NEW YORK -- Terry Collins smiled Friday afternoon as he sat behind the same microphone into which the manager of the New York Mets spoke angrily less than 48 hours earlier following one of the most embarrassing near-misses in franchise history.
"I haven't been through somebody of this magnitude or this kind of a bat ever joining a club," Collins said just minutes after news began trickling out that the Mets had acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. "I just know from talking to other people what an impact they can make.
"So hopefully we'll announce this in a few minutes and we can move forward."
The Mets certainly did that Friday in sending a pair of minor leaguers -- right-handed pitchers Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer -- to the Tigers in exchange for Cespedes, who ranks among the American League leaders in doubles (third with 28), hits (fourth with 114) and RBIs (ninth with 61) while playing in all 102 games.
Cespedes -- who won the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field -- addresses a pair of glaring needs for the Mets, who entered Friday last among major league teams in batting average (.235), slugging percentage (.364) and runs scored (363).
He is expected to play left field, a position from which the Mets received just a .238 average with 15 homers, 48 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .300.
"A very dynamic player," said New York general manager Sandy Alderson, who stepped to the podium at 4:57 p.m. ET, four minutes before the Mets issued a press release officially announcing the trade. "He's a solid defender. Excellent arm. Very athletic. Power and hitting for average this year. So we think he's going to impact us in a number of different ways."
On and off the field.
A long-suffering Mets fanbase was furious Wednesday, when the club appeared ready to trade infielder Wilmer Flores and injured right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez.
But the trade fell apart late Wednesday night -- after Flores, who had been told by fans and teammates alike that he was being traded, broke down and cried while playing shortstop in the eighth inning of a loss to the San Diego Padres. Following the game, Collins insisted he didn't know a trade was imminent and declared, "there's a lot of BS out there."
Various outlets reported the Mets backed out over concerns regarding Gomez's right hip. There were also reports that the Mets, whose payroll has sunk since ownership lost $500 million in the Bernie Madoff scam in 2008, called off the trade due to financial concerns.
"Those issues of salary and everything else unrelated to medical considerations was a total fabrication," Alderson said Friday. "Period."
Earlier in the press conference, he said he felt no additional pressure to make a deal following Wednesday's hiccup.
"I don't think we felt we were under the gun to do something because that deal did not go through," Alderson said.
Yet just minutes later, Alderson referred to the impact the trade could make with fans.
"I hope it raises the energy level in the dugout and in the stands," Alderson said. "I think this is the kind of player that could have a big impact both in terms of the game on the field and how the team is perceived. So we'll see."
There was little doubt the Mets had to do something this month to convince the paying customers of Citi Field, as well as the rest of baseball, that they were serious about addressing an anemic offense.
Despite their woes at the plate, the Mets -- who rank third in the majors with a 3.31 ERA -- began Friday just three games behind the Washington Nationals, their opponent for this weekend's three-game series at Citi Field, in the National League East. They are also 4 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the race for the second wild card.
The Mets haven't finished above .500 since 2008, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the longest drought in the game. New York is also one of just four teams that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2006.
"I think it does reflect the fact that we believe we're in a position to compete throughout the rest of the season for a playoff spot," Alderson said. "And we're going to do everything we can to ensure that competitive level. I think that's reflective what we've done the last week or so."
The Cespedes trade is the third deal in seven days for the Mets. A week ago, New York acquired infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, along with cash considerations, from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league right-handers John Gant and Rob Whalen.
On Monday, the Mets sent another right-handed pitching prospect, Casey Meisner, to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Tyler Clippard, a right-handed reliever who will pitch the eighth inning for New York. That move proved to be especially valuable a day later, when right-handed pitcher Jenrry Mejia -- who was serving as the eighth-inning man -- was suspended 162 games for failing his second drug test.
Now it's time to find out if three moves are enough to finally end the Mets' long period of dormancy.
"I don't feel complete," Alderson said with a chuckle. "I don't know that the team appears complete. But I think we've significantly improved the team over the last week or 10 days. In that sense, I think we're all pleased."