In exchange for Rogers, the Mets are sending Oakland 23-year-old outfielder Terrence Long and 26-year-old left-hander Leo Vasquez.
Rogers made his major league debut in 1989 with Texas, then managed by Bobby Valentine, the current manager of the Mets. Rogers pitched for the Rangers under Valentine from 1989-92 and threw a perfect game for Texas against California on July 28, 1994.
"He's made of the right stuff for our team," Valentine said. "With our infield and the groundballs he throws, he's a good addition to our staff. He's dying to get back to New York and put a big notch in his belt."
|The Mets hope Kenny Rogers will help them overtake Atlanta.(AP)|
Rogers is making $5 million this season, the last guaranteed season of a $20 million, four-year contract he signed with the Yankees in December 1995. Rogers had a $5 million option for next year that would have been guaranteed with just 42 more innings pitched, but it was voided last Nov. 23 when he withdrew his trade demand.
The Mets, who began Friday two games behind Atlanta in the NL East and one game ahead of Cincinnati in the wild-card race, expect Rogers to arrive on Sunday and plan to use him in a six-man rotation, at least for his first week with the team.
"We're ecstatic to make this trade and add a pitcher of this caliber," general manager Steve Phillips said. "We feel he'll thrive in the National League."
Rogers had an unhappy time during his two years with the Yankees, going 18-15. He was traded to Oakland for Scott Brosius in November 1997, with New York agreeing to pay $2.5 million of Rogers' salary in both 1998 and '99.
While Rogers was 12-8 with a 4.68 ERA as the Yankees won the World Series in 1996, he slumped to 6-7 with a 5.65 ERA the following year and was left off the postseason roster. Durinhis first season with the Yankees, he was hit on his pitching shoulder by a line drive and threatened with demotion to the bullpen.
"I look forward to this challenge," he said. "I'm happy it worked out this way. It's a chance to go back to New York and pitch well. I have something to prove to myself more than anyone."
Long is hitting .326 this season with seven homers, 47 RBIs and 14 steals in 78 at Triple-A Norfolk. He had three at-bats for the Mets this year, striking out twice and grounding into a double play.
Vasquez is 1-2 with a 3.83 ERA and one save in 27 relief appearances at Double-A Binghamton. He has 43 strikeouts in 42 1-3 innings.
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