Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jennry Mejia, Duaner Sanchez and losing a setup man just before the trade deadline

On July 30, 2006, almost exactly nine years ago, the Mets lost valuable setup reliever Duaner Sanchez when he separated his shoulder in a taxi accident. With just a day to go before the trade deadline, the Mets scrambled to find a replacement, trading starting rightfielder Xavier Nady for reliever Roberto Hernandez and a struggling starting pitcher named Oliver Perez.

At least this time around, Sandy Alderson already had a replacement lined up when Jennry Mejia was suspended again for PEDs. I wasn't sure why Alderson was worrying about the bullpen with the lineup in such disarray, but perhaps he knew the Mejia suspension was coming. The Tyler Clippard trade looks that much better now.

Hernandez, 41 years old at the time of the trade, had a 3.48 ERA in 22 games with the 2006 Mets. The real replacement for Sanchez turned out to be Guillermo Mota, who was acquired in late August and had an ERA of 1.00 in 18 games down the stretch.

After the 2006 season, Mota was suspended for steroids, but the Mets still gave him a new two-year contract. Mota never approached his 2006 form and was traded away the following season.

Somehow, I don't think Mejia will be getting a new contract from the Mets. But Mejia does have something in common with Mota. In 2012, Mota, now with the Giants, was suspended for steroids a second time.

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