The Mets will announce a trade today that will bring Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to New York. Reliable reliever Brian Stokes will head to Los Angeles, according to FoxSports.com.
The move will provide some insurance in center field after Carlos Beltran had surgery on his knee and will miss the first few weeks of the season. The question is, will Matthews start or will Angel Pagan? Well, that’s what Spring Training is for.
The Angels will reportedly pay the majority of Matthews contract for 2010 and 2011 totaling $23 million. It’s a hefty sum for a team simply trying to unload someone whom they don’t have a spot for, but it’s a practical steal for the Mets.
Matthews spent three seasons with the Angels, who used him less and less in that time span. Last season, he had four home runs and 50 RBI in 103 games. That was markedly less than his 2007 season when he had 18 home runs and 72 RBI in 140 games.
However, if you factor in the difference in the number of games played, his RBI production really hasn’t diminished that much. While he’s maintained a batting average around .250 in those three years, his home run and stolen base totals have not kept pace.
Still, even when Beltran comes back, the Mets will have a solid backup to give Jeff Francoeur and Jason Bay days off.