An official who was involved in the discussions that led to that Dec. 11, 2001 deal said that one of the players the Mets made available to Cleveland was a Low-A shortstop named Jose Reyes. The official said the Indians liked Reyes, but simply did not have enough information from their South Atlantic League scouts to make an 18-year-old with just two pro seasons the key player in the deal rather than Alex Escobar.For the Mets, it was a crisis narrowly averted, especially considering Alomar's stay in New York was essentially a bust. But for Indians fans? Yeah, this one has to sting. To be fair, Escobar was widely regarded as one of the very best prospects in all of baseball at the time of the trade -- just about any team in the majors would have made the same mistake going after the player thrice named the Mets' Prospect of the Year by Baseball America -- but it just seems so fitting that it happened to a team from Cleveland.
Escobar's career nosedived immediately after being acquired by the Mets -- he missed all of 2002 after tearing his ACL, and four years later he still has just 388 career at-bats. Reyes, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the top talents in the entire game and a legitimate MVP candidate.
How can one city be so unlucky in every sport? Cleveland makes Philadelphia look spoiled.