“We’re building something here, detective. We’re building it from scratch. All the pieces matter.” – Lester Freamon.
So the Mets announced yesterday that they received Chris Carter and Eddie Lora from the Red Sox, completing the Billy Wagner trade and surprising absolutely no one.
Many will denigrate the trade as yet another mark against Minaya, as Wagner, assuming he is tendered arbitration and rejects it, will provide the Sox draft picks.
But don’t forget that Wagner was still a question mark when the Mets dealt him, so the team risked hanging onto him, having him fall victim to injury or ineffectiveness, and getting nothing for him.
Carter is nothing spectacular, but he can easily be something the Mets pretty desperately need: an inexpensive role player.
I’ve made no secret of my disdain for Minaya’s habit of filling out the roster with overpaid players below replacement-level. With Carter, he has the opportunity to add a solid left-handed bat for the bench and allocate precious resources elsewhere.
So Carter hasn’t done much in his handful of Major League at-bats? So what? He has a career Minor League OPS of .890 and a history of mashing right-handed pitching. He could easily spell Jeff Francoeur against right-handers and serve as the team’s primary pinch-hitter.
Provided he doesn’t completely embarrass himself in camp, Carter should be on the Major League roster come April.
And just for fun, a list of the Mets’ primary pinch-hitters, by pinch-hit at-bats, in each season of Minaya’s tenure (with their season BA/OBP/SLG line).
- 2005: Marlon Anderson (.264/.316/.391)
- 2006: Julio Franco (.273/.330/.370)
- 2007: Ruben Gotay (.295/.351/.421) (!)
- 2008: Marlon Anderson (.210/.255/.275) (!!!!)
- 2009: Jeremy Reed (.242/.301/.304)