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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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26 Jul 1998: Pitcher John Franco #45 of the New York Mets signs autographs during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

Getting Nasty

The Nasty Boys were a trio of relief pitchers on the Reds in 1990 who were all key in winning the championship. In the offseason prior to their World Series victory, the Mets traded one of those three to Cincinnati.

Randy Myers joined the Reds bullpen alongside Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton. In his first year with the Reds, he saved 31 games and made his first trip to the All-Star Game. It looked like the Mets may have given up a really good player.

Well, they did but they also got back a franchise icon. This December 6, 1989 trade is the one which brought Mets saves leader John Franco to Flushing.

After several terrific seasons with the Reds throughout the 1980s, Franco joined his hometown Mets where he would go on to save 276 games. He got off to a fantastic start, saving a league-best 33 games in 1990 and earning a spot alongside Myers in the All-Star Game.

Myers didn’t stay in Cincinnati long. He was traded nearly two years to the day he was acquired. And while he did pitch well in the years thereafter, his career pales in comparison to Franco’s.

Both teams actually managed to come away victorious in this trade. The Reds got a championship out of it so one could argue they actually got the better half. However, Franco was the closer in Queens for a decade. It’s hard to give the Mets an L in this transaction.

The other two players involved in the deal, Kip Gross and Don Brown, did very little in professional baseball with the latter never reaching the majors. Looking at it strictly as a Myers for Franco trade, I say both teams came out on top.

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