The New York Mets have acquired outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Brian Stokes.
- In addition to Matthews, the Mets get $21 million from the Angels in the deal. This compensates for most of the $23 million remaining on Matthews’ contract, which expires after the 2011 season.
- A 35-year-old veteran, Matthews has been in the MLB since 1999, and has played for seven different teams. Matthews is a career .258 hitter, and has never been very productive offensively. His best season offensively was 2006, when he made his only All-Star appearance so far. In ’06, Matthews batted .313 with 79 RBI and 19 home runs, all career highs. This was his final year with the Texas Rangers, and a contract year that led to his current deal, which was 5 years for $50 million. Excluding 2006, Matthews has never batted more than .275 in a season. Matthews can play all three outfield positions, though he has made 662 of his 988 career starts in center.
- Matthews has been with the Mets before in his career; he was sent from Pittsburgh to New York following the 2001 season, and was traded to Baltimore at the beginning of the 2002 season.
- Brian Stokes is 30 years old heading into his fifth MLB season having played his first two seasons with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and most recent two with the Mets. With the Devil Rays, Stokes made four starts in the 2006 season, and finished 1-0 with a 4.88 ERA. He was converted to a relief pitcher in 2007, playing 59 games that year with a 7.07 ERA. While Stokes’ career ERA and WHIP with the Devil Rays were 6.46 and 1.795 respectively, they were 3.82 and 1.476 in his last two seasons.
- Angels designated hitter and 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui has stated that he is willing to play outfield at times this year, while injuries made it unable for him to do so in his last few years with the Yankees.