More than a decade ago, the New York Mets picked up catcher All-Star Paul Lo Duca from the Miami Marlins without giving up much at all. It’s a steal many forget.
On December 5, 2005, these two teams swapped a couple of players. Lo Duca went from the Marlins to the Mets in exchange for two players no one has probably heard of.
Does Dante Brinkley or Gaby Hernandez ring a bell for anyone?
Brinkley had some good minor league seasons but never made it past Triple-A. He last played professionally in 2008.
Meanwhile, Hernandez has been pitching all over the place. In 2017, he pitched terrifically in the Atlantic League for the South Maryland Blue Crabs in the Independent League.
Any success this pair had hardly compares to what Lo Duca did for the Mets. A clear win in a trade against a divisional opponent only adds to what he did on the field.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets Free Agent Retrospective: Daniel Murphy becomes an enemy
- NY Mets: 1 major award you didn’t realize the team has never won
- NY Mets: Trade market for starting pitchers feels non-existent
- NY Mets prospect Eric Orze has the stuff to become a future closer
- NY Mets Rumors: 1 big threat to steal 2 Flushing free agents
At the time of the trade, Lo Duca had been an All-Star in three consecutive seasons. Beginning in 2003 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lo Duca had established himself as a productive backstop with some really good athleticism. He routinely hit for a high batting average and did things many catchers could only dream of.
When Lo Duca joined the team in 2006, he lived up to expectations.
Once again, he was an All-Star. The season included a .318/.355/.428 batting line and 39 doubles. Only one year after the Mike Piazza era ended in Flushing, the Mets landed a new All-Star catcher.
Twice now the Mets landed a catcher in a trade with the Marlins they could count on.
Unfortunately, Lo Duca was a few years older than Piazza when he first suited up with the Metropolitans. Lo Duca’s tenure would not last as long as Piazza’s.
Although short-lived, Lo Duca played well again in 2007. He slashed .272/.311/.378. His contract expired after the season and the two parted ways.
This trade was a win for the boys in New York. They gave up barely anything to secure the catcher position for two seasons. If not for Lo Duca, the run to Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS would not have been possible.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Lo Duca gave this organization two good seasons before moving on. We can only wish to get the same from a guy like Devin Mesoraco.