As much as I love the Mets, the franchise has made a plethora of questionable moves over the years. While the infamous Tom Seaver trade has often been labeled as the “worst trade in Mets history,” there have also been many other minor moves here and there that I’m sure the organization wishes they could call “backsies” on. “What Could Have Been” will be an on-going series which will take a look back at these unfortunate transactions. Today, I will examine the decision to waive former Mets signee and current Texas Rangers star reliever, Darren O’Day, in 2009.
Darren O’Day was signed as an Amateur Free Agent by the Los Angeles Angels in 2006, and rose through the minors until tearing his labrum in 2008. Despite the severity of the injury, the New York Mets plucked O’Day in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, and placed him on their Opening Day roster. However, his tenure with the Mets didn’t last too long
–in fact, it just lasted a mere 3 innings.
The Mets placed O’Day on waivers to make room for Nelson Figueroa, and the submariner was immediately picked up by the Texas Rangers. Upon entering the South, O’Day seized his new role with confidence, posting a 1.94 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 8.7 K/9 IP, and 2.7 BB/9 IP in 55.6 IP. Considering how bullpen-starved the Mets were in 2009, watching O’Day eat up hitters for the Rangers was cringe-worthy. For the naysayers out there, O’Day followed-up his outstanding 2009 campaign with another electric season in 2010. O’Day posted a 2.03 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 6.5 K/9 IP, and microscopic 1.7 BB/9 IP, proving that 2009 was hardly a one-hit wonder.
Bitter Mets fans might point to O’Day’s K/9 IP dip in 2010 as a future downfall, but it just looks as though he traded some K’s for control–which isn’t too bad of a deal. Even though the Mets didn’t originally draft or sign the Darren O’Day–arguably making the transaction less depressing than others–their decision to waive him will certainly haunt the Mets for as long as O’Day, the game’s only side-winding reliever, dominates opposing AL hitters.