The following is part of each of the series previews here at BP Mets. “Mets Connections” takes a look at the opposing teams’ rosters and highlights 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. This version of this series analyzes the Mariners’ roster as the Mets begin a weekend interleague series at Safeco tonight.
Nelson Cruz: The slugging designated hitter is probably best remember for his days in the Texas organization, but Cruz was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets in 1998. Eddy Toledo, the scout responsible for signing Cruz, also signed current major leaguers Carlos Gomez for the Mets and Alex Colome for the Rays. Cruz never saw time with the major league team in New York as he was traded away for infielder Jorge Valendia, whose offensive production in parts of three seasons with New York can be described as nothing short of abysmal.
Felix Hernandez: The longtime Mariner ace was signed out of Venezuela by scout Emilio Carrasquel, who was also responsible for originally signing Met infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to his first pro contract.
Mitch Haniger: Haniger was part of the Taijaun Walker-Jean Segura deal this offseason and has only spent time in the Diamondbacks’ and Mariners’ organizations, but he was originally drafted in the 31st round of the 2009 draft by the Mets. Unfortunately, he did not sign.
Michael Conforto and Mariner pitcher Andrew Moore were teammates at Oregon State in 2013 and 2014. Both played major roles in leading the Beavers to the College World Series in 2013 where they were eliminated by Mississippi State.
Paul Sewald and Seattle southpaw James Pazos were both drafted out of the University of San Diego in 2012. They both turned in successful careers at SDU and contributed to a regional appearance in 2012, but they may have been overshadowed a bit by their third baseman, future NL MVP Kris Bryant.
Photo credit: Matt Morton – USA Today Sports