Tommy Pham was traded from a team that was out of the playoff picture in the New York Mets to a team in the playoff mix in the Arizona Diamondbacks at the MLB trade deadline. Moreover, in Pham’s eyes, he also went to a clubhouse that wanted to win more.
“That team [Mets] is more talented than this team [Diamondbacks],” Pham told Newsday Thursday. “Let’s be honest here. And what makes this team different is, everyone is still — at this level — trying to reach their max potential. … That drive wasn’t there, and that drive is here. It’s what separates this team from most teams. You have guys that are still trying to get better. Every day.”
Pham, who was originally signed to be a backup outfielder but later became a starter due to injuries, put together a plausible season for the Mets. Across 79 games, he totaled 10 home runs and 36 RBIs while posting a .268/.348/.472 slash line. Pham then totaled six home runs and 32 RBIs while posting a .241/.304/.415 slash line across 50 regular-season games for the Diamondbacks.
This postseason, Pham has hit two solo home runs but posted just a .214/.233/.357 slash line (42 at-bats across 11 games).
Pham was one of several Mets players to be moved before the trade deadline, right-handers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander and outfielder Mark Canha among the others. New York finished the season 75-87, missing the playoffs despite boasting a roughly — and otherworldly — $340 million payroll and winning 101 games last season.
Pham also referenced conversations he had with Mets manager Buck Showalter, who explained to the outfielder that there were times he wasn’t in the order because he was given data from the analytics department that deduced the 35-year-old projected to perform poorly against the opponent for that day.
“That’s what it was like. This is what Buck was telling me, and that’s why I respect Buck,” Pham said. “Buck’s a great guy. He was being honest with me, he was like, they want me to make the lineup like this. I said, that’s crazy … But that’s the way the game is today.”
Showalter and the Mets parted ways at the end of the regular season after just a two-year partnership.
Meanwhile, Pham and the Diamondbacks take the field for Game 1 of the 2023 World Series against the Texas Rangers on Friday night. First pitch is at 8:03 p.m. ET, and the series can be exclusively viewed on FOX and the FOX Sports app.
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