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Who Else the Mets Should Bring Back

For better or worse, four-time All-Star Jose Reyes is once again a Met. Although his ultimate legacy remains in doubt, Reyes started the first four games of his second Mets career and hit two home runs yesterday afternoon. He is back. On one hand, it’s reasonable to ask if Reyes deserves the returning-hero treatment. On the other hand, Reyes brought joy to Mets fans during his first tenure with the team; many will cheer him on that basis alone. But why stop with Reyes? There are dozens of former Mets floating around in the major leagues. Fans should have the chance to cheer for them anew in the orange and blue. So we have some suggestions on who the Mets should bring back next. — Scott D. Simon (@scottdsimon)

Daniel Murphy

You know what you can never have enough of? Well, dingers, for one. Starting pitching, definitely. What else? Infield depth, of course! Sure, Wilmer Flores looks like the second coming of Joe Morgan at the plate and Neil Walker continually proves the inverse of his surname and perhaps some day Lucas Duda will grace us again with his presence. But what the Mets could use right about now is a versatile infielder who can rake. Murphy might not hang on to win a batting title this season but that .346 TAv would sure look nice batting in front of Yoenis Cespedes. With third base likely an open question for some time to come, sticking Murph at the hot corner — even with his, uh, suboptimal defense at times — would solve a lot more problems than it causes. — Erik Malinowski (@erikmal)

Michael Fulmer

As the Mets’ rotation runs into midseason injury woes, it’s time for the team to once again turn to a young fireballer waiting in the minors with solid command and a plus slider. Everybody give a warm New York welcome to Michael Fulm– Wait, they traded him? Welp.

Yes, it’s true, the seemingly endless pipeline of top-of-the-rotation pitching talent ran dry for the Mets when they sent Michael Fulmer to the Tigers last season for Yoenis Cespedes, in what might be the closet thing to a true win-win trade the league has seen in a decade. But as the Mets scramble to plug Logan Verrett into the injured Matt Harvey’s rotation spot, it’s awfully hard not to look toward Motown at Fulmer’s 2.11 ERA (2.95 DRA) and 2.2 WARP and not think, “Sure would be nice to have one of those.” — Maggie Wiggin (@maggie162)

Yusmeiro Petit

Now, Yusmeiro Petit never actually pitched for the major-league Mets. He, along with Mike Jacobs, was shipped to the Marlins in 2005 for Carlos Delgado in one of the better trades of Omar Minaya’s tenure. Petit bounced around between Miami, Arizona, Seattle, and the Mexican League, starting and relieving, before re-emerging with the Giants as a successful swingman and eventual playoff hero. He was a viable free agent target for the Mets even last offseason, as he is better-suited to the Logan Verrett role than Logan Verrett. And the Mets could really use another arm right about now — as you may have heard. Prying him from a division rival with bullpen issues of their own is a non-starter, but 23-year-old Jeffrey, who started writing about prospects because of Petit’s 2005 season, would like nothing more than a reunion. And heck, 34-year-old Jeffrey just sat through Logan Verrett’s last start. A reunion sounds pretty good to him, too. — Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro)

Justin Turner

Pure fortune brought the righty-swinging Turner to the Mets in the first place. A seventh-round pick by the Reds in 2006, he was dealt to the Orioles in a 2008 deal for Ramon Hernandez, and the Mets were able to pick him up off waivers in May 2010. The ginger became a regular in the Mets’ clubhouse early in 2011 and held his own against MLB pitching over the next three years, batting .265/.326/.370 with a .261 TAv in his age-25 to -28 seasons. He was a very useful player capable of appearing all around the infield and certainly could have filled at least a bench role on any team.

However, after the 2013 season, the Mets surprisingly decided to non-tender Turner, declining to even give him the pedestrian $800,000 he likely would have earned in 2014. There were even whispers that the decision was based on a perceived lack of hustle. Turner ended up with the Dodgers and suddenly broke out in 2014 with a .340/.404/.493 triple slash in 109 games.

The Mets looked like complete fools for letting him go at basically no cost, and the wildling has maintained terrific numbers in LA. He is already on his way to a career-high in homers in 2016. Turner would have been helpful to have around, particularly with David Wright’s career seemingly stumbling to an injury-ravaged conclusion. Whoops. — Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA)

Oliver Perez

Call me a masochist, but I would enjoy Oliver Perez coming back to the team. During his last two years with the Mets, Perez was an absolute disaster; putting up ERAs of 6.82 (2009) and 6.80 (2010). This, combined with his bloated contract and unwillingness to accept a demotion to the minor leagues, made him one of the most hated players in Mets history. However, it seems like Ollie is more of a goofball than a bad guy. Maybe he was a little selfish, but I think that is the worst you can say about him. Also, since he’s left the Mets, he has been a pretty effective reliever. The main reason I would like the Mets to bring him back is just, I mean, how funny would that be? — Tyler Plofker (@TylerPlofker)

Carlos Beltran

Some Mets fans think about Carlos Beltran and they can’t shake the sight of him taking an Adam Wainwright curveball for strike three. There’s a reason some fans #BlameBeltran instead of #BlameReyes, even after both players left in 2011. I’ve always seen Beltran as a hitter whose on-base skills and power led to 32.6 wins above replacement. Beltran is still a valuable player with a .303 True Average and 1.4 wins above replacement in 2016. The Yankees aren’t going anywhere this season and will look to trade the veteran for one last playoff run. Terry Collins keeps playing Alejandro De Aza on a regular basis, even though De Aza has been a below-replacement player. Let’s bring back Beltran! Maybe this year he will hammer at a hanging curveball from Jonathan Papelbon to give the Mets the division title and end the #BlameBeltran meme for good. — Noah Grand (@noahgrand)

Darren O’Day

Recent New York Mets teams have struggled to find a reliable relief pitcher, forcing them to make trades or sign free agents to fill out the bullpen. While Addison Reed has been a successful example (after the Mets traded for him and subsequently re-signed him to a one-year deal), the Mets could still use another relief pitcher. The perfect player for that role would be Darren O’Day, a submarine-style reliever for the Baltimore Orioles and 2015 All-Star. Despite his low release point, O’Day has been successful against lefties, allowing a batting average against of only .235. He’s been even better against righties, with a batting average-against of .195. In addition, O’Day is an above-average reliever across the board in terms of FIP, strikeout rate and walk rate, making him the perfect long-term option for the Mets bullpen.  O’Day, the perfectcandidate for the Mets bullpen (or any bullpen for that matter) was a New York Met in 2008 for 2 weeks, when the team selected him in the Rule 5 Draft. Unfortunately, the Mets released him and the Texas Rangers grabbed him. Since then, the Mets have subsequently struggled to find a long-term solution to their bullpen woes.  — Seth Rubin (@sethrubin)

Joe Smith

Pretty much everything Seth wrote about Darren O’Day applies to Joe Smith. Except that the Orioles are in first place in the A.L. East and aren’t going to move their $7 million reliever. But the Angels are 14 games under .500 and should be selling everything that’s not bolted down. Smith is a free agent at year’s end, so Los Angeles of Anaheim might well make him available.

The Mets drafted Smith and promoted him in 2007, when he was just 23 years old. Smith pitched to a 3.51 ERA out of the bullpen in his two Mets seasons, but his 5.20 DRA in 2008 was less promising. After the 2008 season, the Mets dealt Smith (and Endy Chavez!) as part of a massive three-team deal, by which the Mets acquired J.J. Putz from the Mariners. Putz was awful in his one Mets season, walking as many batters per nine innings as he struck out and suffering with a 5.40 DRA. The Mets let Putz go at season’s end, after which he threw five seasons with a 2.81 ERA, mostly for the Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, Smith has a 2.86 ERA in his eight seasons since leaving Queens. It’s not easy to build a good bullpen. — Scott D. Simon (@scottdsimon)


Photo Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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