New York Mets traded Jose Bautista 14 years ago this month
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets may trade Jose Bautista for the second time in his career this month. Let’s look back at the first deal they struck involving Joey Bats.
In 2018, Jose Bautista‘s baseball career is nearing its end. He’s on a New York Mets team going nowhere. As a trade candidate the Mets could move, the 2018 season is shaping up similarly to the 2004 campaign.
Way back then, Bautista swapped uniforms several times. If they do trade Bautista, he could play for his third team this year. It will also be the second time the Mets have traded him.
Bautista began the 2004 season as a member of the Baltimore Orioles organization after being drafted in the rule five draft in December 2003. In early June, the Tampa Bay Rays selected him off waivers. Before the month came to a close, the Kansas City Royals purchased him.
As if that wasn’t enough moving around, the Royals traded Bautista to the Mets on July 30 for Justin Huber. That same day, the Mets shipped Bautista along with Matt Peterson and Ty Wigginton to the Pirates for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger.
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Joey Bats was back with the Pirates who originally drafted him in 2000. He’d remain there until 2008 until Pittsburgh sent him to the Toronto Blue Jays where he became a star.
Thus far in 2018, Bautista has suited up for the Atlanta Braves and the Mets. There’s a good chance he wears yet another team’s uniform this season. He has been one of the most productive bats in the lineup since joining New York. With an expiring contract after the year is through, it makes complete sense to shop him.
We can’t fault them for trading Bautista a decade and a half ago. No one saw what he would become. Even if Benson and Keppinger failed to truly help them, it was a move which could have turned out better.
Considering the first Bautista deal out of New York took place on July 30, 2004, there’s a chance the second happens on the anniversary. I don’t see teams knocking over little old ladies to get to him. He strikes me more as the type of player moved with two minutes to midnight.
Whatever they decide to do with Bautista, the second trip through was a much more memorable one.
Next: Minimum requirements for a Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard trade
This tour with New York at least included a uniform and a sunset as a member of the organization.