The Pirates' Daniel Vogelbach (19) is congratulated after scoring on...

The Pirates' Daniel Vogelbach (19) is congratulated after scoring on a double hit by Michael Chavis during the ninth inning of a game against the Marlins on July 13 in Miami. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

As he stood in the Mets’ clubhouse for the first time on Saturday afternoon, Daniel Vogelbach had plenty to smile about. The lefthanded-hitting slugger began Friday as a member of the Pirates, a team with little chance to reach the postseason. By sunset, he’d been dealt to a National League pennant contender readying for a stretch run.

“You go [to] playing a little more meaningful baseball pretty fast, so I am excited to be here,” Vogelbach said. “This last 2 1⁄2 months of the regular season and every game matters? I got a little taste of it last year with Milwaukee, playing meaningful games for the first time in my career. I feel like once you get a taste of it, you want more.”

Vogelbach, a designated hitter and first baseman who hit 12 home runs and drove in 34 runs in 75 games with Pittsburgh, wasn’t the only person in the room who was happy about the trade.

“We get a good message from the front office,” Francisco Lindor said. “We’re all working hard to have this be the best team it can be. And the front office is right there trying to make this the best team it can be. Adding a piece brings extra energy for me.”

While the potential of a major trade of Nationals superstar Juan Soto hangs over the 10 days before the trade deadline, Lindor explained that good deals don’t always include household names. He pointed to how Atlanta brought in a new starting outfield before last season’s trading deadline, then won the World Series.

“It’s about getting the right pieces that will help you win,” he said.

In the big leagues for parts of seven seasons — and an All-Star in 2019 — Vogelbach had yet to stand in the batter’s box at Citi Field. The Mariners didn’t play there during his seasons with Seattle and he was on the injured list when the Brewers came in last season.


But he did seek out former Met Jay Bruce, whom he knew from their shared time with Seattle, on Friday night to discuss the move and “he had nothing but unbelievable things to say” about playing for the Mets.

He added that Bruce told him: “This is about as big league as you can get. This is what you dream about when you’re a little kid and you want to play in the big leagues. This is the big leagues.”

Most of the faces in the clubhouse were new to Vogelbach, but not all of them. Taijuan Walker was a teammate with the Mariners and Vogelbach played summer travel ball during high school on a team with Lindor and Tomas Nido.

Asked what he remembered of playing on that summer team with Vogelbach, Nido replied: “Pretty much everything. He’s hard to forget. He’s a great clubhouse guy, one of the funniest teammates I’ve ever had. He’s going to fit right in.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. He’s a character on and off the field.”

The 6-foot, 270-pound Vogelbach is expected to see most of his action against righthanded pitchers and thus wasn’t a starter Saturday against San Diego lefty Blake Snell. This season against righties, he has a .260/.365/ .532 slash line with all 12 of his homers; he was 9-for-64 against lefties and eight were singles.

Asked about the view of the Mets from an opposing dugout, Vogelbach used the terms “special” and “talented” and added, “It’s a group that wins a lot.”

As to how he feels about being a desired addition to that, he said: “That’s the biggest thing and the only thing for me. I’m just a guy that .  .  . wants to win. I’m super-competitive. I’ve been that way since I’ve been a kid. And to be wanted by a team that has one goal in mind — and that’s to win the World Series — it makes you feel good and really makes you want to play.”

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