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New York Mets History

Mets and Reds trade history: Five notable deals between the two

3 May 1998: Pitcher John Franco of the New York Mets in action during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Mets defeated the Rockies 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport
3 May 1998: Pitcher John Franco of the New York Mets in action during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Mets defeated the Rockies 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport /
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NEW YORK – AUGUST 22: Tom Seaver speaks at a press conference commemorating the New York Mets 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Championship team on August 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds have a long history of making trades both good, bad, major, and minor. We take a look at five of the most noteworthy transactions between these two teams.

In 1973, the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds played in the NLCS against one another. A miracle happened and the Mets went on to the World Series after defeating one of the National League powerhouses of the decade. The series included a scuffle between Mets infielder Bud Harrelson and the all-time hit king, Pete Rose. It was, without a doubt, one of the grittiest NLCS battles in MLB history.

Away from the field, the Mets and Reds have been a little kinder to each other. Often, they’ve turned to each other in a time of need to make a trade. Whether in the regular season or winter, these two organizations have not been afraid to strike a deal.

From helpful to legendarily bad, the Mets have completed a variety of trades with the Reds. Here, I would like to look at five notable ones over the years.

The Headline of the Midnight Massacre

June 15, 1977, is a day that haunts Mets fans. It was this day the team traded Tom Seaver to the Reds for a package of four players who never did much during their time in New York. They included Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry.

Although Seaver’s greatest seasons were now in the past, he still had plenty of positive seasons in his future. Owner Charles Shipman Payson was on a mission to sell as much as he could. In what was known as “The Midnight Massacre,” Seaver and other notable Mets were traded for cheaper players and prospects.

Trades like these rarely work out for the team moving the legend. Seaver, who is a top ten pitcher of all-time, went 75-46 with a 3.18 ERA during his time with the Reds. The more important part of this trade is how little the Mets got back in return.

This was the beginning of the lean Mets seasons in the late 1970s which carried over into the early 1980s. Seaver did return to the organization in 1983 where he went 9-14 with a 3.55 ERA. Now at 38-years-old, it was the twilight of his Hall of Fame career.

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