The Mets announced today that they plan on retiring Jerry Koosman’s number 36 next year.
Koosman was always the number two guy behind Tom Seaver in the Mets rotation, but he was a beloved member of the Miracle Mets and was well-respected among his teammates. He also could pitch a little: He was 17-9 with a 2.20 ERA (160 ERA+) in 241 innings across 32 starts for the ’69 Mets and won two games in the World Series against the heavily-favored Orioles. He’d go on to pitch 12 total years in New York, winning 140 games. In all he pitched 19 seasons in the bigs, winning 222 games and posting a career ERA of 3.36 (ERA+ 110).
The Mets had previously had a number-retiring policy that limited it to Hall of Famers. It’s good to see they’ve chucked that. It has never made sense to me that teams would let a matter like retiring a number — which is a local honor for a local hero and for the benefit of the local fans — to be determined by the voters of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have no dog in the hunt of the player’s memory or legacy in the town in which he starred.
No date is set yet for the ceremony, but it’ll be a big day in Queens when it happens.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.