Mets get Johnson, Adkins for Bell, Ring

The Mets acquired outfielder Ben Johnson and pitcher Jon Adkins from the San Diego Padres on Wednesday for pitchers Heath Bell and Royce Ring. A closer look at the particulars in the trade:


Ben Johnson, outfielder: A high-ceiling talent who can play all three outfield positions, the 25-year-old Johnson was considered one of San Diego's top prospects. He was named the Padres' Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 and was ranked by Baseball America as San Diego's fourth-best prospect entering 2006.

Johnson split the 2006 season between San Diego and Triple-A Portland, appearing in 58 games (120 at-bats) in the major leagues, batting .250 with four home runs and 12 RBI. In the minors, Johnson batted .263 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 51 games.

Johnson could fit into the Mets' mix as a fourth outfielder and a member of a left-field platoon with Endy Chavez, and could also free them to utilize Lastings Milledge in a trade.

Jon Adkins, right-handed pitcher: A capable reliever, the 29-year-old Adkins appeared in 55 games for the Padres in 2006, going 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA. In 54.1 innings, Adkins allowed 55 hits and 26 runs (24 earned), walking 20 and striking out 30.

Adkins fits into the Mets' plans as a middle inning reliever who would help them absorb expected departures via free agency.

The Mets' late innings are set with Billy Wagner, Duaner Sanchez and Aaron Heilman, and the team continues to negotiate with Chad Bradford. But Roberto Hernandez and Darren Oliver are among the key bullpen contributors who are not expected back in 2007.


Heath Bell, right-handed pitcher: The 29-year-old Bell had been the longest tenured member of the Mets organization, signing as a non-drafted free agent in 1998.

He was shuttled between New York and Triple-A Norfolk on five separate occasions in 2006 (plus one more unofficially, when Bell flew to New York only to learn a technical issue prevented him from being activated).

Bell appeared in 22 games for the Mets, mostly in mop-up or low-pressure situations, and never appeared to earn the trust of manager Willie Randolph. He had no record and a 5.11 ERA in 37 innings, allowing 51 hits and 25 runs (21 earned) while walking 11 and striking out 35.

At Triple-A, Bell was 3-3 with a 1.29 ERA and a team-high 12 saves in 30 games.

Royce Ring, left-handed pitcher: Selected as an International League All-Star with Triple-A Norfolk, Ring appeared in just 11 games with New York, posting no record and a 2.13 ERA. The 25-year-old was on the team's postseason roster.

Re-invented as a left-handed specialist after earlier tags as the Mets' closer of the future failed to pan out, Ring used a three-quarters arm angle to run off a club-record 26 2/3 scoreless innings streak at Norfolk, finishing 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA and 11 saves in 36 Triple-A appearances.

Ring was acquired by the Mets from the White Sox in a July 2003 trade that involved fading second baseman Roberto Alomar.

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