Posted in Baseball

Featured autograph: Kelly Johnson

2010 Upper Deck Signature Sensations Kelly Johnson baseball card from my collection

Kelly Johnson is a 10-year MLB veteran who spent the majority of his career as an Atlanta Brave. Just before the trade deadline last year, the Mets sent two minor league pitchers to Atlanta for Johnson and Juan Uribe. The move strengthened the Mets’ lineup, though it was overshadowed by Sandy Alderson‘s subsequent trade for Yoenis Cespedes.

Johnson played in 49 regular season games for the 2015 National League champions, appearing at all four infield spots and the two corner outfield positions. He hit .250 with five home runs and one stolen base. In the playoffs, Johnson was limited to a reserve role where he was not a major factor for the Mets.

Although there had been some thought that the Mets would make an attempt to re-sign Johnson this winter, as the off-season developed it became clear that there was not room for him on the Mets’ roster. He signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves last month, beginning his third tour of duty with the club that drafted him.

Johnson does appear as a Met in last year’s Topps Update set, but I don’t know that I will have an opportunity to get a copy of that baseball card signed. For now, he is represented in my collection via this 2010 Upper Deck insert, which I purchased for $1.70.

Posted in Baseball

Ex-Mets on the move

Mets reliever Carlos Torres signs autographs before the July 4, 2013 game between the Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Mets reliever Carlos Torres signs autographs before the July 4, 2013 game between the Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

With the start of spring training just days away, we’ve reached the point in the off-season where free agents get ready to take minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp.

On Wednesday, former Mets reliever Carlos Torres signed with the Atlanta Braves organization.

Today, former Mets reliever Eric O’Flaherty signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

And former Mets first baseman Ike Davis has been approached by the New York Yankees, who find themselves in need of a regular first baseman in Triple-A as the result of Greg Bird‘s season-ending injury.

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Posted in Baseball, New York Mets

News & Notes: Daniel Murphy, Ty Kelly & early off-season trades

Daniel Murphy (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daniel Murphy (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

On Friday, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy declined the club’s $15.8 million qualifying offer, making him eligible to sign with any the other 29 MLB teams. Despite a World Series performance to forget, Murphy should be able to land a multi-year deal this winter, so his decision is not much of a surprise.

And with Dilson Herrera waiting for an opportunity to take over at second base for major league minimum, the Mets never seemed all that interested in negotiating with Murphy. But while Herrera should provide better defense, it’s going to be important for a club that was already offensively challenged in 2015 to find a way to replace Murphy’s hitting contributions. Despite playing in just 130 games, Murphy was second on the 2015 Mets in hits, first in doubles and fifth in home runs.

Here’s hoping that Sandy Alderson has a plan.

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Posted in Baseball

Tommy Hanson, 1986-2015

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died Monday night after suffering “catastrophic organ failure,” WSB-TV of Atlanta reports. He was only 29.

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of Tommy’s tragic passing,” Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz said in a statement on behalf of the team. “He was a favorite in the clubhouse and with our staff and he will truly be missed by everyone in Braves Country. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, former teammates and friends.”

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Ex-Mets update

Eric Young Jr. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Eric Young Jr. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former Mets OF Eric Young Jr. will get a chance to compete for a job on the Atlanta Braves this spring. He will be battling Trenton Thunder alumni Zoilo Almonte for the chance to platoon with Jonny Gomes in left field.

Young, 29, managed to steal 30 bases for the Mets  last year despite a dreadful .229 batting average and .299 on-base percentage.

I’m not sure that Young will make the team, but if he’s wearing an Atlanta Braves uniform when they play the Mets I bet Young will haunt his old club.

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