The following is the first edition of what will hopefully be part of each of the series previews here at BP Mets. “Mets Connections” will take a look at the opposing teams’ rosters and highlight some of the noteworthy or interesting links that can be drawn between those players and the Mets organization. Some of these links may be obvious, such as if an opposing player has formerly played for New York, but some may be lesser known tidbits, such as if a player was previously drafted by the Mets. The first version of this series analyzes the Braves’ roster as they open up a three game set in Flushing tonight.
The Braves have four former Mets on their active roster coming into the series, as well as five players who have been traded for a former or current Met. The following is a list of some the Braves’ most significant Mets connections:
Brandon Phillips: Despite not blossoming until he was later traded to the Reds, Phillips was part of the 2002 deal that sent him alongside Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Lee Stevens to Cleveland in exchange for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.
Bartolo Colon: Speaking of “Big Sexy,” besides cementing himself in Mets’ lore over the past three years, Colon was once dealt for former Mets’ starter Orlando Hernandez, who finished his career with New York in 2007.
Jaime Garcia: While he has never been part of a trade for a former or current Mets big leaguer, Garcia was sent to the Braves this past offseason in a deal that included two prospects of note. John Gant was part of the first Kelly Johnson deal in 2015 after spending four years in the Mets’ farm system. Luke Dykstra, a second base prospect in the trade, is the son of former Mets’ and Phillies’ star Lenny Dykstra.
R.A. Dickey: The only Braves player to have been traded for a current Met is R.A. Dickey. That deal with the Blue Jays, of course, is one near and dear to Mets fans’ hearts, as it was responsible for netting the Mets young stud Noah Syndergaard and starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Chase d’Arnaud: While their familial relationship is not as well documented as Corey and Kyle Seager, Justin and Melvin Upton, or even Ben and Justin Verlander, Chase and Travis have pulled off the rare feat of siblings in professional sports.
Ender Inciarte: The connection between Yoenis Cespedes and Ender Inciarte may not be readily apparent. Besides both being outfielders in the NL East, their playing styles are starkly different, and they have share no previous teams. The link here comes through a little known relief prospect named Gabe Speier, as both Inciarte and Cespedes have been involved in trades that also included the pitcher. Cespedes and Speier were traded together to the Tigers in the Rick Porcello deal, and Speier was later traded by the Braves as the throw-in piece of the infamous Shelby Miller trade with the Diamondbacks.
The other two former Mets on the Braves roster are Eric O’Flaherty and Anthony Recker.
Photo credit: Brett Davis – USA Today Sports