2008 saw a new crop of Mets outfielders alongside Carlos Beltran and Endy Chavez. New right fielder Ryan Church had a great first half to his season despite getting a concussion in Spring Training that year.
Church batted .319 in April and .299 in May before suffering another concussion on May 20 after Yunel Escobar slid into him in a game against the Braves.
Soon enough, Church was placed on the disabled list with post-concussion symptoms and missed over three months before returning in September. He ended the year batting .276 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI. He also made the final out in Shea Stadium history.
In 2009, Church was batting .280 with two home runs and 22 RBI before getting traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur that July.
Another big outfield pickup in 2008 was veteran Fernando Tatis. Tatis that year batted .297 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 92 games. He injured his shoulder and missed the last few weeks of the season after making a diving catch. However, he also won the 2008 NL Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Tatis then spent 2009 and part of 2010 with the Mets as a utility player. He batted .282 with eight home runs and 48 RBI in 2009 and played mostly first base and left field. However, he hit poorly in 2010 with just a .185 average, two home runs and six RBI. He did not play in another game after July 4 of that year.
In late 2008, Daniel Murphy got called up and played well in left field by batting .313 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 131 at-bats. However, after playing so poorly in left field in 2009, the Mets moved Murphy back to the infield for good. He is now the Mets' everyday second baseman.
Nick Evans and Angel Pagan both got a decent amount of playing time in the outfield in 2008 as well. Evans batted .257 that year with two home runs and nine RBI, while Pagan hit .275 early in the season before a shoulder injury ended his year in May.
In 2009, the Mets outfield became a revolving door. Beltran and Pagan both suffered various injuries that kept them off the field for over half the season, while Church got traded for Francoeur in July. Francoeur stepped in and had arguably the best offensive season of any Mets hitter that year.
As a Met, Francoeur batted .311 with10 home runs and 41 RBI in 2009. Francoeur was well known for his defense and his very strong throwing arm in particular. At the plate though, despite his power, Francoeur was also known for his high number of strikeouts and lack of drawing walks.
In 2010, Francoeur batted .237 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI before getting traded to the Rangers late in the season for Joaquin Arias. After Beltran was activated from the disabled list, it soon became inevitable that Francoeur was going to get traded.
Veteran Gary Sheffield was signed just days before the 2009 season began and hit his 500th career home run, which was also his first home run as a Met. He batted .276 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI that year in a part-time role.
Sheffield though got more playing time than expected due to all the injuries the Mets suffered and was actually one of their most productive hitters that year. He did not get signed by any team in 2010 and subsequently retired in 2011.
Jeremy Reed became the Mets' new version of Endy Chavez in 2009. He at first was a defensive replacement, but got more playing time than he should have due to injuries. Reed batted .242, did not hit much at all, and made a costly throwing error in one of his rare appearances at first base. Acquired in the J.J. Putz trade, he was not re-signed by the Mets after 2009.
The Mets' injury bug in 2009 also led to journeyman outfielder Cory Sullivan getting more playing time down the stretch than expected. Sullivan though hit poorly with a .250 average, two home runs and 15 RBI.
Top prospect Fernando Martinez also got called up that year, but struggled mightily at the plate with a .176 average, one home run and eight RBI. Plagued by injuries during most of his minor league career, it was no surprise when Martinez missed the last three months of the season with a knee injury.
Martinez would appear in seven games for the Mets in 2010 and 11 more in 2011 before being placed on waivers. The Astros claimed him and he spent the 2012 season in Houston.
After the 2009 season and the Mets' particular struggles in left field, Omar Minaya began his last stand by signing Jason Bay to a four-year $66 million contract. Bay unfortunately turned out to be one of the biggest busts in Mets history. Across three seasons from 2010-2012, Bay batted .234 with 26 home runs and 124 RBI. The home run and RBI numbers he put up were initially expected of him per season, but as a Met, Bay just never really found a groove at the plate.
The Mets ended up releasing Bay after the 2012 season while still paying him the full amount owed to him in 2013.
With Carlos Beltran set to miss the first half of the 2010 season, the Mets' Opening Day outfield consisted of Bay, Francouer and veteran Gary Matthews Jr. Matthews though hit just .190 in 58 at-bats before being benched and then released by June. Pagan took his place in center field and had a breakout season with a .290 average, 11 home runs and 69 RBI. He also added 31 doubles, 37 stolen bases, and a .340 OBP.
After hitting .306 with with six home runs and 32 RBI in 2009 within just 88 games, Pagan proved what he could do when healthy for a full season in 2010. Pagan though did not hit as well in 2011 with a .262 average, seven home runs and 56 RBI. He got traded the following offseason to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.
Other notable outfielders from 2010 include Chris Carter and Jesus Feliciano. Carter was best known for his pinch-hitting, although he made 30 starts in the outfield. Carter batted .263 with four home runs and 24 RBI. Feliciano was a minor league journeyman that finally got a shot to play in the major leagues with the Mets. However, he batted .231 with three RBI in 108 at-bats.
The end of the 2010 season also meant the end of the Omar Minaya era for the Mets. Both Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel were fired from their positions and replaced by Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins, respectively.