, 55.6 LOB%, -0.4 rWAR
Now working out of the bullpen for the Brewers, Green is off to a rough start thanks to a pair of very bad outings against the Astros. The strand rate figures to improve, but he's completely avoided the long ball and figures to allow at least a couple homers.
After signing Perpetual Pedro to a high-priced, two-year deal, the Yankees were quick to blame the Mets when Feliciano wound up on the DL to begin the year. Feliciano is saying he's optimistic about a return in late June or July, but it won't be surprising if he misses the entire year.
Chris Carter: .329/.359/.482, 2 HR
The Rays picked up Carter this winter, and he's playing for the Durham Bulls, their Triple A affiliate. The Animal is doing his usual thing, hitting pretty well at that level. Whether or not he'll get a chance to wear a Rays uniform remains to be seen.
Maine and Jacobs are teammates, but things are going much worse for Maine. The Rockies have had one of the better rotations in baseball so far, and it'll take a major improvement by Maine to get back to the big leagues, even if the Rockies were to use him out of the bullpen.
One of the many bullpen arms that the Mets let go after the season, Valdes now plays in the Cardinals organization and is struggling so far at Triple A Memphis. For what it's worth, his ERA is nearly double his FIP.
Perez signed a minor league deal with the Nationals after his release from the Mets buy has yet to pitch in a minor league game. He's still working out in extended spring training.
Hessman signed with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan after refusing a minor league assignment by the Mets. That one home run he hit with the Mets last year was cool.
Nieve made all of three appearances at Triple A for the Astros organization before he was granted his release so he could play baseball in Korea.
At age 40, Dessens is now pitching in the Mexican league for Diablos Rojos del Mexico.
Castillo played with the Phillies for a few days at the end of spring training but was released by them, too. He hasn't signed anywhere else.
Tatis hasn't officially retired, but it appears his career has come to an end after his 2010 season ended very early because of injury. For a guy who was completely out of baseball, his comeback with the Mets was one of the few pleasant surprises of the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Gary Matthews Jr.
He's out of baseball but still earning a hefty salary that is being paid mostly by the Angels but partially by the Mets, too.
Once a cleanup hitter in a Jerry Manuel lineup, Catalanotto retired after the Mets let him go. He was clearly done when he reached Queens, but he had a pretty good career with one very good year in Texas a few more pretty good ones in Toronto.
Only two of the twenty former Mets have played well at all, and one of them is Jeff Francoeur. These players were jettisoned by both Omar Minaya and Sandy Alderson, but none of the decisions have been regrettable. The sheer number of players that departed is a testament to the especially haphazard construction of the roster in the late Minaya years. We'll check back in on the guys who are still playing baseball next month to see how they're doing.