The U Files Case #21: The Rey Rollover

The Mets have suffered the play of one of the worst players in baseball for the past seven years. Rey Ordonez achieved incredible heights of offensive ineptitude during his tenure with the Mets. After the shortstop famously called Mets fans "stupid", and with arguably the best shortstop prospects in baseball close to ready, the Mets dumped Ordonez on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Now the Mets have good news and bad news for their fans.

The good news is, Rey Ordonez will not be the Mets shortstop. The bad news is, Rey Sanchez will be.

Of course, anything is better than Ordonez. Ordonez was allowed to bat 2,937 times as a Met, but the worse tragedy is, the Mets paid him $19 million over four years for routinely killing the team. Terms of the deal have not been announced, but Sanchez shouldn't have gotten much more than $1 million. It is known that the contract is for one year. It seems the Mets only intend Sanchez to be a stopgap until Jose Reyes assumes the position.

In seven years, the greatest offensive achievement Ordonez ever managed was hitting three home runs in 2001. He never hit more than one in any other season. His career high in doubles was only 25, though somehow he managed to hit a couple of triples in most seasons. Twice he hit four triples. It was a revelation when he drew 49 walks in 1999, but was not able to replicate that success.

Sanchez has a similar offensive profile to Ordonez. He has little patience and less power. At least Sanchez has been able to hit for higher batting average. His career average is 30 points higher than Ordonez' (.275 - .245). Ordonez achieved a career high batting average of .257 in 1996, his first year. Sanchez has bettered that mark 10 times in 12 years. This is, however, the only thing Sanchez has done well offensively. He has posted career marks of .311 On Base and .338 Slugging. In comparison, Ordonez has posted a career On Base Percantage of .290 and has slugged .304.

Ordonez has been regarded as a defensive wizard, though his defense has tailed of in recent years. Sanchez actually has higher career Fielding Percentage and Range Factor. Ordonez steps to the plate with percentages of .976 and 4.26. Sanchez has posted career marks of .981 and 4.49.

Another option the Mets could have signed was Jose Hernandez, who plays good defense and brings home run power to the table. The Mets can still sign Hernandez to fill their remaining hole at third base. Bill Mueller is also an option at third base. He plays good defense and gets on base at a decent clip.

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