The Gary Matthews Jr. era in Anaheim is officially over today as the Angels sent the switch hitting outfielder to the Mets for relief pitcher Brian Stokes.
The 30 year old Stokes pitched out of the bullpen for New York. Posting a 2-4, 3.97 ERA in 70 innings pitched.
Los Angeles is on the hook for about $20 million of the remaining $23 million owed to Matthews. Financially this is a poor deal for the Angels but with Matthews wanting out and out fielders Reggie Willits and Terry Evans out of options the move needed to be made.
It would be safe to say that neither Matthews or the Angels got what they expected when they agreed to terms before the 2007 season. Matthews was arguably their best player during the first half of '07 but a knee injury slowed him down and "GMJ" never consistently found his stroke again as an Angel.
After the 2007 season the Angels had an opportunity to replace Matthews in center field and took it, signing Torii Hunter.
Matthews numbers didn't improve in 2008 due to injuries and after the season the Angels decided to go in a different direction, re-signing free agent Juan Rivera and bringing in Bobby Abreu, sending Matthews to the bench.
2009 was a pretty productive season for Matthews in a limited role. However after the season it was clear it was time for Matthews to move on.
Orange Country Register's Sam Miller takes a look back at "GMJ's Finest Moments"