Mets: Five greatest trades for a starting pitcher in team history

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1988: NEW YORK METS PITCHER RON DARLING RELEASES A PITCH DURING THE METS VERSUS SAN DIEGO PADRES GAME AT JACK MURPHY STADIUM IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. MANDATORY CREDIT: STEPHEN DUNN/ALLSPORT USA

The New York Mets made out like bandits in these five trades to acquire a starting pitcher.

Starting pitching has been an essential component for the New York Mets in their best years. The way they have acquired those arms varies greatly.

Homegrown Mets such as Tom Seaver, Jon Matlack, and Jacob deGrom all grew up in the system. There was no free agency or trade that brought them to town. The same cannot be said about other greats to step on the mound in an orange and blue uniform.

Throughout their history, the Mets have been unafraid to make important trades for pitching help. Focusing exclusively on starters, these trades stand out as the greatest.

Honorable Mention: Ron Darling

I would be remiss to neglect an honorable mention for the great Ron Darling. Although his numbers didn’t quite mention up to some others on this list, his impact on the organization is clear.

Before becoming a commentator, Darling was an essential member of the Mets’ rotation for parts of nine seasons. He joined the club in 1982 via trade with the Texas Rangers. Also joining Darling was fellow pitcher Walt Terrell. In exchange, the club sent Lee Mazzilli to the Lone Star State.

Darling won 99 games for the Mets while posting a 3.50 ERA. Behind some other great starters, he helped round-out one of the league’s best rotations. During the 1986 World Series season, Darling went 15-6 during the regular season. He finished fifth in the Cy Young vote—the one time in his career he received any consideration.

The trade that brought Darling to Flushing couldn’t have worked out better. Mazzilli was headed in the other direction while Darling was a minor leaguer on the rise ready to make an almost instant impact.

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