Mets deal for Diamondbacks outfielder Green

NEW YORK -- Outfielder Shawn Green was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Mets on Tuesday night, giving the NL East leaders one more big bat as they gear up for the postseason.

The Diamondbacks sent the 33-year-old Green and slightly more than $6.3 million to the Mets for Triple-A pitcher Evan MacLane, a 23-year-old left-hander.

"I think he's going to help us this year, I think he's going to help us next year," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "We're getting a proven veteran."

Green, who is owed about $12.75 million for the rest of his contract, reported to the ballpark for the Diamondbacks' game Tuesday night at San Francisco but only stayed about 10 minutes. He was seen waving to Giants manager Felipe Alou as he left the stadium.

"I'm definitely excited for the opportunity," Green said, speaking from San Francisco International Airport. "I really like the Mets' chances to go to the postseason and have a chance at the World Series."

Green, who waived his no-trade clause, was hitting .283 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI this season. He joins a team that began the night with a 13{-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East.

"He's going to be my right fielder," Mets manager Willie Randolph said after an 8-7 win over St. Louis. "He hits righties and lefties consistently. He's solid all the way around."

Green, a two-time All-Star, once hit four homers in a game and has four seasons of at least 100 RBI. He expects to join the Mets as soon as Wednesday.

"I think for Shawn and everybody it's a relief that it's over," Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. "It's been kind of lingering a little bit. I'm sure it weighed on him. He's an established major-league player. It's a good opportunity for him. He has a chance to be in the playoffs. I'm happy for him. I called him right after I got here and found out."

Arizona activated Craig Counsell from the 15-day disabled list to take Green's roster spot. The infielder had been out since July 15 with a broken right rib.

While the Mets have a dynamic leadoff hitter in Jose Reyes and a strong middle of the order with Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and David Wright, they were looking for more production in their corner outfield spots.

Oft-injured left fielder Cliff Floyd is on the disabled list for the second time this season and rookie Lastings Milledge has struggled in right field despite showing signs of pop and speed. Utilityman Endy Chavez has played beyond expectations in the outfield.

"Had I played my whole career and never played in New York, I always would have wondered what it was like," said Green, whose wife and family are all for the move. "We feel we're up for an adventure. At this stage in my career, it's a perfect fit."

Under Minaya, the Mets have spent millions trying to assemble their first World Series championship team since 1986. And Green, for sure, is an expensive addition.

Green is owed just under $1.75 million from his $8 million this year and has a salary of $9.5 million next year. His contract calls for a $10 million club option in 2008 with a $2 million buyout.

New York will receive $500,000 this year and most of the remainder Arizona owes next season.

For Arizona, dealing Green allows general manager Josh Byrnes more flexibility as he plans the 2007 roster.

"We got some financial relief in this deal that will help us with spending power in 2007," Byrnes said. "This one has been lingering for a while. Everyone has been able to conceptualize him going to the Mets. ... We create more playing opportunities for our young guys who we believe in."

The Diamondbacks began the day four games behind Los Angeles in the NL West. Rookie Carlos Quentin has played well in right field since being called up by Arizona.

Manager Bob Melvin was eager to move forward now that the swap was finally official, though he acknowledged how much the Diamondbacks would miss Green not only on the field but also as a positive clubhouse presence.

"We're happy for him that he's going to a place he wants to be," Melvin said. "It's good for everybody, and we're not going to have that distraction around it."

To clear a roster spot, the Mets designated outfielder Victor Diaz for assignment.