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Report: Mets Passed On Easy-Peasy David Ortiz Trade In 2002

Yikes — What Could Have Been?
David Ortiz walks up to the on-deck circle at the Mets' Citi Field in April 2009. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

David Ortiz walks up to the on-deck circle at the Mets’ Citi Field in April 2009. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mets fans have long been lamenting the one who got away.

The exact identity of “the one” depends on who you talk to. For some, it could be a franchise player traded (see Seaver, Tom). For others, it’s a fan favorite who eventually signed elsewhere (see Reyes, Jose).

Then there’s the could-have-landed category, either via trade or free agency. You can add Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to that list.

The Minnesota Twins offered Ortiz to the Mets for practically a bag of balls in Nov. 2002, according to USA Today.

The tidbit was published Friday in a piece by Paul White about the bond between Ortiz and former teammate Torii Hunter, two players facing off in this year’s Boston-Detroit ALCS.

“(Twins general manager Terry Ryan) told the Mets he wasn’t planning to tender Ortiz a contract and, if the Mets had any interest, they could easily make a deal,” White wrote. “The Mets looked at their 40-man roster and decided they didn’t have room for a guy whose knees had been a problem playing on the Metrodome’s artificial turf but had hit 15 of his 20 homers in the second half of the 2002 season.”

Ortiz signed a free-agent contract with Boston in Jan. 2003. The rest is history. He won two World Series titles (2004 and 2007), hitting 373 home runs in his 11 seasons with the Red Sox — mostly playing as a designated hitter. He has a shot for another ring this postseason.

New York went 66-95 in 2003. Former BoSox star Mo Vaughn started the season at first base but never made it out of May. General manager Steve Phillips was fired in June.

The closest the Mets came to a championship in this millennium was 2006, when they took St. Louis to a decisive Game 7 in the NLCS.

We all know how that turned out.

Hey, at least Ortiz has terrorized the Yankees for over a decade.

Right, Mets fans?

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