After six straight losing seasons and a postseason drought that extends to 2006, the New York Mets are going for it.
The Mets (53-50), who are just two games back of the Nationals (54-47) in the NL East, acquired Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers on Friday in exchange minor league righties Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. The deal went down just 13 minutes before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.
“I like it for the Mets,” Sports Xchange MLB national columnist John Perrotto said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They needed a bat in a bad way. They don’t score runs. They’re like next to last in baseball in runs scored, and he was the guy that loves the spotlight. We saw that in the All-Star Home Run Derby the last couple years. He likes it best when the heat’s on, when the spotlight’s on. I think he’s going to love New York, I think New York’s going to love him, and I think he’s going to be a difference-maker for them in the playoff hunt the last few months of the season.”
Cespedes, who is playing for his fourth team in two years, hit .293 with 18 home runs, 61 RBIs and 28 doubles in 102 games for Detroit this season.
“(He was someone the Mets) really needed,” Perrotto said, “and they were able to (get him) without giving up any of their very best pitching prospects.”
In the American League, meanwhile, no team improved its playoff chances more than the Toronto Blue Jays, who added David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Revere, among others, before the deadline.
Toronto, which hasn’t made the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1993, seemingly got better by the day this past week.
“They really did,” Perrotto said. “I tell you, they’ve added everything that they need. They got the starting pitcher – a big-time starting pitcher in David Price – which they ended terribly. They added a really good shortstop, somebody more reliable than Reyes in Troy Tulowitzki, one of the best hitters and all-around players in the game. They got a good left-fielder and leadoff hitter that they needed in Ben Revere from the Phillies and they even got a couple of good bullpen guys (in LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe). So they definitely filled hoes on that team.”
The oft-injured Tulowitzki was having a healthy, productive season when the Rockies dealt him to Toronto. He belted a three-run homer in his first game with the Blue Jays and is hitting 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles and six runs scored through three games with Toronto – all wins.
Price, of course, is quite familiar with the AL East, having spent the first six-plus years of his career with Tampa Bay, and Revere has 24 steals on the season – fifth-most in the majors.
Said Perrotto, “All of a sudden, even though they come into the night six back of the Yankees, they look very formidable to track down the Yankees and win that division with the revamped roster.”