Mets land Burnitz in big trade

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets pulled off a three-team, 11-player trade Monday night, acquiring Jeromy Burnitz from Milwaukee and sending Glendon Rusch to the Brewers and Todd Zeile to Colorado.

The Mets completed an offseason overhaul of their offense, getting the slugging outfielder they had been seeking. Burnitz will fit into a lineup with newcomers Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn and Roger Cedeno.

New York also received pitcher Jeff D'Amico, infielder Lou Collier, outfielder Mark Sweeney and cash from Milwaukee. The Mets got minor leaguers Ross Gload and Craig House from Colorado.

The Brewers, who saved money by dealing Burnitz back to his original team, added a left-handed starter in Rusch. They also obtained outfielder Alex Ochoa from Colorado and infielder Lenny Harris from New York.

The Rockies filled their third base hole with Zeile. They also got Agbayani and cash from the Mets.

This is the biggest deal since December 1994, when Houston and San Diego pulled off a 12-player trade -- the most players dealt in the past 44 years. The Padres got outfielder Steve Finley and third baseman Ken Caminiti and Houston got outfielder Derek Bell.

After going to the World Series in 2000, the Mets went 82-80 last year, finishing with the fewest runs in the majors. They were second-to-last in average and homers in the NL.

Burnitz adds another big bat to a lineup that returns Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo. Burnitz, who played two seasons with the Mets, hit .251 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs last season, although he struck out 150 times.

The Mets only had 40 home runs from all of their outfielders in 2001.

D'Amico was 2-4 with a 6.08 ERA in 10 starts for Milwaukee last season.

Rusch went 8-12 with a 4.63 ERA last season and joins a Milwaukee rotation that will probably include Ben Sheets, Jamey Wright and Ruben Quevedo.

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