In an effort to purge their 40-man roster, which would otherwise be overloaded when the MLB offseason officially begins, the New York Mets waived outfielder Mike Baxter and reliever Robert Carson on Thursday.
Both were soon claimed, Baxter by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Carson by the Los Angeles Angels, but the loss of both players is no big deal and nothing the Mets should be concerned about moving forward.
The Mets had hoped that Carson would solidify a spot in their bullpen as a hard-throwing lefty, but he continued to have major problems with his control and ended up spending most of the season in triple-A. When it came to which relievers to keep and which to let go, Carson was always going to be the odd man out. The Mets have Scott Rice, Josh Edgin and a few young lefty relievers as bullpen candidates for next year, which would have kept Carson in the minors for the entire season.
Of course, Baxter will always be remembered for the incredible catch he made in left field to help secure Johan Santana’s no hitter in 2012, the first in the Mets’ history. But outside of that wonderful memory, Baxter didn’t contribute much on the field. He was nothing more than a bench player and was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter.
Baxter can be useful coming off the bench, but not if he only hits .189 as he did in 2013. The Mets should be able to put together a much stronger bench with Baxter, perhaps giving Baxter’s spot to a player with more power, like Andrew Brown.
The Mets are bound to part ways with a lot of players this offseason, as a majority of their roster could be overturned; in the grand scheme of things, losing Carson and Baxter isn’t going to mean much to them.