Incredibly, the Mets found a taker for Roger Cedeno: the St. Louis Cardinals, who traded Chris Widger and Wilson Delgado for him.
The Cardinals were short on outfielders, with only Jim Edmonds, Reggie Sanders and So Taguchi on their roster, and the Cards didn’t want to be forced to move Albert Pujols back to the outfield. So this trade makes a little bit of sense. Still, Cardinal fans were probably hoping that they would find a way to land Milton Bradley.
Cedeno was effectively the Mets’ fifth outfielder, with Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer ready to platoon in right, and Cedeno was persona non grata to most Mets’ fans. Now Joe McEwing is effectively their fifth outfielder, unless someone like Raul Gonzalez is added back to the roster. Reportedly, the Mets will pay most, if not all, of the $10 million Cedeno is owed for the next two years.
This contract represented one of the biggest mistakes of the Phillips regime. Cedeno actually had a very good initial tour of duty with the Mets, when he combined with Rickey Henderson to form one of the speediest Mets teams in history. Mets’ management seemed to think that he was one of those players who could “handle New York.” But that turned out to be far from the truth. Most inexplicably, he seemed to lose his ability to steal bases.
Cedeno is, by all accounts, a good guy but a sensitive guy. He may find St. Louis to be a more favorable place to play.