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2009 Mets Transaction Register, Part 1

The wretched 2009 season is over, so enter a glut of retrospectives, commentary, and analyses chronicling the whole mess. We'll kick things off by taking a look back at the moves -- trades and signings -- the Mets made since the 2008 season ended unceremoniously (for the Mets, anyway). There's a lot to wade through, so we're going to break this into at least two parts.

November 18, 2008

Signed Andy Green: Andy saw just five plate appearances with the Mets in 2009, spending most of the season with Triple-A Buffalo, where he hit .259./.330/.379 with a .326 wOBA and .5 hWAR. This now qualifies as the most anyone has ever written about Andy Green.

December 3, 1998

Signed Nelson Figueroa: Figgy had a 3.07 tRA in 112 innings pitched with Buffalo and a 5.06 tRA in 58 innings with the Mets. He made the league minimum (less if you consider the time spent on a minor league deal), and has generally been pretty mediocre in his two seasons since returning to the states. He's a useful guy to keep around Triple-A to make the occasional emergency start, and might even be passable as a swingman/mop jockey.

December 9, 2008

Signed Francisco Rodriguez for 3 years/$37 million plus vesting 2012 option worth $17.5 million: We've already covered this. The guaranteed money is probably too much for a good reliever with diminishing velocity, declining strikeout rates, and spotty control, but the overlooked option makes this a brutal deal for the Mets. It seemed like a good idea at the time, ubt unless Frankie's arm falls off the Mets will be on the hook for $46 million over the next three seasons, the mere thought of which just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Rodriguez is hardly a bad pitcher, he's just not a great pitcher, and the Mets are paying him to be brilliant. They might be able to swap him for someone else's bad contract -- Milton Bradley's name continues to come up -- but I don't think the Mets are down on Rodriguez at all, let alone as nauseated as we are.

December 11, 2008

Drafted Darren O'Day from the Angels in the Rule 5 draft: This looked like a pretty good move for the Mets at the time, though O'Day only pitched three innings before being waived to make room for Figueroa to make a start in Mike Pelfrey's absence. Few tears were cried over O'Day's departure, until he went on to strike out 54 in 55.2 innings with the Rangers while posting a 2.83 tRA, 11.8% swinging strike rate and a sub-1.00 WHIP. His .244 BABIP might be unsustainably low, but the Mets' loss was the Rangers' gain.

Traded Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Mike Carp, Jason Vargas, Joe Smith, Ezequiel Carrera, and Maikel Cleto in a three-team deal with the Mariners and Indians, getting back J.J. Putz, Sean Green, and Jeremy Reed: Ugh. This one looks worse with each passing day. Green is probably the best player going to the Mets in this deal. Putz was spotty and then injured, and his outlook for 2010 is questionable. He'll pitch, I assume, but the Mets hold an $8.6 million club option with a $1 million buyout, and his return to Queens is hardly guaranteed. Reed was worth -.7 WAR with the Mets in 2009, and is apparently terrible at everything. Endy got hurt but he's Endy which just makes this trade worse for reasons both rational (his leather-flashing puts Rob Halford to shame) and irrational (he's Endy!). Joe Smith was so-so with the Indians; he's a younger, slighty shabbier Sean Green. Carp had a decent season with Triple-A Tacoma and hit .315/.415/.463 in 65 plate appearances with the Mariners. Vargas was nothing special, and managed to allow 16 homeruns in 91.2 innings. Heilman was traded in a separate deal from Seattle to the Cubs, and was about what you'd expect (good strikeouts, too many walks, mirthless scowl). Carrera had a .408 wOBA with Double-A West Tenn. Cleto made eight starts with Single-A Clinton, striking out 24 and walking eleven in 25.1 innings. If Putz had stayed healthy and effective things would look a whole lot different, but as it stands this deal gets worse with each passing day.

December 23, 2008

Signed Omir Santos: We rag on Santos here a lot, mostly because he's bad, but also because the Mets think he's actually good. The truth is that he's pretty bad, at hitting at least, but the Mets paid him nothing and he was worth almost half a win with his bat, and he might be pretty good with the glove, too. The truth is that the Mets could do worse than Santos in a backup role next year, but the frightening reality is that he may be more than that.

January 9, 2009

Signed Tim Redding for 1 year/$2.25 million: Looked like a decent deal for an average starting pitcher. Then he missed the beginning of the season with a shoulder problem. Then he was below average for 120 innings with the Mets. Whatever. I'm not losing any sleep over this one. It was a pretty good one-year gamble.

January 13, 2009

Signed Alex Cora for 1 year/$2 million: A .291 wOBA and -3.7 UZR in 82 games, the best thing you can say about him is that he had the good sense to get hurt and not further hamper the Mets with his sub-replacement ballplaying.

January 16, 2009

Signed Casey Fossum: Appeared in two games for Buffalo and three for the Mets, doing little of anything worth mentioning. Spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa in the Cubs' system.

January 20, 2009

Signed Cory Sullivan for 1 year/$600k: Posted a semi-respectable .332 wOBA in 156 plate appearances with the Mets, but was unspectacular in the outfield. FanGraphs has him worth $400k, so this signing was hardly a disaster. Nothing to get too excited about either, I suppose.