So there isn’t any big-time trade coming after all. Instead, the Mets have released Alex Cora and demoted Jesus Feliciano.
Per the Mets’ PR department:
METS RECALL OUTFIELDER FERNANDO MARTINEZ AND INFIELDER RUBEN TEJADA FROM BUFFALO (AAA);
OPTION OUTFIELDER JESUS FELICIANO TO BUFFALO (AAA) AND RELEASE INFIELDER ALEX CORA
FLUSHING, N.Y., August 7, 2010 – The New York Mets today announced that they have recalled outfielder Fernando Martinez and infielder Ruben Tejada from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League. Martinez will wear uniform #26 while Tejada will wear uniform #11. Both players will be available for tonight’s game at Philadelphia. In order to make room on New York’s 25-man roster, outfielder Jesus Feliciano was optioned to Buffalo and infielder Alex Cora was released.
Martinez, 21, was hitting .255 (63-247) with 38 runs scored, 16 doubles, 12 home runs, 33 RBI, 17 walks and 60 strikeouts in 68 games with the Bisons. Over his last 10 games at Buffalo, the 6-1, 200-pounder was batting .324 (11-34) with three doubles, two home runs and three RBI.
Martinez hit .176 (16-91) with 11 runs scored, one home run and eight RBI in 29 games with New York in 2009 before undergoing season-ending surgery on July 15 to repair a tear of the medial meniscus of the right knee.
Tejada, 20, was with the Mets from April 5-10 and June 4-July 19 this year. He batted .212 (22-104) with 17 runs scored, four doubles, five RBI, seven walks and 19 strikeouts in 35 games with the Mets. The 5-11, 162-pounder was hitting .280 (61-218) with 25 runs scored, 11 doubles, one home run, 16 RBI, 14 walks and 36 strikeouts in 65 games with the Bisons.
Feliciano, 31, hit .292 (19-65) with eight runs scored, four doubles, one triple and two RBI in 27 contests with the Mets this season.
Cora, 34, was batting .207 (35-169) with six doubles, three triples, 20 RBI, 10 walks and 16 strikeouts in 62 games with the Mets this year.
By cutting Cora now, the Mets have lost some grit and a future manager but they also are absconded of the $2M guaranteed to Cora if he had appeared in 18 more games this season. The move is similar to the dumping of Livan Hernandez around this time last year — who was let go before attaining numbers that would’ve netted about half a million in incentives.
From a financial perspective, the Cora move makes obvious sense.
As for Feliciano, I’m not sure what he did to deserve getting demoted. He seemed to do everything the Mets asked, and added a bit of a spark when he found his way into games. I’m guessing this means that F-Mart will be used at minimum in a platoon in LF with Jeff Francoeur while Jason Bay’s head mends — or perhaps he will be given the job full-time. It certainly makes more sense from a development standpoint for Martinez to play every day.
As for Tejada, I don’t get it. Is he going to play 2B over Luis Castillo? Why not bring Justin Turner back up, who is on a tear in AAA — his OPS over the past ten games is 1.300. In contrast, Tejada is hitting .229 over his last ten games.