Longtime Mets killer traded out of the NL East

A known Mets assassin has been dealt away from the Marlins.
Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

Here’s something to thank the New York Yankees for: the New York Mets will deal with Jon Berti much less in the foreseeable future. All but 4 of his career MLB games took place as a member of the NL East rival Miami Marlins. A tenure which began in 2019, he was one of the bigger pests.

On Wednesday, Berti was traded to the Yankees as part of a three-team deal also involving the Tampa Bay Rays. Berti, who led the league with 41 stolen bases in 2022, will join the Yankees after an impressive year at the plate which featured a .294/.344/.405 slash line while working as a super utility player.

A much lighter hitter throughout his career with only a .258/.337/.368 slash line in 1550 plate appearances, Mets fans have seen a much different version of him over the years.

Farewell Jon Berti from the NL East, we won’t miss you

Berti heads to the Yankees with a lifetime .301/.363/.429 slash line against the Mets. A nearly 50 point raise in batting average, a lesser one in OBP, but a huge jump in slugging percentage from his career totals, Berti was a nuisance the Mets had to deal with for 46 games. While he only hammered 2 home runs, his 13 doubles are almost twice as many as he had against any other club in his career.

Berti has handled Atlanta Braves pitchers well over the years, too. His 7 doubles, however, doesn’t match the 13 versus the Mets.

Maybe more painful than the bat is how well Berti has done on the bases against the Mets. A known thief with his legs, he has 19 swiped bags against the Amazins. Like the doubles, it’s the highest total he has against any single team.

An example of the kind of pain Berti can create happened on June 18, 2022. Berti singled to leadoff the game and managed to make his way to third on a pair of stolen bases. He’d steal a third bag in the ninth after another leadoff single and eventually come around to make it a 3-2 game in favor of the Mets, forcing Buck Showalter to call upon Edwin Diaz from the bullpen. Diaz would hold on but our blood boiled nonetheless.

Then of course there was this event went Berti stole second, third, and then home back in 2020. If you said you were there to see it happen, you're lying.

Despite the rule changes, Berti would only swipe 16 bases in 2023 in 22 attempts. He still managed to cause some destruction against the Mets. He batted .324/.425/.529 in his 40 plate appearances.

A player you hate to go against and love to have, it’ll be a nice relief to see him a lot less. The Mets have been known as a team that doesn’t run a whole lot and have employed plenty of pitchers who struggle to hold runners on. One less base runner to envy in the NL East. Few neck twists from the pitchers.

So long, sucker. Enjoy the American League.