You may have heard that the Mets are probably selling at the deadline.
The Mets’ impending fire sale is the worst-kept secret in sports. Being that they’re in the middle of a lost season, the Mets have plenty of expendable guys. Addison Reed, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda and Asdrubal Cabrera are all slated to hit the open market at the end of the year and the Mets would be well suited cashing them in now.
Given the many losing seasons the Mets have had, they’ve obviously been in this position before. Let’s take a look back at ten other times the Mets sold at the Deadline:
The Mets’ first big foray into selling resulted in perhaps the worst trade in Mets history — the “Midnight Massacre.” The team traded its’ G.O.A.T. in Seaver to the Reds and what a bust it turned out to be. Seaver continued his dominance with the Reds, pulling in two top-five Cy Young finishes in his five-and-a-half seasons there. He tormented Mets fans with a no-hitter in 1978, something the Flushing Faithful wouldn’t get until 2012.
It goes without saying that none of the players the Mets got for Seaver accomplished anything close to that.
This trade got a lot less publicity thanks to the “Midnight Massacre,” but was arguably even worse in terms of return. “Sky King” was the Mets’ best power-hitter at the time, and the only one of the two players the Mets got back in return to have any degree of success with the team was Valentine– and that came as a manager 20 years later.
The Mets’ 1991 season marked the team’s first sub-.500 campaign since 1983. Darling was one of the few remaining stars left from the 1986 team, and was traded to Montreal since he was due for free agency that offseason. The Mets received former All-Star reliever Tim Burke in return, who posted a 3.41 career ERA in relief with the Mets before being traded to the Yankees in 1992.
This one happened in August, so it’s not technically a trade deadline deal. But it definitely marked one of the bigger sales in Mets history.
In the midst of an awful 90-loss season, the Mets traded Cone to the eventual World Series champion Blue Jays for young second baseman Kent. Kent was a solid player with the Mets, before he went on to put up Hall-of-Fame numbers with the Giants, Astros and Dodgers. Cone, meanwhile, helped the Blue Jays win a World Series in his two-month stint with the team.
All of the flack Bonilla has justly received from Mets fans actually drowns out the fact that he had some good seasons with the club. Bonilla was hitting .325/.385/.599 at the time of his trade to Baltimore, with 18 home runs in 80 games. The Mets received a top-tier prospect in Ochoa, even though he became only a journeyman in the majors.
1995: Bret Saberhagen to the Rockies for a bunch of scrubs.
That year, the Mets also traded Saberhagen to the Rockies for pitcher Juan Acevedo and two minor leaguers. Acevedo appeared in 25 games for the Mets, posting a 3.59 ERA. Acevedo was later traded by the Mets to the Cardinals for Rigo Beltran, who was traded in 1999 for Darryl Hamilton. Hamilton was a solid complimentary player on the 1999 and 2000 Mets playoff teams, so while this trade might not have featured a sexy return, it indirectly helped the team make the playoffs twice.
No need to waste your time with this one.
2003: Armando Benitez to the Yankees for the equivalent of what Burnitz landed.
This was heralded as a fantastic trade at the time. And given that Beltran was going to leave anyway, it still looks like one of the better trades in Mets history.
This was another August trade where the Mets traded only a little bit to get a relatively large return. Byrd played fantastically for the Mets on a minor-league deal that season, and Buck got off to a rollicking start as well. These two journeymen were traded for Dilson Herrera, who eventually became a decent prospect with the Mets. He has yet to really make an impact in the majors, but he was traded for Jay Bruce. So that’s a pretty solid return for Byrd and Buck.