Before a signature even lands on the contract, fans will set their expectations for the newest members of the New York Mets. Certain guys come to the team with a ceiling raised so high it would make a medieval church doubt its endowment. In other instances, the Mets bring in guys we don’t expect all that much from.
There are tons of examples over the years when the Mets signed a guy with little or no expectations. These are three of those players.
1) NY Mets free agent signing that exceeded expectations: Rick Reed
Rick Reed was an MLB outcast before joining the Mets and not in the cool “hey ya” or “sorry Ms. Jackson” kind of way. He bounced around with several teams in the late 1980s and first part of the 1990s. In November of 1995, the Mets took a chance on him.
Reed spent all of 1996 in Triple-A where he’d go 8-10 with a 3.16 ERA. He earned himself a shot at a rotation spot the following year. All he did was deliver 208.1 innings, go 13-9, and post a 2.89 ERA. This came during his age 32 season, arguably the best of his career.
The veteran righty remained in New York through the first part of 2001. He was ultimately traded to the Minnesota Twins for Matt Lawton in the middle of the season with the team hoping to land a bat. It was an unfortunate trade for any fan who enjoys a good underdog story. Reed was one of the best in team history.
All-told, Reed was 59-36 with a 3.66 ERA in 888.2 innings for the team. He remains among the leaders in several categories. While never an ace, Reed was reliable and a big part of the team’s success.