Mets finalize deal to land Green

Mets finalize deal to land Green

NEW YORK -- The Mets believe they have addressed their offensive shortfall that has developed since the trade of Xavier Nady 22 days ago. They have acquired left-handed-hitting veteran right fielder Shawn Green and $6.3 million from the Diamondbacks for Minor League pitcher Evan MacLane.

The acquisition of Green came Tuesday night with the Mets' regular left fielder, Cliff Floyd, assigned to the disabled list, with rookie outfielder Lastings Milledge distinguishing himself neither at bat nor in the field, and with the Mets outfielders not producing as they had before Nady was traded to the Pirates on July 31.

"I'm definitely excited for the opportunity," said Green. "I really like the Mets' chances to get into the postseason and get to the World Series, and at this stage of my career that was a big factor why I waived the no-trade. Because there's not many more chances for me left to have an opportunity like this."

To make room for Green on the roster, the Mets designated Victor Diaz for assignment.

Green's presence almost certainly will reduce Milledge's playing time and allow manager Willie Randolph to use Endy Chavez as he prefers to use him -- as a fourth outfielder, pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. Green should provide more extra-base production -- he was batting.283 with 22 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 51 RBIs in 471 at-bats with the D-Backs this season.

Green no longer is a semblance of the player who averaged 38 home runs and 112 RBIs from 1998 through 2002. He had averaged 23 home runs and 81 RBIs from 2003 through last season. But Mets general manager Omar Minaya said he likes Green's tendency to work the count and hit to the opposite field.

"I think he fits right in and makes us a better offensive team," Minaya said. "He makes us a better team this year and next."

Nady, who had 14 home runs and 40 RBIs in 265 at-bats with the Mets, was dealt in an exchange that imported Roberto Hernandez, who has pitched merely 5 2/3 innings in 24 Mets games since his arrival, and left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez, who has pitched in the Minor Leagues exclusively since the deal.

Minaya said the move wasn't made as a specific response to Floyd's absence or Milledge's struggles.

"I think you try to make your pitching better whenever you can," the GM said. "And one way to do it is to improve the lineup to make it easier to pitch."

Green, 33, was in San Francisco with the D-Backs when he learned of the trade. He was seen on the field hugging teammate Craig Counsell and a Diamondbacks coach at AT&T Park. He had been made aware of the possibility of a trade to the Mets because the D-Backs needed his approval to deal him because of a limited no-trade provision in his contract.

"There weren't any negotiations on my part [in waiving the no-trade clause]," Green said. "The factors were, one, I was happy in Arizona, but I understand the direction of the club is a little different. They've got some really talented young players. I understand on that situation."

The trade talks between the Mets and D-Backs began in earnest, a person familiar with them said, on Aug. 9, when the Mets assigned Floyd to the disabled list. The D-Backs contacted the Mets, having been made aware of the Mets' simmering interest in Green weeks earlier.

Green has one year and an option remaining on his contract. The Mets have assumed a $13.25 million obligation, including the remaining salary for this season. Green is to earn $9.5 million next season. If the club doesn't exercise the $10 million option for the 2009 season, Green receives $2 million.

So the Mets will pay $6.95 million and the Diamondbacks $6.3 million.

Green is considered "a dear friend" by Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado -- they were Blue Jays teammates from 1993-99.

"He's good people," Delgado said. "He will fit right in."

Marty Noble is a reporter for reporter Steve Gilbert contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.