The past 48 hours have seen the Mets lose two players who played a combined 160 games for the big league club over the course of the 2011 season. News came on Tuesday that backup center-fielder, Jason Pridie, signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A's and on Wednesday, Nick Evans, elected for free agency over accepting his umteenth demotion to AAA Buffalo.
On the surface the loss of each of these players is no big deal. Neither broke camp with the team, being called up as a result to injuries to other players. Pridie arrived in late April, remaining with the club for the duration of the season. Evans on the other hand, was promoted (and demoted) on three separate occasions before coming up for good in early August. Off the two, Evans posted a better average (.256) and better power numbers (4 HR & 25 RBI) in just over half the at-bats Pridie saw. Neither was an offensive force...
The issue really lies in the fact that the Mets still face a lack of depth at the AAA level and while the off-season is still very young, the organization just lost two players it relied pretty heavily on over the course of last season. Neither player is an all-star and it would be surprising to see either set the world on fire elsewhere, but they were the best the Mets had immediate in waiting and for that reason their loss is unfortunate.
Assuming the Mets will feel the wrath of the injury bug that has gripped the roster for several consecutive seasons, the front office will have to take action in order to replace these players who were once considered afterthoughts. Major losses? Certainly not, but for a franchise in a rebuilding mode such as ours, any loss of semi "major league ready" talent must be taken seriously.
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