No. 7: Mets and Rockies swap five players, 1999
On July 31, 1999, the Mets made a swap with the Colorado Rockies. Brian McRae, Thomas Johns, and Rigo Beltran were traded to Colorado for outfielder Darryl Hamilton and pitcher Chuck McElroy. It turned out to be a trade the Mets needed to plug some holes and improve in weak areas.
McRae was batting just .221 for the Mets at the time of the trade so dealing him away was a wise decision. In fact, he only ever played in 38 big league games after this trade.
Hamilton became the team’s starting center fielder. The veteran made the most of his opportunity by hitting .339/.410/.488 in his first 55 games in 1999.
Hamilton stuck around for two more seasons, but became a part-time player and a less productive member of the offense. Still, in his first partial season with the orange and blue, he was a big help in getting the team back to the postseason.
As for McElroy, his time with the Mets didn’t last nearly as long. Also a well-traveled veteran much like Hamilton, he was nearing the end of a pretty good MLB career.
McElroy’s 1999 numbers included 13.1 innings pitched and a 3.38 ERA. He provided Bobby Valentine with a lefty reliever to use in the bullpen for a short stretch of games. Unfortunately, he didn’t play in the 1999 postseason at all.
His time in Flushing ended when the Mets traded him to the Baltimore Orioles in December 1999 for Jesse Orosco, whom they later dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joe McEwing before the 2000 MLB season even began.