During the Wilpon era, one signature move that became par for the course for the New York Mets was signing former All-Stars who were definitely past their prime. These former All-Stars were usually marketed as a “big signing” when, in reality, fans expected them to contribute about as much as Eric Campbell did. They also often played, at most, one season in a Mets uniform.
Over the past few years, there have been a number of these “forgotten former All-Stars” to suit up in the orange and blue. Some of them had memorable moments while in Flushing, while others are so forgotten that I had no recollection of them until I wrote this article. And some, like Jed Lowrie, had a Mets tenure that was so unbelievably underwhelming that it became a meme and, therefore, I don’t consider that player “forgotten.”
I also set a time frame of “since 2016” for this article, so two-time All-Star Bobby Abreu’s brief stint with the Mets in 2014 just misses the cut.
Without further ado, enjoy a somewhat disappointing trip down memory lane with these former Mets.
Brian Dozier (All-Star season: 2015; Mets career: 2020)
Do you have trouble recalling anything notable about Dozier’s Mets career? You’re not alone, because it was very short and unremarkable. In 2020, the Mets signed Dozier to a Minor League deal as infield depth. After fellow infielder Eduardo Nunez injured his knee early in the shortened 2020 season, Dozier was recalled from the alternate training site to suit up for the Amazins.
Dozier’s best years had been with the Minnesota Twins. He came up there in 2012 and, after a bit of a slow start, kicked it into gear in 2015 with 28 home runs, 77 RBIs, 101 runs scored, and his only career All-Star selection. Dozier received AL MVP votes in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and won a Gold Glove at second base in 2017. After coming over to the National League via trade in 2018, Dozier won the World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019.
No one really expected him to produce All-Star-caliber numbers in Flushing, but he didn’t really get a chance to do so. He appeared in only seven games for the Mets, notching two hits and scoring one run. I’ll be honest and say that my main impression of Dozier while with the Mets was that he took several at-bats away from Andres Gimenez, but he did his best with the opportunity he was given after almost deciding to opt out of the shortened 2020 season.
Just as abruptly as Dozier’s Mets career began, it ended. With Robinson Cano back from the injured list, there wasn’t much room for Dozier. The Mets designated him for assignment on Aug. 23, 2020, and he was promptly released soon after that. The following February, Dozier announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. As has frequently been the case in recent years, a respected former All-Star got his last licks with the Mets.