May 22, 1998 – The Mike Piazza Trade

mike piazza

It was 16 years ago today that the Mets acquired Mike Piazza from the Florida Marlins. Oh, if we could only make the same kind of trade today !

A legitimate cleanup hitter, certainly one of the best in the game for one major-league ready prospect in Preston Wilson and two maybes in Geoff Goetz and Ed Yarnall, neither of whom ever contributed on the major league level. Of course, a long-term commitment to Piazza was an essential part of the deal.

Unfortunately, there is no one available to the Mets, probably at any price, who comes close to a player with Piazza’s hitting credentials, at age 30 or less. There’s no one like that on the market, and certainly not at catcher.

The Mets’ need for a legitimate cleanup hitter should trump any need for an upgrade at shortstop or the bullpen where Wilmer Flores and a group of young pitchers, some already on the big league roster, others down at AAA, deserve a chance, but who do the Mets have to drive in runs?

Who do the Mets have who opposing pitchers fear in a close game? There is certainly no answer and I don’t know of a single player who may be available even for a price far beyond what the Mets paid for Piazza when they included two prospects ranked in the Top 100 by Baseball America.

A few months ago, I suggested a Noah Syndergaard for Jose Bautista deal which was shot down by 100% of readers who chose to comment. I’m not saying I’d do that now, but wouldn’t the outlook for 2014 be a lot brighter if that deal was made this past winter, before committing to Chris Young and Curtis Granderson?

I don’t have the answer, but this looks like another boring lost season unless some dramatic move is made and fast. Any ideas?


About Barry Duchan 75 Articles
I've been following the Mets since 1962. Have to admit I was a Yankee fan as a kid, but I found it to be so much more interesting to see how a young team could build itself up rather than following a team where the season didn't really begin until October. I remember them all - Casey, Marv, Choo Choo, Don Bosch, The Stork, etc. As the years went on, I became more and more of a Mets fan, and a Yankee hater once Steinbrenner and Billy Martin entered the picture. After retiring, I relocated with my family from Long Island to Chapel Hill, NC in 2005. I still get to watch almost all of the Mets games and writing about them on Metsmerized Online and on my new site Mets Memories.