Mets continue hilariously shopping in Yankees' discard pile with latest signing

New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

Harrison Bader was a damned good Yankee in 2022, when he cameoed in September before blowing the doors off in October, serving as the entirety of the team's playoff offense en route to a depressing Astros sweep.

Unfortunately, that momentum and hometown mojo didn't carry over to 2023, an injury-marred season where Bader's bat failed to catch up with his glove (and was often unavailable entirely). In a flash, the 29-year-old Gator went from a beloved dirt dog to yet another problem in a lineup packed with them.

His Yankee career ended long before Thursday, when he was placed on surprise waivers at the end of August and spent the stretch run in Cincinnati.

The good news for Bader? There's a second team that plays in New York. The bad news? It's the Mets, and they just signed him to a one-year, $10.5 million contract, where he'll follow in Luis Severino's footsteps as he seeks a bounce back.

Mets sign former Yankees CF Harrison Bader

As recently as last spring, Bader felt like an essential part of the Yankees' operation and someone they should extend for three or four years, (almost) cost be damned. Unfortunately, his injury issues reared their ugly head early last season and recurred, as Cardinals fans could've told you they would.

Bader missed time in spring training with an oblique strain, then suffered a hamstring problem in May, the very same month he was activated for his 2023 debut. He arrived in the Bronx, in exchange for Jordan Montgomery, in a walking boot, battling plantar fasciitis.

Bader was still beloved, and not just for his childhood fandom and hometown roots. He was fleet of foot in center (when that foot wasn't booted), and his defense lived up to expectations of effortlessness. While he was occasionally clutch at the dish, though, his bat was as inconsistent as was foretold; his 69 OPS+ in 2023 might've been the biggest drain in an offense full of them.

Now, he gets to stay local and reunite with his college teammate Pete Alonso in what might be both of their final years in Flushing. It's a solid fit and a good rotational piece by Brandon Nimmo's side, but following the Mets' Luis Severino deal, it certainly reeks almost comically of Little Brother Energy.