Playoff Shoo-In Mets Continue To Deal

Owners of a 13½-game lead in the National League East, the Mets have all but clinched a playoff berth. But with Xavier Nady traded to the Pirates, Cliff Floyd hurt yet again and megaprospect Lastings Milledge still trying to figure the big leagues out, New York needed help on the outfield corners. The Mets addressed that problem on Tuesday, getting Shawn Green from the Diamondbacks for Triple-A lefthander Evan MacLane. Arizona also kicked in $6.3 million, slightly less than half the remaining value of Green’s contract.

Green, 33, has seen his bat speed diminish a little and he’s not the power threat he was while averaging 38 homers and 112 RBIs from 1998-2002, but he will be an upgrade for the Mets. He’s hitting .283/.348/.429 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs in 115 games this season. He has decent speed and gets the job done in right field, where he features solid arm strength. Green makes $8 million in 2006, $9.5 million in 2007 and has a $10 million mutual option with a mutual buyout for 2008. He’s a lifetime .283/.356/.500 hitter with 314 homers, 1,009 RBIs and 151 steals in 1,787 games.

MacLane, 23, signed as a 25th-round pick from Feather River (Calif.) CC in 2003. He doesn’t throw hard, usually working in the mid-80s with his fastball, but he has advanced to Triple-A on the basis of his command and his changeup. In 26 starts between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Norfolk this year, he has gone 12-9, 4.02. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats, as evidenced by his 92-37 K-BB ratio, .281 opponent average and 15 homers allowed in 154 innings.

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