Finding a nice gift under the tree is a big part of the Christmas holiday. What about a shiny new free agent for your baseball team? New York Mets fans may most associate the holiday with the poorly-aged photo of Dellin Betances standing near a tree. In actuality, the Mets have made far more successful free agent deals right before the holiday.
From December 20 up through the big day, these are four of the best free agent signings the Mets ever made right before Christmas.
1) Cliff Floyd
Dates of when Cliff Floyd actually signed with the Mets seem to vary online. It was 20-21 years ago. Considering there is enough information out there stating it took place right before Christmas of 2002, it’s worth mentioning.
Floyd signed a four-year deal worth $26 million. Chump change in today’s baseball world for a player of his caliber, it ended up working out pretty well for New York.
Floyd was a longtime rival of the Mets, spending parts of five seasons with the Montreal Expos and then the Florida Marlins. Oft-injured but a superb offensive player when healthy, the Mets bought into him ahead of his age 30 season.
Floyd wasn’t perfectly healthy throughout his stay with the Mets. He was productive, though. The final tally included a .268/.354/.478 slash line and 81 home runs. His 2005 campaign was his best with Floyd knocking 34 home runs and driving in 98.
Unfortunately, his reputation as a guy who couldn’t stay healthy caught up with him in 2006 just as the Mets needed him most. Floyd hit .444 in the NLDS but managed to only log 3 at-bats in the NLCS.