The New York Mets today announced they have acquired outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. and cash consideration from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for righthanded pitcher Brian Stokes.
Matthews, Jr., 35, hit .250 with four home runs and 50 RBI in 103 games last year, his third season with the Angels. Over his final 37 games, the switch-hitting Matthews, Jr. batted .289 and compiled a .410 on-base percentage for the Angels in their drive to the American League West title. He made a combined 80 starts at all three outfield positions in 2009, with the majority (46) coming in centerfield. His .358 (29-81) batting average with runners in scoring position led the team. Additionally, his .395 (17-43) average with runners in scoring position and two outs was sixth best in the majors.
Originally selected by San Diego in the 13th round of the 1993 draft, Matthews, Jr. made his major league debut six years later with the Padres. He earned an All-Star Game selection while with Texas in 2006, when he established career bests with a .313 batting average, 19 home runs, 79 RBI, 102 runs scored and 44 doubles.
He collected his 1,000th career hit last year on July 10 against the Yankees to team with his father, Gary Matthews, Sr. as the 15th father and son combination to reach that plateau.
The 6-3, 225-pound Matthews, Jr. is set for his second stint with the Mets after having appeared in two games with the team in 2002. Under contract through the 2011 season, Matthews, Jr. has played in 1,245 games over 11 major league seasons with the Padres (1999 and 2003), Cubs (2000-2001), Pirates (2001), Mets, Orioles (2002-2003), Rangers (2005-2006) and Angels (2007-2009). He is a career .258 hitter (1,045-4,045) with 108 home runs and 483 RBI.
Stokes, 30, pitched out of the Mets bullpen last year, establishing career highs in games (69), innings (70.1) and strikeouts (45). Stokes made his major league debut in 2006 with Tampa Bay and is 6-11 with a 5.02 ERA in 157 career games.