New York Mets Worst Signings And Trades Ever – No. 5 Kaz Matsui
Number five on the list comes to you all the way from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Kaz Matsui was supposed to be a dynamic combination of defense and power hitting seldom found in a middle infielder.
That expectation was built on his accomplishments in the Japan’s Pacific League, including his 2002 season: 36 HR’s, 87 RBI, 193 hits, 46 doubles, 33 stolen bases and 119 runs scored, according to wiki.
He signed a three-year, $20 million deal and in his first official MLB at bat, leading off the Mets lineup on opening day, he took the first pitch of the game over the wall for his first home run.
With that story book beginning to his MLB career, Matsui was off. It would be the first of many home runs to come! Or not.
In his two-and-a-half seasons with the Mets he played in just 271 games, hitting a combined 13 HR’s. Over that time he never had a season batting average higher than .275 and never had an on-base percentage or slugging percentage over .400 for a season.
Add to it that Matsui was with the Mets when the up and coming Jose Reyes was breaking into the big leagues. The two flip flopped between shortstop and second base, complicating the young Reyes’ development – at least in the minds of fans.
The Mets traded Matsui to the Colorado Rockies during the 2006 season.
The bright spot – Matsui had a home run in his first at-bat of the season, in his first three seasons in the league. Think that’s rare? So rare, in fact, he is the first and only player to ever do it.