Later today comes the trade deadline. The majority of the buzz seems to indicate we are not making any moves. By now it’s officially time to relax and see what transpires. With the day here I started looking at some past trades we made at or very near the deadline. I counted over 40 transactions over the years within a few days of the deadline (June 15 prior to 1986, July 31 since.) As much as I know you wanted my opinion on the June 15, 1983, sale of Mike Jorgenson to the Braves, and July 30, 1998 when we parted with Al Pardo, I trimmed the list down to my usual ten. So here is my personal list of the Ten Most Significant Deadline Deals in Mets history. I’m sure you will agree with some of these, it gets fuzzier further down the list. Anyway, here goes, in chronological order, most recent first.
10. Mets trade Carlos Beltran to the Giants, July 28, 2011, for Zack Wheeler.
So far so good. Beltran was going to become a free agent and Wheeler is currently showing promise in the major leagues. No matter what happens, the logic around this deal was solid.
9. Mets trade Dustin Martin and Drew Butera to the Twins for Luis Castillo, July 30, 2007.
This wouldn’t have made my list if Omar Minaya didn’t double down on Castillo and sign him after the year ended. This deal started that sequence, which had plenty to do with Omar becoming a former GM.
8. Mets trade Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez, July 30, 2006.
Significant on two fronts, as Hernandez and Perez were needed to get to Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006. Also because this began our relationship with Perez and well, see Castillo.
7. Mets trade Scott Kazmir and Jose Diaz to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato, July 30, 2004.
I’m sure this would make any list compiled. About ten days after this trade was made, I saw an old childhood friend from Astoria. We had not seen each other in over ten years. His first words to me, in a somber monotone, “Kazmir.” Our GM, Jim Duquette, was replaced by Omar that September.
6. Mets trade Jason Isringhausen and Greg McMichael to Oakland for Billy Taylor, July 31, 1999.
We made a nice run to the NLCS in 1999. This trade was not the reason.
5. Mets trade Bobby Bonilla and Jimmy Williams to the Orioles on July 28, 1995, for Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford.
The thought process was good, and we got a player who was regarded as a big prospect in Ochoa. He didn’t work out, and I would say we didn’t miss Bonilla, but apparently we did since we brought him back and he is on the payroll to this day.
4. Mets trade Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, David West, and Jack Savage for Frank Viola, July 31, 1989.
This was a big deal and we gave up a lot for Viola. But the fact is Frank held up his bargain, pitching very well for the Mets, including winning 20 games in 1990. But the idea of this was to win another pennant, and that never did happen.
3. Mets trade Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey for Keith Hernandez, June 15, 1983.
This worked out.
2. Mets trade Tom Seaver to the Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry, June 15, 1977.
Okay, I know this was a long time ago, and in fact, a lot of people weren’t even born yet in 1977. But I’m still not over this trade.
1. Mets trade Bill Carden, Dave Colon, Kevin Collins, and Steve Renko for Donn Clendenon, June 15 1969.
I can’t see how the Mets would have become the Miracle Mets without Clendenon. Renko went on to have a solid career, this was a good example of a solid baseball trade for all parties involved.
There you go, as we wait out the day, a look at what can happen. Before I leave, I wanted to share one more deadline deal, the very first one the Mets made, on June 15, 1962. On that day we traded Harry Chiti to the Indians as the player to be named later from an April trade where Chiti was traded from the Indians to the Mets. That’s right, Harry Chiti for Harry Chiti.
It was an interesting year, 1962.