Remember these guys? Ex-Mets who are current All-Stars

Sarah Langs

There are three players who spent notable time with the Mets franchise and are in Minnesota for the All-Star Game this week, sporting colors other than the orange and blue. The trio consists of the A’s LHP Scott Kazmir and the Brewers OF Carlos Gomez and RHP Francisco Rodriguez.


Would Scott Kazmir have been an All-Star for the Mets?


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He never actually threw a pitch for the Mets’ big league club, but spent a year and a half in their minor league system as a top prospect. After being drafted in the first round of the 2002 draft, Kazmir made it up to the Mets’ Double-A level before being the centerpiece in an infamous trade with the Devil Rays. The myth goes that had the Mets retained Kazmir, instead of acquiring Victor Zambrano, the lefty would have anchored the team’s rotation, made the All-Star team and garnered many other accolades.

Kazmir made the All-Star team twice with Tampa Bay, in 2006 and 2008. His ERAs in those two seasons were 3.24 and 3.49, respectively. For comparison, the Mets’ 2006 rotation didn’t feature any starters with an ERA as low as 3.24. John Maine had the lowest, at 3.60, but made only 15 starts. Since that 2008 season, though, Kazmir’s pitching fell off track, and he even spent a year out of the league altogether. This year, he has a 2.38 ERA that earned him the All-Star selection.

No one knows how his development path might have differed, if he’d remained with one organization and retained that familiarity. Given the fact that this is his third All-Star selection, though, it stands to reason he would’ve had at least one such season with the Mets. It’s easy to point to Mets rotations in recent years and see where Kazmir would have fit in, saving the team from overuse of Maine and Oliver Perez and others.



Would Carlos Gomez have been an All-Star for the Mets?


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He only played in one major league season with the Mets and didn’t post fabulous numbers, but some saw his potential when he debuted in 2007…

The speedy outfielder was traded to the Twins as part of the Johan Santana deal after that year. Even in Minnesota, Gomez didn’t quite live up to the possible hype. But in the last three years, he’s harnessed his potential.

Last year, he had an 8.9 WAR, bolstered by 40 stolen bases, defensive gems that earned him a Gold Glove at the end of the season and an All-Star selection in the middle. This year is on pace to be his best yet.

Probably not until very recently. He would have needed the opportunity to play through those first few rougher seasons in order to mature into the player he is today. Being on a Minnesota team for two years that was competitive must have taken the pressure off, since they already had hitters expected to produce and he wasn’t necessarily on that list. Expectations are always high in New York, but then again, his defense could have kept him in the lineup. The Mets haven’t had much outfield consistency, other than Carlos Beltran — who wasn’t always healthy. Think about how Juan Lagares’ case initially came from his defense, and through that playing time he’s improved as a hitter. They play the game differently, but Gomez might have followed that path as well, actually paving it for Lagares (though there wouldn’t be room for him in CF with Gomez — hypotheticals can get complicated…).


Would Francisco Rodriguez still have been an All-Star with the Mets?


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He is the only member of the bunch to have been an All-Star with the Mets, as he was in 2009, his first year in New York. That appearance marked his third-straight All-Star year, as he was coming off of a 2008 season where he posted 62 saves. He actually posted his worst ERA as a Met in the year he went to the All-Star Game. But, by the time the trade deadline rolled around in 2011, faith in his ability to close out games was wavering, and he’d caused a media firestorm with an arrest the season prior.

Since being traded, Rodriguez spent time with Milwaukee and Baltimore, neither primarily as a closer. This year, he’s back with Milwaukee and has 27 saves so far on a team that dominated through much of the first half.

These days, probably not. The bullpen has not been a strength for the Mets until this year, and it’s hard to believe he would have managed to stick around, or that management would have removed him from the closer role in a manner that would have kept him happy. The bullpen has flourished lately mainly with young arms, and at 32, he would be the second-oldest in the pen right now, only younger than 36-year-old Buddy Carlyle.



The fact that Rodriguez had one All-Star season with the Mets, while Kazmir and Gomez never came close, is also part of why it’s more realistic to think Kazmir and Gomez might have made that leap as Mets if they stayed, while Rodriguez wouldn’t have. Kazmir and Gomez were traded early in their careers, with just a few professional seasons under their belts. There’s always the possibility that a young player, like Kazmir or Gomez, goes on to be a star. Rodriguez, on the other hand, came to the Mets as a high-priced free agent after setting the single-season saves record after multiple years in the bigs.

In a way, this makes Rodriguez’s place on the 2014 All-Star team even more remarkable. He always had the intensity and stuff to be a power closer. But most people wouldn’t have believed it if told after his 2012 season, in which he posted a 4.38 ERA in 78 appearances, that he’d be an All-Star two years later.
If the Mets had known these three would churn out simultaneous All-Star seasons this year, maybe decisions would have gone differently. On the other hand, the last time Kazmir was in the organization was 10 years ago, Gomez in 2007, and Rodriguez in 2011. That’s a long time to wait, especially here, where there has been managerial and front office turnover over the course of those years in between.



Sarah Langs is an intern for SNY.




153 comments
matmil
matmil

Kasmir for Zambrano has to go down as one of the worst trades in Mets history. Along with Nolan Ryan for Fregosi, Seaver for what turned out to be nothing. Kenny Singleton for I can't even recall. Aguillera, The list is long and painful. They seemed to have squandered a dynasty. I believe it has to be the worst record in all of baseball, maybe baseball history.

Jeffrey Jackson
Jeffrey Jackson

Name me a single Met in all of Mets history -- who was even a basically established player elsewhere -- who came to the Mets and put up his best career #s with us. None. Not Hernandez, Carter, Piazza, et al. Now name the reverse: players whom the Mets dealt away who went on to better accomplishments once out of a Mets uniform: The list is too long to record here. Opinions...?

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

but traded for Vic "nobraino"? Yes, at the time, I could see the METS giving him Kazmir, an unproven at that but, NOT for THAT trade, ....sadly Carlos would never have gotten the time outa the spotlite to develop into an AS if w/ the METS, Santana was no better than a #2/#3 pitcher who lost durability by time he got into year #2 here, bad deal...opefully, Lagares can develop fast as NY has no patience. As for Rodriguez, good riddance, all scout reports had him with a closers stuff anymore and maybe w/ only middle/back of the pen stuff, ...wonder where/how his 2015 willl go? Funny, alex Ochoa an Lastings Milledge, our corner OF of THE future (NOW!) wasn't represented. Image WHAT/WHO we coulda got for them when the price for asking was so high, just imagine....sigh,...M E t  s....aw shucks! Bonilla and Mo Vaughn around??Maybe Jim Fregosi or Mickey Lolich perhaps...damn METS...

eric88
eric88

Hey Sandy, enjoy watching Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu in the All Star game. Have a beer with CY while your watching. He's making as much as they are. Sandy, stop the BS that you didn't make a mistake and rather have CY. Man up.

sandybgone
sandybgone

Just watching the All-Star game and listening to Frank Thomas and he said about Jeter


"The Yankees put the team and Derek Jeter in a position to win every year and Derek Jeter led the way"


I would give anything to have owners that felt the same way about the mets and David Wright

Steven Silverstein
Steven Silverstein

I have to laugh everytime some mentions these three now being all stars ok first we messed up with Kazmir yes but he was released last year... Gomez was traded for hampton who single handed got us into the 2000 WS before bolting out of NY plus it took years for Gomez to become what he is today.... And KROD... We all know where that went into DV CHARGES!!!!

Steven Gilchrist
Steven Gilchrist

Only guy who would've been an all-star for the mets was kazmir. That trade still pisses me off.

hankypanky
hankypanky

Speaking of bad trades, everyone has forgotten Amis Otis, a mainstay if there ever was one.

Greg Adler
Greg Adler

funny thing is he was in camp for a tryout and the good old mets let him go AGAIN a few seasons ago LOL

Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

A more timely and relevant topic is where would the Mets be if they signed Kazmir last offseason? I thought he was washed up and his career was over for a awhile. This year he's shown there's more left in the tank and that he can still pitch at an All Star level. Imagine heading into next season with Harvey and Kazmir at the top of our rotation. Now that's fun to dream about

brianpmangan
brianpmangan

@SlangsOnSports Hi Sarah, nice article. Read the one you posted yesterday too, went up after mine on the site. Let me know if you (1/2)

eric88
eric88

Hey Sandy, I and Many other bloggers BEGGED you to sign Abreu, but no "we have a logjam at 1B", absurd. When is the next opportunity to sign a Franchise player for 8 million a year gonna come along? We would be in the playoffs THIS YEAR, instead of the useless experiment with CY. From what I have seen, every year you have signed a bad free agent or two. You are a questionable talent evaluator to say the least.

Mike
Mike

@matmil it isnt like Aguilar was the most dominant closer of all time. Plus they did get Viola back in that deal. 

Ben Fortney
Ben Fortney

Carlos Beltran.


(but I get your point)

borsh13
borsh13

Can't argue with abreu but did u really want to give a crazy multi year deal to Nelson Cruz coming off a ped suspension? No way he would have signed a 1 year deal to play in a pitchers park

sandybgone
sandybgone

@William Bonilla watching the all-star game just always makes me realize how much I love the Mets....would never root for another team ever. Never have, never will

Brian Hurley
Brian Hurley

Um, Gomez was traded to Minnesota for Santana, not to Houston for Hampton. Essentially, the price of the Mets only no hitter (*Beltran hit that was ruled foul) was Carlos Gomez

domtoretto
domtoretto

Gomez was not traded for Hampton. Lol. Roger Cedeno was

William Bonilla
William Bonilla

All we would have to do is top the other teams offers, Syndergaard Montero Plawecki Nimmo and Herrera will be hard to top....and we lose no major league talent...which team do you see that could/would top that?

rico
rico

@Dave D'Agnese You just never know. The Marlins are one mercurial organization. Eventually they trade everybody, even within their division, so getting Stanton is a longshot but never say never.


As for the Madoff thing well that was 6 years ago now and the Mets went on a mission to rebuild through youth. They are a couple of pieces away now and we will see this off season if the Wilpons "are ready" to return to the game as buyers, or will be forever modeling themselves after the A's.  


This offseason will tell. The Wilpons were never cheap until the Madoffing. This coming off-season should tell the story.



Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@Dave D'Agnese not sure why u think they wouldnt trade Stanton in the division.  The marlins are the biggest joke of a franchise in sports.  They dont deserve the world series they have they bought teams and then stripped them bare to the highest bidder.  They have traded with the Mets, Braves many times, no reason to think they wouldnt again

rico
rico

@hankypanky EVERY single team has a history of god-aweful trades.  Do some googling and you'll realize that the mets franchise is not the only one who's prone to daffy swapping.  I think there may even be a book about it.

Anthony Mazza
Anthony Mazza

@eric88 I love this! People who say "I told you to get Abreu!" ...I am sorry, look, there is one Abreu. All the teams but 1 weren't able to sign him. There is no guarantee if we even made a bid that we would have won. All the other teams, including the Dodgers and Yankees and Cubs or Angels, didnt pony up only the (incorrectly stated) 8 million (11.3million)


The only thing better then this comment are the ones with "Why didnt we get that FA! We should have had him for that rice!" Assuming the OTHER teams didnt give more money.


Just because you wanted Abreu, every other fans team BUT ONE is saying the same thing. Hindsight is beautiful. 

jenkins
jenkins

@eric88 You're a riot. You expect him to say the owners won't give me the money? Get real.

eric88
eric88

@borsh13 Who cares, just should have gotten him here. Both of them.

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

@rico @Dave D'Agnese to say you never know about the mets going back to having a 250+ million dollar payroll in just a couple of seasons is not even close to being realistic. but even if you are correct, and if you're giving up the pieces that are what make us only a couple of pieces away then it defeats the purpose. its addition by alot of subtraction. the marlins will not trade stanton to the mets. i am 99.999% positive that it will never happen. plus stanton will be better suited for DH in a few years cuz his legs arent the best from what ive heard. plus they arent gonna take just syndergaard they would want wheeler or degrom also. trust me. but for argument sake lets say they do.....harvey-200 mill stanton 200 mill wright-110? granderson 60  murphy 40 thats over 600 million for 4 players. duda will need a raise, wheeler probably too. niese is getting paid. no way man

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

Dude its a pipe dream. Plus do you really wanna give up possibly wheeler thor Degrom and probably plawecki or Nimmo etc. To get a guy that might want 200 million that ownership doesn't have so he bolts?

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Why would a team trade for a guy that's coming off major surgery, hasn't thrown yet, and has a chance to never approach what he was?...

methead
methead

@jenkins @eric88 That excuse is old.  That had nothing to do with why he didn't try to sign Abreu.  He chose not to sign him because he didn't want to give it to some unknown player.  He had money.  He signed Granderson.  The money is there, he has chosen not to use it.

Mike
Mike

@eric88 @borsh13 This is some of the stupidest thinking I have seen on this site. You know what maybe they should have never let him go to begin with, I mean what did Jorge Valendia ever do for us when we could have had many happy years of Nelson Cruz taking the Mets to the playoffs. He was a very risky proposition why cant some of you people get this through your thick skulls? 

borsh13
borsh13

It's money and years he didnt get anything close to what he felt he was worth so he took a cheap 1 year deal to prove it wasn't the peds and now he will get paid next season

borsh13
borsh13

His original asking price was 4 years like 75mil or something... He took a 1 year deal in a hitters park to get what he wants next year... 11 a year for 2 years prob would not have cut it

Angelo Castelli
Angelo Castelli

Stanton would fill the ball park. That's why you trade for him. The same result as trading for Piazza. And yes, with the wealth of pitching the Mets have, giving up Harvey for Stanton is a no brainer. Here's proof. Have they missed Harvey this year? The answer is no.

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

@rico @Dave D'Agnese if you go into next season with harvey, wheeler, thor, degrom, and niese. and you use Gee and Montero and even possibly murphy to trade to fill in some missing pieces then you can go to war with that rotation barring injury for a long time. plus you still have matz waiting in the wings

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

plus if you do that trade and give up stud pitchers and then harvey returns to normal and he also wants 200 million do you think the mets are gonna give 400 million to two players? they dont have that magic johnson money. then you are back to square one with no youthful pitching and we suck again. you gotta think realistically

eric88
eric88

@borsh13 I know what he did but I only care about what we didn't do.

eric88
eric88

@borsh13 We should have paid him. Our payroll is only 76.5million.

Dave D'Agnese
Dave D'Agnese

No plus why would we give up possibly the next Tom Seaver? Plus Miami getting harvey puts them in the exact same position they are in with stanton. They would have to pay Him big bucks and odds are they wont

borsh13
borsh13

I wouldn't have giving him anything close to his original asking price... Many players have struggled after being caught with peds way to risky... Hindsight it would have been a great move but u couldn't expect this production from him

eric88
eric88

@borsh13 All I know is Iwould be in the Playoffs this year. As a fan that is all we should care about. How long are we supposed to wait to save Fred's money.