Lots of teams missed out on drafting Mike Trout in 2009. The New York Mets did so by going after a big name free agent.
Imagine Mike Trout playing for the New York Mets. It’s a dream come true for any MLB team. Somewhere, in a parallel dimension, he’s at Citi Field right now smashing a home run into the upper deck while preparing to hoist another MVP trophy in a few months.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in this universe. We live on a timeline where losing Juan Lagares for the year is a huge blow to this team’s hopes.
In 2009, Trout went to the Los Angeles Angels 25th overall in the draft. Sadly, the Mets didn’t have a pick in round number one to select him. They decided to prioritize in other areas.
The reason they didn’t get a crack at Trout is because of one bold move they made in the offseason prior. Hoping to find some security in the ninth inning, the Metropolitans signed closer Francisco Rodriguez.
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Rodriguez was coming off a year in which he finished third in the Cy Young voting and sixth in the MVP. He saved a league-best 62 games for the Angels. This total is an MLB record that remains today.
At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Who would have known it would cost them a chance at drafting a generational player? Considering he fell so far in the draft, no one foresaw what Trout would become.
Before signing Rodriguez, the Mets owned the 24th pick in the draft. Because they signed K-Rod, they forfeited the pick to the Angels.
The Angels used the pick on outfielder Randal Grichuk. With the very next selection, they took Trout.
To ease a little pain, it’s helpful to know the 25th pick originally belonged to the New York Yankees. They lost their selection because they decided to sign Mark Teixeira.
It’s quite interesting to see how both New York baseball teams had a chance at Trout. Of course, so did many other MLB teams.
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We’ll never know who the Mets may have taken if they kept the draft pick. Judging by how poorly they have drafted, it’s probably best we don’t.