Sunday, December 6, 2009
#504) CARLOS BAERGA
Carlos Baerga was traded with Alvaro Espinosa and a $100,000 payment by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets in exchange for Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino on July 29, 1996. A trading deadline deal that allowed the Mets to address one of their concerns. General Manager, Joe McIlvaine at that time called it, "more pop in the middle of our lineup." The move also allowed up and coming star, Edgardo Alfonzo a permanent position in the infield. He had been playing behind Jeff Kent to that point.
Baerga found himself battling injuries for the first two seasons in New York. In 1998 that changed. "...Now I am hitting with power and driving the ball from the right side. I feel good." Carlos reported on May 29th. Trade rumors started, but his importance as a clubhouse leader to the Hispanic players on the team made up for the .266 batting average that final year in New York. Carlos was granted free agency on October 26, 1998, and later signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
After his playing career Baerga joined the staff of ESPN Desportes as an announcer. He became the analyst for the show, "Béisbol Esta Noche".
I created Carlos Baerga's card in the set from an autographed index card I received in a trade from my friend, Dan (of DN Autographs.com) in January of 2009.