The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have claimed Mets utility outfielder, Mike Baxter, off waivers. The 28-year-old Baxter was considered a fan favorite in New York because of his catch that saved Johan Santana's no-hitter. Baxter is a native Queensite, who played high school ball at Archbisop Molloy and proceeded to Columbia University and Vanderbilt.
In Baxter's tenure with the Mets, he was about a replacement-level player but had his best year in 2012. He hit .263/.365/.413 in 211 plate-appearances. After hopes that Baxter would come off his 1.1 WAR year strongly, he fizzled in 2013, hitting .189/.303/.250, posting a -0.7 WAR in 155 plate appearances. In 2013, Baxter was up and down between Queens and Las Vegas, but he spent most of the summer in Triple-A and returned to the majors in September.
In terms of a baseball move, Baxter was a replacement level player, and a depth/bench guy. Replacement players are, in a word, replaceable. Mike Baxter's value to the Mets came perhaps in the form of a "hometown hero," who saved the first no-hitter for the team he grew up loving. He was a well-liked clubhouse presence, as Joshua Ryan described, and will be missed in that regard, but we will always have this.