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Needing to patch the Mets' gaping wound in center field, general manager Omar Minaya reached into his bag of desperation and yanked out Gary Matthews Jr.(notes)

Matthews still is owed $23 million over the next two seasons thanks to a ridiculous contract he signed with the Angels before the 2007 season. So, this is the kind of band aid that hurts when you put it on AND when you rip it off.

Along with Matthews, the Angels will be sending an astonishing $21 million — about 91 percent of the remaining contract — to New York.

To be fair, the Angels are receiving middle reliever Brian Stokes(notes) in return. Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated first reported the deal.

Matthews is 35 years old, has been declining in production and you just never know when he'll receive mysterious packages in the mail that — trust him — he never opened.

But someone's got to patrol the middle expanse of Citi Field between Jason Bay(notes) and Jeff Francoeur(notes) while Carlos Beltran(notes) heals and bickers with the Mets over his semi-authorized knee surgery that might keep him out until early May. The Mets hope.

An All-Star with the Rangers in 2006, Matthews batted .250 with a .697 OPS in '09. Presumably because of injuries and a lack of regular playing in center field, his defensive metrics were poor last season.

L'il Sarge — he's a son of former major league Gary Matthews — still made the darndest catch I've ever seen on a baseball field. But that's getting to be long ago.

Why wouldn't Minaya go out and sign a cheap free agent — Jim Edmonds(notes), Gabe Gross(notes), someone —  rather than trading an asset for Matthews? They also have Angel Pagan(notes), who is better than Matthews but injury prone, and prospect Fernando Martinez(notes).

As with all things Omar, it's a mystery.

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