During the calendar year of 2011, the Mets were primarily sellers. This phase of the team’s history included a trade still impacting them today. On July 28, 2011, they sent outfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Beltran was in the final year of his contract and likely headed toward free agency. The Mets were in no position to re-sign him given their rebuild status. They did manage to flip him for a really good pitching prospect. Years later, we’re still watching him take the mound for the boys in Flushing.
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Wheeler’s career may have been spectacular if not for some injuries in the middle part of his time with the Mets. However, in 2018, he looked healthy and like the pitcher we always dreamed he would become. The 2019 campaign may end up as his last with the blue and orange. Even if this is the case, the Mets managed to flip one of their all-time great outfielders for a really good arm.
Worst: Trading Francisco Rodriguez for a weak haul on July 12
Trading away closer Francisco Rodriguez in the summer of 2011 made sense. Also in the final year of his deal, the Mets dealt the star closer to the Milwaukee Brewers for a far less-talented crop of players. The two men who went back to New York in exchange for K-Rod were Danny Herrera and Adrian Rosario. Neither managed to do much.
Nobody really expected the return for Rodriguez to become a historically good trade. Though still a big name at the time, he was well beyond his early years with the Los Angeles Angels. Rodriguez was a good closer who was no longer great.
Some off-field issues also likely made the return for the former elite ninth inning man weaker than Mets fans could hope. The team was probably happy to get anything back for him. Despite pitching pretty well, it was painfully clear his career was going in the opposite direction.