Bret Saberhagen – 1985 and 1989 Cy Young Winner
Shortly after losing Viola to free agency, the Mets went out and added another former American League Cy Young winner. The difference with this addition was the guy they were bringing to town already won the award twice. His name is Bret Saberhagen.
On December 11, 19991, the Mets acquired Saberhagen and Bill Pecota for Gregg Jeffries, Kevin McReynolds, and Keith Miller. Once again, it was a haul to give up in order to bring a guy with a gold star on his resume.
Unfortunately, Saberhagen’s best and healthiest seasons were now in the past. He made only 15 starts and a pair of relief appearances for the Mets in 1992 before following it up with a 19-start campaign in 1993. Injuries ravaged Saberhagen’s career in the 1990s. It was fairly obvious early on that he might not capture a third Cy young.
However, in 1994, things began to turn around for the veteran hurler. Saberhagen went 14-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 24 starts. He stayed healthy, only reaching this low total because of the player’s strike.
Saberhagen finished third in the Cy Young vote in a year where he issued only 13 walks in 177.1 innings. This gave him a walk rate of 0.7 per nine. It was one of the best walks per nine season in modern baseball history.
Despite pitching during a weak era of Mets baseball, Saberhagen managed to wrap-up his time in Flushing with a 29-21 record and 3.16 ERA. His marvelous 1994 campaign saved these numbers. And because of the strike, we’re left to wonder if he could have made the year a special one with a few more opportunities to take the mound.