It was a tough week for fans of the 2015 Mets, the last team in club history to make the World Series. The Mets traded away Steven Matz and Daniel Murphy announced his retirement. Let’s check in on the guys who were active for the World Series in ’15 and see where they all are now.
Yoenis Cespedes – Free agent and it wouldn’t be a surprise if his MLB career was over.
Tyler Clippard – Free agent but pitched well last year for the Twins and likely to sign somewhere.
Bartolo Colon – Last MLB game was in 2018 but some goofballs still clamor for his return.
Michael Conforto – Still with Mets and coming off great 2020.
Michael Cuddyer – Retired after the 2015 season.
Travis d’Arnaud – Just had his best year as a pro with the Braves.
Jacob deGrom – Still with Mets with two CY Awards under his belt.
Lucas Duda – Last played for the Royals in 2019.
Jeurys Familia – Still with the Mets, unfortunately.
Wilmer Flores – Just had his best year as a pro with the Giants
Sean Gilmartin – Pitched in two games with the Rays last year. Really.
Curtis Granderson – Retired following the 2019 season
Matt Harvey – Free agent and it wouldn’t be a surprise if his MLB career was over.
Kelly Johnson – Retired following the 2016 season
Juan Lagares – Free agent likely to snag an NRI somewhere
Matz – Traded to Toronto.
Murphy – Just announced retirement.
Jon Niese – Last pitched in the majors in 2016 but as a lefty he still might make a comeback.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Last appeared in the majors in 2017.
Kevin Plawecki – Just had his best year as a pro with the Red Sox.
Addison Reed – Last pitched in the majors in 2018.
Hansel Robles – Signed as free agent with the Twins.
Noah Syndergaard – Still with Mets.
Juan Uribe – Retired following the 2016 season.
David Wright – Retired following the 2018 season.
That’s four players still on the Mets, five clearly on other teams, six still with a chance to play in 2021 and 10 who have either officially retired or might as well have.
Now let’s compare that to six years after the 1969 Mets. A bit surprising, a quick search did not show the official 25-man World Series roster for the Mets that year. Baseball-Reference shows the following 21 people got into a game in the series against the Orioles:
Tommie Agee – Last MLB game in 1973.
Ken Boswell – Traded to Houston in the offseason.
Don Cardwell – Last MLB game in 1970.
Ed Charles – Retired after 1969.
Donn Clendenon – Last MLB game in 1972.
Duffy Dyer – Traded to Pittsburgh in the offseason.
Wayne Garrett – Still on Mets in 1975.
Rod Gaspar – Last MLB game in 1974.
Gary Gentry – Played for the Braves.
Jerry Grote – Still on Mets in 1975.
Bud Harrelson – Still on Mets in 1975.
Cleon Jones – Still on Mets in 1975.
Jerry Koosman – Still on Mets in 1975.
Ed Kranepool – Still on Mets in 1975.
J.C. Martin – Last MLB game in 1972.
Nolan Ryan – Played for the Angels.
Tom Seaver – Still on Mets in 1975.
Art Shamsky – Last MLB game in 1972.
Ron Swoboda – Last MLB game in 1973.
Ron Taylor – Last MLB game in 1972.
Al Weis – Last MLB game in 1971.
Pfeil didn’t play for the Mets in the postseason, as he got caught in a roster crunch, but he didn’t harbor any bitterness. “We had 26 guys eligible for 25 spots, and I was the odd man out,” Pfeil said. “But they got permission from baseball for me to suit up.”
The Mets used just six pitchers in the ’69 series – three starters and three relievers – which leads me to believe that our missing three players were pitchers. My guesses, based on September usage, are Jack DiLauro, Cal Koonce and Jim McAndrew. So, here’s the 1975 fates of my four roster guesses:
DiLauro – Last MLB game in 1970.
Koonce – Last MLB game in 1971.
McAndrew – Last MLB game in 1974.
McGraw – Traded to Philadelphia in the offseason.
That leaves us with seven players still on the Mets, five other guys still active and 13 who were no longer in MLB. Those numbers surprise me a little. Before doing the research, my guess probably would have had one or two more still on the Mets and one or two more still active. And those numbers would have fit a year earlier, as there were 10 players still on the 1974 squad and two others still active for other teams that season.
The 1975 Mets rebounded from a 71-91 finish the year before to go 82-80. The 2020 Mets finished the truncated season on a pace to go 70-92. But all of us are expecting a better year in 2021 than what the ’75 team produced. One thing going for this year’s team is that (hopefully) it won’t give 909 PA to guys who finish the year with a sub-80 OPS+. Among that sad lot of offensive production were 1969 members Harrelson and Jones.
And the player with the most PA in that underperforming lot? Of course, it was Gene Clines, who put up a .554 OPS in 216 PA in what was mercifully his only year in Queens. The Mets should have never traded Dyer for him.
Hopefully the 2021 squad won’t have so much trouble finding a fourth and fifth starter, like the ’75 squad did. Seaver, Koosman and Jon Matlack went 52-34. The other six pitchers to start that season for the team went 16-27. That need for a fourth starter led to the Mets trading for BobP favorite Mickey Lolich for the 1976 team.