Unhappy Anniversary: Mets trade for Mo Vaughn
On this date in 2001, the Mets acquired slugger Mo Vaughn from the Angels.
On this date in 2001, the Mets acquired first baseman Mo Vaughn from the Angels for veteran right-hander Kevin Appier. New York swung the trade even though Vaughn did not play a single game during the 2001 season due to injury.
The addition of Vaughn was part of a big offseason in which the Mets added Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeno, Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, Pedro Astacio and Shawn Estes, among others. The moves were supposed to help the Mets get back to the postseason after winning 82 games in 2001. Instead, almost every move backfired and the team went 75-86.
As for Vaughn, he started his Mets career very slowly -- he had a .654 OPS as late as June 25 in 2002 -- and was routinely ripped in the media for being out of shape. Vaughn had a big second half and finished the season with 26 homers, 72 RBI and a 114 OPS+, which is good but not what the team was expecting. On the bright side, he did this on June 26:
Injuries limited Vaughn to only 27 games in 2003 and then zero games in 2004. The team paid him north of $17 million each season. All told, Vaughn hit .249/.346/.438 (108 OPS+) with 29 home runs in 166 games during his three seasons with the Mets, earning over $46 million. Appier, meanwhile, helped the Angels to the 2002 World Series championship.
Along with Alomar, Vaughn was the focal point of the disappointing 2002 Mets, who finished in last place in the NL East just two years after winning the pennant.
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