The Daniel Vogelbach trade will never reach Darin Ruf levels, but it's trying to

New York Mets v Chicago Cubs
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Will the 2022 summer trade for Daniel Vogelbach ever reach Darin Ruf proportions? There are about four times as many chances the Ruf deal ends up being the far worse trade over time simply because in order to acquire the former New York Mets right-handed “slugger” cost the team four players.

We’re continuing to see one of the reasons why Vogelbach has played for five different teams in parts of eight seasons. Even if we discount those early three seasons with the Seattle Mariners when he had seasons of 8, 16, and 37 games played, Vogelbach is an even more well-traveled ball player who today carries a lifetime .218/.344/.405 slash line.

Last year, as a trade deadline acquisition, it was excusable to add Vogelbach just because options weren’t so great for the Mets outside of the organization without an obvious overpay taking place. He did hit .255/.393/.436 for them in his 183 trips to the plate. This season, through 125 chances, he’s at .223/.360/.320 with just a pair of home runs.

The Mets trade for Daniel Vogelbach may have already peaked

When the Mets gave up relief pitcher Colin Holderman for Vogelbach last summer, the reaction was mixed. Holderman owned a 2.04 ERA in 17.2 innings of work for New York. He could have just as easily filled whatever role Mychal Givens was brought in for. Upon joining the Pittsburgh Pirates, Holderman’s season quickly sunk—that’s not meant to be a pirate joke by the way. He gave them a 6.75 ERA performance in his 10.2 innings for them.

Changing teams might have had a little to do with it because this season Holderman has been very good. After 18.1 innings in Pittsburgh, Holderman has a 2.45 ERA and has averaged 11.3 strikeouts per 9.

A 27-year-old relief pitcher shouldn’t come close to matching what a player like Vogelbach offers a team. Unfortunately, through the first nearly two months of the 2023 season, it’s looking like Holderman is the more important player to his ball club. The Mets could use an arm like his in the bullpen. Equally so, they don’t need a player like Vogelbach clogging up the roster spot, the base paths, and looking for ball four before he even steps into the batter’s box.

The one 2022 trade deadline deal which carried over into the 2023 season was this one struck between the Mets and Pirates. Many of us had our doubts about letting it continue into year number two with how poorly the platoon between Vogelbach and Ruf worked out down the stretch in 2023. We’re being proven right not so much because of how Vogelbach has played and more so how poorly he fits in alongside the other 25 guys on the roster.