If you’ve taken a gander at any Mets-related chatter on social media in the past few days, you’ve probably noticed many fans clamoring for the acquisition of Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.
In order for the Mets to pull of such a high-profile move, they would likely have to send some of their top prospects to a division rival, something some fans aren’t too ecstatic about. But, has it worked for the Mets before? From a small sample size, yes.
Here are some of the recent trades (within the last 10 years) the Mets have made with teams in the N.L. East:
"November 24, 2005Mets trade Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas to the Florida Marlins for Carlos Delgado"
We all know about this trade. Jacobs had decent seasons for the Marlins, while Petit was disastrous for them. Carlos Delgado was a critical figure in his four seasons for the Mets, capping off an incredible 17-year career. Delgado ended up hitting .265 with 38 home runs and 114 RBI in his first season for the Mets.
"December 5, 2005Mets trade Dante Brinkley and Gaby Hernandez to the Florida Marlins for Paul Lo Duca"
Both Brinkley and Hernandez never played for the Marlins while Lo Duca became an All-Star for the Mets in 2006. Lo Duca would end up playing one more season in 2007 before going down with a season-ending injury that August.
"November 20, 2006Mets trade Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom to the Florida Marlins for Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick"
Owens was gearing up to be the Marlins’ closer before succumbing to right shoulder rotator cuff tendinitis. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007. Lindstrom became a decent middle relief pitcher for the Marlins with a quick stint as their closer. Vargas was abysmal for the Mets in his two starts and Bostick never reached the majors.
"November 30, 2007Mets trade Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider"
Welp. Milledge was supposed to be the “next big thing” for the Mets. Yup. He ended up getting shipped to Washington, then to Pittsburgh, then to Chicago. He’s now enjoying his time over in Japan. Ryan Church had a serviceable two-year stay in New York, but battled injuries including some ghastly concussions. Schneider, meanwhile, wasn’t the catcher the Mets were looking for at the time, as he wound up hitting .244 with 12 home runs in two years in Flushing.
"August 17, 2008Mets trade Anderson Hernandez to the Washington Nationals for Luis Ayala"
Hernandez was a solid defensive player, but couldn’t hit the ball at all. He did the same thing in Washington. Ayala ended up being the Mets closer in 2008 because of injuries to Billy Wagner. Ayala ended the 2008 season with nine saves.
"July 10, 2009Mets trade Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for Jeff Francoeur"
Remember when Jeff Francoeur hit .311 for the Mets in 2009? Do you remember when he hit .237 the following season? Jeff Francoeur, everybody! As stated earlier, Ryan Church was simply not the player he once was after he sustained all of those injuries.
That was it, in terms of intra-division trades for the Mets. Some notable ones prior to 2005 were, coincidentally all with the Florida Marlins:
- Steve Long for Robert Person
- Quilvio Veras for Carl Everett
- Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz and Ed Yarnall for Mike Piazza
- A.J. Burnett, Jesus Sanchez and Robert Stratton for Al Leiter and Ralph Milliard
The Mets have had a few booms from trades with rivals: Piazza, Delgado, Lo Duca. But they’ve also had their busts: Lindstrom and Milledge.
By looking at trades the Mets have made with teams in their division, nothing has come close to the magnitude that the Washington Nationals might want in return for Ian Desmond. Reports are suggesting that the Nationals should ask for Daniel Murphy and possibly some top prospects for Desmond.
In recent history, the highest rated Mets prospect, with value, at the time of the trade to their division rival would arguably be Mike Jacobs. That being said, Jacobs doesn’t even come close to the value of current Mets prospects Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, or even Dilson Herrera.
It’ll be interesting to see if Sandy Alderson decides to send one of their prized young guys to Washington. We all know that the Mets are seemingly one move away from serious contention. Do they have the stomach to trade in their division to make it happen?