The New York Mets have decided to bring back Fernando Tatis for 2009, signing him to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. Tatis’ comeback story did not receive a lot of press, but it was quite remarkable. The former star, who once hit two grand slams in the same inning, returned to the game two years ago with the intention of earning enough to help renovate a church in his native Dominican Republic.
All the hard work payed off.
Tatis, 33, helped saved the Mets’ bacon while filling in for injured New York outfielders Moises Alou and Ryan Church. He finished the year batting .297/.369/.484, with 11 homers, an .853 OPS and 49 RBIs in 92 games following his call up from Triple-A on May 13. He truly provided the club a nice little boost before injuring his shoulder in early-September, causing him to miss the remainder of the year.
"Fernando got so many key hits for us last year," general manager Omar Minaya said in a statement. "Not having him the last few weeks of the season certainly hurt. His versatility certainly makes us a better team."
For his efforts, Tatis earned National League Comeback Player of the Year. While his success was quite a surprise, this deal makes a lot of sense for the Mets. He is a low-risk, cheap option who has the chance to be an important bat off the bench for the Mets as they look to return to prominence in the National League East after missing out on the playoffs the past two seasons.
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