On July 29, 1996, the Mets acquired switch-hitting All-Star second baseman Carlos Baerga from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Jose Vizcaino and Jeff Kent, they also received Alvaro Espinoza in the trade. Though Baerga was having an off year he was still considered by many to be one of the top hitters in the game with a penchant for hitting frozen ropes, his career average before arriving in New York was .299. It appeared that a change of scenery was just what he needed when he hit a pinch hit single to drive in the winning run in his first at bat in a Mets uniform. But following his successful start to his Mets career it was obvious that Baerga was not the same hitter, as he hit just .193 for the rest of the season, though injuries did play a part
Carlos Baerga was looking for a fresh start in 1997, hoping to return to his former All-Star self. But he got off to a slow start, hitting just .188 after the first month of the season. He began to find his stroke in the month of May, but he still was not the hitter he once was. He finished the season with respectable .281 average but his power numbers were down as he hit only 9 home runs while driving in 52. Baerga produced more of the same in 1998 hitting .266 with just 7 home runs and 54 RBI’s.
Though his career numbers with the Mets were respectable, a .267 average with 18 home runs and 166 RBI’s in 306 games, they were not the numbers the Mets expected when they acquired him and with the emergence of Edgardo Alfonzo as a .300 hitter the organization decided not to resign Baerga following the 98 season. But to his credit Baerga always gave his all and always showed a great deal of enthusiasm when he played. He truly cared and it was never more evident than in his last game as a Met. With the Mets needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive they lost to the Atlanta Braves 7 -2. After the game Carlos Baerga could be seen in the dugout practically in tears as the Mets postseason hopes were dashed.
While with the Mets Baerga wore number 6 in 1996 and number 8 from 1997-1998.
Carlos Baerga also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1990-1996,1999
San Diego Padres – 1999
Boston Red Sox – 2002
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2003,2004
Washington Nationals – 2005