Armando Benitez (born November 3, 1972) played pitcher for the Mets from 1999 to 2003.
Before the 1999 season, Benítez was traded to the Mets in a three-team deal. Benitez initially served as the setup man, however, when the regular closer, John Franco , went down with an injury mid-way through the 1999 season, Benitez assumed the job and was named the full-time Mets closer even after Franco's return. During his first four seasons in New York, he subsequently became one of the Major Leagues' elite closers, saving 139 games. Unfortunately, his frequent failures in big games became infamous, including blowing his first World Series save opportunity and blowing several key games late in the 2001 season. As a result, Benítez's failures in clutch situations overshadowed most of the success he had in his career in New York. Regardless, several playoff contenders were interested in his services. Midway through 2003, as Benítez labored trying to convert saves through the year, he was traded away.