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Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Lately, the Mets have suffered from baseball’s version of Murphy’s Law. Just when it looks like the team has hit rock bottom, something happens to bring about a new low. Most recently, the Mets decided to eat the final $6 million remaining on the contract of much maligned second baseman Luis Castillo, who then promptly signed with the rival Phillies. Although Sandy Alderson stated that he was fully aware of the possibility that Castillo could resurface in the division, you can bet everyone connected with the Mets cringed a bit at the thought of their albatross rising like a phoenix in Philadelphia.

The Mets finally threw in the towel on Oliver Perez by releasing lefty with $12 million left on his contract.

At some point, the Mets’ luck has to turn, but it almost seems inevitable that Castillo will rebound with the Phillies (although, he didn’t get off to a good start on his first day in camp). About the only thing worse would be if Oliver Perez, another Mets’ castoff who was released with $12 million remaining on his deal, resurfaced in the Bronx.

Almost immediately after the Mets’ decided to waive Perez, a report surfaced on Twitter suggesting that the Yankees had a mild interest in signing the erratic lefty. Just as quickly, however, GM Brain Cashman emphatically disavowed any interest in the Mets’ castoff, allowing both Yankees’ and Mets’ fans to breath a sigh of relief.

It’s easy to understand why the Mets would prefer to keep Perez out of town, but are the Yankees being a little short sighted? After all, taking a gamble on the Mets’ misfortune continuing seems like a pretty safe bet. Then again, karma has a way of meting out justice to those who prey on other’s misfortune, so steering clear of Perez is undoubtedly the way to go.

Whether the Mets are cursed by Murphy’s Law or just the residue of poor decisions, the chances of Perez resurfacing with success are slim to say the least. And, if history is an indicator, the chance of any player having success upon transferring between New York teams isn’t very good. In almost 50 years, there has been very little direct player movement between the cross town rivals, and when it does occur, the transactions are usually very minor in nature.

Cross Town Transfers

Player From Year WAR To Year WAR
Bob Friend Yankees 1966 -0.5 Mets 1966 -0.5
Hal Reniff Yankees 1967 -0.4 Mets 1967 0.1
Rick Cerone Yankees 1990 0.9 Mets 1991 1.4
Lee Gutterman Yankees 1992 -0.9 Mets 1992 -1
Mike Stanton Yankees 2002 1.8 Mets 2003 -0.1
Karim Garcia Yankees 2003 0.3 Mets 2004 -0.4
Miguel Cairo Yankees 2004 2 Mets 2005 -0.3
Player From Year WAR To Year WAR
Rafael Santana Mets 1987 0.3 Yankees 1988 -0.9
Paul Gibson Mets 1993 -0.1 Yankees 1993 0.2
Robin Ventura Mets 2001 2.3 Yankees 2002 3.9
Tony Clark Mets 2003 -0.4 Yankees 2004 0.4
Mike Stanton Mets 2004 1 Yankees 2005 -0.2
Miguel Cairo Mets 2005 -0.3 Yankees 2006 0.5

Note: Based on players who had consecutive seasons with at least 100 AB or 30 IP for the Yankees and Mets.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

Robin Ventura is the only player to have significant success after going from one New York to team to the other, either by trade or free agency. The Mets broke from tradition when they acquired David Justice (who was later traded to the Oakland Athletics) in exchange for Ventura, who went on to post a WAR of 3.9 and make the All Star team with the Yankees in 2002. Otherwise, only Rick Cerone has even had modest success making the switch. Chances are that if Perez was added to this list, his fate would fall in line with the others who have traded light blue pinstripes for navy blue. Things are bad for the Mets, but even the worst kind of luck has to have it limits.

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