32 thoughts on “Dec. 28.09: The Worst Mets’ trade ever?

  1. Well obviously Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi didn’t really work out too well. Jeff Reardon for Ellis Valentine (though if the Mets had traded Neil Allen instead, they might not have gotten Keith Hernandez,) Dykstra and McDowell for Juan Samuel, those deals come to mind right away.

  2. My goodness..I don’t know how I could forget about the Midnight Massacre in 1977!!! The worst trade in Met history is the Seaver deal.

  3. I’ll try to add some positivity (sorry JD, I know it doesn’t make for good reading,) but here are some of the Mets best trades not in any particular order:

    Lee Mazzilli for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell
    Octavio Dotel and Roger Cedeno for Mike Hampton
    Neil Allen and Rick Owenby for Keith Hernandez
    Hubie Brooks, Floyd Youmans, Mike Fitzgerald for Gary Carter
    The trade with the BoSox that got the Mets Bob Ojeda
    The Mike Piazza deal
    The Al Leiter deal

    They seemingly have made alot more good trades than bad ones.

  4. Good change of pace Steve O.
    I’ll add some oldies that gave us a WS flag:

    Tom Parsons for Jerry Grote;
    Tommy Davis, Jack Fisher, Billy Winn and Buddy Booker for Tommy Agee and Al Weis;
    Steve Renko, Kevin Collins, Bill Carden and Dave Colon for Donn Clendenon (Oh my gosh we emptied our farm for a WS);

    And my all time Favorite:
    BillDenehy for Washington Senators Manager Gil Hodges!

    PS: Calvin Schraldi and John Christianson were in the Ojeda deal. And we gave up Mookie’s kid plus super dud prospect Jeff Goetz(?) for Piazza.

  5. Not a trade but the Mets failed to protect Paul Blair after the 1962 season and he had a 15 year career with the Orioles and Yankees.

    Amos Otis and Bob Johnson (whom the Royals traded for Fred Patek) for Joe Foy.

    Jason Bay for Steve Reed.

    Rusty Staub was a good player but Ken Singleton (and Tim Foli) had better careers after the 1972 trade.

  6. 3. Steve, I disagree. Many more bad trades, IMO. Heres my top 10.

    1. Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi.
    2. Amos Otis for Joe Foy
    3. Tom Seaver for Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn, pat Zachry and Dan Norman.
    4. Kazmir for Zambrano.
    5. Rusty Staub for Mickey Lolich.
    6. Jeff Reardon for Ellis Valentine.
    7. Jeff Kent for Carlos Baerga.
    8. dykstra and McDowell for Juan Samuel.
    9. Kevin Mitchell for Mcreynolds.
    10.Rick Aguilera and others for Frank Viola.

    There are others. It seems most of the good moves came on Cashens watch. The bad ones stretch over 40 years.

  7. 2. Disagree about Seaver being the worst. He was past his prime at the time and while the 4 players they got back werent great, at least they filled in some holes.
    I put Ryan and Otis ahead because they were young played all star baseball for many years after. Fregosi had 1 1/2 years of bad baseball left and Foy becaame a drug addict and was out of baseball the next year.

  8. 5. Dan, Thats the first time I heard about Blair. Interesting. About Staub, I would say he and Singleton were a wash. Foli and Jorgensen both became Mets again and were ok players. Rusty went on have some of his best years in Detroit after the stupid Lolich Deal. If he had them for the Mets He would be regarded more highly among mets fans.

  9. (6) How could I forget Kazmir for Zambrano. An awful trade mainly for who they got back for Kazmir since they didn’t bother to see what else was available in trade from other teams. I’ll also add the David Cone trade for Ryan Thompson and Jeff Kent because again the Mets didn’t bother to offer Cone around to the league. I know Mitchell went on to have an MVP season, but McReynolds was probably the best defensive left fielder the team has ever had and IMO, should have been the MVP of the league in 1988 but he split the votes with Straw. Viola in all fairness did win 20 with the Mets and it’s doubtful Aggie would have developed into the closer he turned out to be. He had developed into a lights out set up man with the Mets the year he was traded. The funny part about that trade was that David West was the centerpiece of the deal!

  10. 9. The Cone for kent trade was a great trade. The Mets got a Hall of Fame player at the beginnng of his career. Its not the fault of this trade that they dumped him later before he realized his full potential.
    7. when you trade your “franchise” you’ve made the worst trade in your history. Mitchell/McReynolds was not one of the worst trades ever. McReynolds was a good and steady player. He was the player all you Church defenders dreamed Church would become. Mitchell had 2 great years and then quickly became a part time player. Not even close to one of the worst trades in team history. You certainly need to replace that trade for the trade of Chiti for Chiti. That was the worst and became the best all in one deal.

  11. A tie between these two trades:
    1. Dec. 3, 1969:
    Amos Otis and Bob Johnson to Kansas City for Joe Foy
    The Mets stubbornly insisted that Otis be converted into a third baseman and instead he’s exiled to KC.
    The very next season, Otis was selected as a reserve in the 1970 All-Star Game. He goes on to become a six-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Top 10 MVP vote getter and logs a career .295 post-season batting average, including a .478 mark in the 1980 World Series, with three homers and seven RBIs.
    Foy?
    He hits .236 with 6 HRs in 99 games and battles drug problems. He’s so bad, the Mets expose him to the Rule 5 Draft the next season and is picked up by the Washington Senators, for whom he plays 41 games the next season and then retires.

    Dec. 12, 1975:
    Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton to Detroit for Mickey Lolich and Billy Baldwin

    How can any GM justify trading one of the team’s most popular players ever, who just came off a season in which he set a new personal-best and franchise record for RBIs in a season (105)on an offensively-challenged team? How can any GM further justify it by trading that player to open the position for a rookie — in this case, Mike Vail — who despite his then-record hitting streak, hadn’t played more than a month in the Major Leagues and acquiring a mid-30s pitcher coming off consecutive 21 and 18-loss seasons?
    Rusty was peaking and had the most productive years of his career from 1976 through 1978, averaging 20 HRs and 106 RBIs and like Otis, earning an All-Star berth the year fater being traded away from the Mets.
    Lolich?
    He goes 8-13 in his only year with the Mets, misses all of the next season with an injury and then, after signing with San Diego as a free agent in 1978, pitches in a total of 47 games the rest of his career, spanning just two seasons, in which he starts just seven of those games.
    Baldwin?
    His Mets career lasts all of nine games in 1976 and he never again plays in the Majors.

  12. Good thread, Its nice to talk about something different than the not so hot stove. In response to some of those who disagreed with some of my picks.
    A. Mitchells loss was more than his production, It was replacing his tough guy persona with Mcreynolds “I wish it was duck hunting season” mentality. Yes McReynolds did have a great year in 1988. He got worse every year after that. To pacify Chiti, I will substitute Wally Backman to the twins for 3 non prospect pitchers.
    B. Seaver was the “Franchise” but it was a frachise going nowhere and Tom himself says they did him a favor. They should have gotten more for him though. Thats fer sure.
    C. Viola had one good year. Aggie had about 15. I dont see how that could be argued.

  13. Steve (1): No, the Ryan trade didn’t work out well, but I’m not all broken up about it when looking at the trade in retrospect. First of all, the Mets were loaded with pitching at the time and in need of a third baseman (see Joe Foy trade). Switching Fregosi to third might have been a stretch, but I can’t fault their reasoning at the time. Another thing about Ryan, he was uncomfortable playing in New York and didn’t like playing here.-JD

  14. 12. OK, I’ll accept the replacement bad trade. I buy the Viola trade as well. Besides Aguillera they gave up Tapani who had a pretty good career.

    14. You have shown yourself to not be true blue die hard Metsie Delcos. It is a law to bemoan the Nolan Ryan trade forever. Just like its a new law to bemoan the Kazmir trade forever. That’s just the way it is Delcos. You can even bemoan the Kingman Valentine trade if you want since it was the start of the very strange relationship between Valentine and the Mets but it is not a requirement.

  15. JD: The Mets were acquiring a guy they needed to convert to third, coming off an awful year with the Angels. Chances are they could have swung a better deal. But just like the Mets even then, to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Chiti: Who is bemoaning the trades? We are talking about the worst trades in Met history and Ryan and Kazmir rank up at the top.

  16. (12) Ray: Mitchell though was a role player with the team. He might not have gotten a shot at playing every day in Left. Losing Ray Knight was losing the heart and soul and the fire of the 1986 team, IMO.

  17. Steve (16): Probably so. I understand their thought process in making the deal. That doesn’t mean it was sound thinking. … I brought it up because based on what I’ve heard and read, that Ryan wasn’t going to be around long for the Mets. Don’t forget, the Angels and Astros also blew it with Ryan.-JD

  18. (18) The Angels and Astros didn’t really blow it. He wasn’t traded in his prime. He left both times via Free Agency.

  19. One that might have made it was selling Buzz Capra to Atlanta in 1974. After being a 29th round draft pick and two undistinguished seasons as a middle reliever, Capra blossomed into winning 16 games and leading the league in ERA. But he might have suffered an arm injury going from a 50 innings pitched level to 210.

    Keep in mind when the Mets traded Nolan Ryan there still was a reserve clause. Rube Walker was a respected pitching coach with the Mets but Tom Morgan in Anaheim made some adjustments that apparently escape Al Walker (who had the same nickname as his brother Vern Walker with the Cubs). Of course Rube was the catcher when Bobby Thomson hit his 280 foot home run (Campanella was injured).

  20. 20. Dan, I always enjoy your posts. Its obvious that you have been around awhile and you know your baseball. I remember Buzz. He got in the best licks in the Rose-Buddy fight in the 73 playoffs. His big year in atlanta surprised everyone. Then hurt his arm. too bad. This one could have topped the list if he stayed healthy.

  21. I am glad to see this thread is still going. Lots of good discussion here. Now to those here who disagree with my Mitch/Mcreynolds listing on my top 10. I went and looked up the numbers both produced after the trade.

    Mitch- 222HR 716RBI 858OPS
    MAC- 146HR 547RBI 776OPS

  22. 17. Steve, We know he wouldnt get a shot at LF because Wilpon became a full partner that year and he wanted to clear out the “troublemakers” who might have influenced Gooden and Straw. Read “The bad guys won” great book.
    Knight has been credited as being the heart of that team but he was coming off a career year and he wanted a big raise. Mets were right on this one as he sucked after leaving and Hojo became a great player.

  23. #22, remember though, a big part of the Mitch trade was getting rid of the bad influence on Straw and Doc, good thinking if it was apparently no where near enough to get the job done.

    Also, if one of your top 10 worst trades netted you one of your best LF in team history, you are not too bad off IMO. I can’t see that as a “horrible” trade, did we not “win” it? Maybe, but if that is one of our worst trades that says more good about our trades than bad.

  24. James, I can always count on you to be the voice of optimsim here. along with steve the O. Mcreynolds never put up an ops over .1000 as mitchell did twice. He was a bum. sorry, but he was. most of his rbis came in blowouts. Mitch took his team to the world series. He made the barehanded catch. Mcreynolds got fat and lost even his great fielder reputation when the mets got rid of him. but he didnt care. hunting season was in the fall and the WS might have cost him a buck or two.

  25. I will definitely give you MACs attitude being a problem, but he was a pretty good player on his own. Mitchell certainly had his years there, but I just don’t see it as “worst trade ever” material. And even the worst three (Ryan, Kent, Kazmir) to me all have asterics (Ryan/Kent both were passed by a number of teams that missed them as well, while Kazmir I give the Steve Philips idiot astiric to :)

    Disastrous trades are Nathan + Liriano + Bonsor for AJ Pierzynski, this list doesn’t look so completely terrible after that :)

  26. The Kazmir trade was just stupid. After the elbow injury was unveiled the team admitted they knew about it when they made the trade.

    This after they spent years not trading Kazmir because he was the next IT guy.

  27. But if you want bad trades I give you Melvin Mora for Mike Bordick. Not only did Bordick suck but then he spit in the Mets face by going back to birdland the next Winter. Meanwhile, Melvin spent the decade in Baltimore with some fine seasons and played all over the place.