Being GM of a Major League team is more than just running the top club, it’s also about evaluating talent throughout the organization, including making not just the blockbuster deal, but the smaller deals that may take a few years to play out.
As part of an ongoing series here at The Mets Police, we will look at how trades the Mets have made in the past ultimately played out, paying particular attention to the non-blockbuster deals that are a true measure of evaluating raw talent.
This past Monday the Mets (technically their AAA affiliate the Norfolk T….er…I mean the New Orleans Zephyrs) released OF Ben Johnson. On November 15, 2006 Johnson was acquired by the Mets along with Joe Adkins from the San Diego Padres for relievers Heath Bell and Royce Ring.
Johnson struggled to stay healthy during his time with the Mets, spending most of his time on the DL. Adkins was allowed to become a minor league free agent following a so-so 2007 season. This year with the Louisvilel Bats (Reds AAA) he is 0-1 with a 0.95 ERA in 19 IP.
Meanwhile Bell has become a top reliever, appearing in 97 games for the Padres, throwing 111 innings with an ERA of 2.10 and 113 strikeouts (with just 35 walks). Ring was traded by the Padres midway through 2007 to the Braves.
At the time this trade seeemd odd – trading 2 relievers (including a lefty) for a so-so OF and another reliever. In hindsight, well, the numbers tell the story.