|Wright may be Shea Stadium's sole survivor in 2016. Niese is now a Pirate and Murphy and Parnell will be ex-Mets soon. (All photos by Ed Leyro/Studious Metsimus)|
During the 2015 season, a total of 49 players played for the Mets. Of those players, four of them - David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell - had been with the team since the days when the Mets called Shea Stadium home.
But with yesterday's trade of Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker, that number has dwindled to three. And with Walker taking up residence in Murphy's primary defensive home, there might soon be two Mets left who played for the team at Shea.
The number could very well be one by Opening Day, as Parnell has pitched just 25 innings over the last two seasons and they haven't been very good innings, as he's allowed 21 runs (18 earned) and 50 base runners (32 hits, 18 walks) in those 25 frames. For all you kids out there, that's a 6.48 ERA and 2.00 WHIP since the start of the 2014 campaign. In other words, if Bobby Parnell was left off the postseason roster in 2015, he should be missing in non-action again in 2016 and beyond.
Once David Wright becomes the last Met standing from the halcyon days of Shea, the honor of being the second longest tenured Met will go from a soon-to-be former second baseman (Murphy) to a player who's familiar with seconds (Jenrry Mejia), as his second drug suspension for the same drug in 2015 will cost him much of his 2016 campaign as well. Mejia will be the second longest tenured Met by a matter of minutes, as he made his Mets debut during the sixth inning of a game on April 7, 2010, just three innings before Ruben Tejada graced us with his presence for the first time. And yes, that means that not a single player of the 26 men who made their Mets debut in the same year Citi Field made its debut (2009) remains on the team.
Besides Mejia and Tejada, the only other players who played for the Mets as far back as 2010 and were still members of the team last season were Lucas Duda and Dillon Gee (remember him?), although Gee has been granted free agency and will probably join forces with Bobby Parnell in the Land of Make Believe You Were Never A Met.
Just like 2009, there are no players who made their Mets debut in 2011 who are still with the team. In fact, of the 22 players who suited up as a Met for the first time just four years ago, only one - Josh Satin - made it as far as the 2014 campaign, but he and his eyebrows are now property of the Cincinnati Reds.
That bring us to the 2012 season, a year that saw the Mets debuts of just three players who played for the team in the just-completed 2015 campaign. And one of those players (Kirk Nieuwenhuis) had a cup of coffee with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County near Disneyland this past season. That leaves Matt Harvey (Mets debut in July 2012) and Jeurys Familia (Mets debut in September 2012) as the only players from the Year of the No-Hitter who are still with the team and have only played with the Mets.
So let's review.
There were four players on the 2015 roster who were in uniform at the Shea Goodbye ceremony. One of those players (Jon Niese) will now be partaking of pierogies and Primanti Brothers sandwiches as a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Another one (Daniel Murphy) will be counting his money and his defensive lapses as a member of a new team in 2016. A third (Bobby Parnell) was less dependable than Alex Torres's hat and is more than likely also going to be an ex-Met in 2016 - something Bartolo Colon will not be, no matter how much he slips up on the mound or elsewhere.
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Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda will now replace Murphy, Niese and Parnell as the second, third and fourth longest tenured Mets. They will join David Wright as the only players who know what it's like to be managed by Jerry Manuel and who remember firsthand what the Great Wall of Flushing used to look like before half of it was blocked by the Party City Deck.
Since Kirk Nieuwenhuis sported Angels red for a spell in 2015, that will leave Matt Harvey and Jeurys Famila as the fifth and sixth longest tenured Mets, respectively. So who rounds out the top ten as far as longest tenured Mets are concerned? Try this on for size.
- No. 7 - Juan Lagares (Mets debut on April 23, 2013)
- No. 8 - Carlos Torres (Mets debut on June 16, 2013)
- No. 9 - Zack Wheeler (Mets debut on June 18, 2013)
- No. 10 - Wilmer Flores (Mets debut on August 6, 2013)
With Neil Walker and new Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on board, the days for Ruben Tejada as a Met could be numbered. Jenrry Mejia is one suspension away from not only being an ex-Met, but also an ex-major league baseball player. That means Lucas Duda might soon find himself as the only Met besides Wright who remembers Omar Minaya signing anyone.
The days of players who were continuously with the Mets for nearly a decade are long gone. The way things are going, half-decade players could be a thing of the past for the Mets as well. How long will it be before players on the team start calling Wilmer Flores the old man on the team, assuming Flores sticks around long enough?