Mets take chance on Mota, deal for Indians reliever
Mike Piazza charged the mound after Mota hit him with a pitch on March 12, 2003. Piazza later went looking in the Dodgers' clubhouse for Mota, who also hit him in spring training 2002. The catcher left the Mets after last season to sign with San Diego.
Mota, a 33-year-old right-hander, is 1-3 with a 6.21 ERA in 34 games for the Indians this year, allowing 25 hits and 19 walks in 37 2/3 innings with 27 strikeouts.
"Our scouts have seen him, feel that the velocity is good. He's healthy," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "Hopefully a change of scenery, change of leagues can hopefully produce better results."
Mota, who originally signed with the Mets in 1990 as a shortstop, was dealt by the Dodgers to Florida along with current Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca in July 2004. He was traded to Boston after the 2005 season as part of the Josh Beckett deal, and the Red Sox shipped him to Cleveland in January.
Mota missed more than a month of 2005 due to a sore elbow.
"Up until last year he was one of the better setup men in baseball," Minaya said. "It's a move that has some potential upside, and really it's not going to cost us much."
New York will pay only about $275,000 of the approximately $690,000 remaining in his $3 million salary this season, with Cleveland paying the rest. Mota is eligible to become a free agent after the season.
Mota is expected to report Tuesday, when New York opens a three-game series against St. Louis, and the Mets will make a roster move then.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press