January 10, 2012

Reds Legend Was Almost a Met

On his third try, Barry Larkin made it into the Hall of Fame with more than 86% of the vote Monday afternoon.

For those of you under a rock, Larkin was a fixture for the Cincinnati Reds.  Dude help the team win the 1990 World Series, was the first shortstop in baseball history with 30 steals and 30 home runs in a season and, in 1995, brought home the National League MVP award.

All for his home team.

Yeah, Larkin is from Cincinnati, but, if you recall...he almost didn't end his career there.

Let's take a trip down Memory Lane...courtesy of New York Baseball Digest's Mike Silva.

What many forget is Larkin almost became a member of the Mets in July of 2000. With Rey Ordonez out for the season due to an injury, then GM Steve Phillips dealt top prospect Alex Escobar and two other prospects for Larkin. Because of his 10 and 5 rights, Larkin had to approve the deal and was granted 72-hours. A free agent at the end of the season, he was looking for a contract extension, something the Mets were unwilling to do since they still were committed to Ordonez for another 3 years and $17 million dollars and wanted to pursue Alex Rodriguez after that season. Larkin would eventually turn down the deal and remain in Cincinnati. The Mets would deal Melvin Mora to Baltimore for Mike Bordick, and a year later use Escobar as the centerpiece of the Roberto Alomar deal with Cleveland. Larkin would sign with the Reds for another three years and $27 million dollars.

The newly elected Hall of Famer actually addressed the near trade Tuesday at the Hall of Fame press conference.  Simply put, he didn't want to be "big with the Reds and go somewhere as a rental".

Makes sense to me.


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