Although May isn’t known for big baseball trades, New York Mets history has three notable swaps that took place in the second full month of the season.
When we think of baseball and the month of May, the word “trade” isn’t usually associated with it. May is the time when teams are usually still testing out what they already have. For the New York Mets, this hasn’t always been the case.
The Mets have made a surprisingly large number of trades in the month of May. Some were far more minor than others. In any given year, we can see a backup catcher swapped for a lefty reliever.
There are three Mets trades of note that took place in what has traditionally been the second full month of MLB action. These three deals took place early on in the year. Each involved a big name player and all three had an effect on the club.
Willie Mays – May 11, 1972
It’s only fitting that the first major Mets trade to take place in the month of May involved a man whose last name matches. On May 11, 1972, future Hall of Famer Willie Mays was dealt by the San Francisco Giants to the Mets in exchange for Charlie Williams and $50,000.
At 41-years-old with a batting average below .200, the deal looked like it wouldn’t amount to much for New York.
Somehow, Mays managed to actually become a decent part-time player with the Mets. In 69 games played with 242 plate appearances in 1972, Mays slashed .267/.402/.446. He struck out and walked 43 times each.
The “Say Hey Kid” also managed to knock 8 home runs in his first year with the Mets. It looked like there was some life left in his bat after all.
The next season, Mays wasn’t so lucky. In only three fewer plate appearances, Mays slashed .211/.303/.344. He hit 6 home runs for the Mets, clearly showing signs of a decline.
As for Williams, he remained with the Giants for the rest of his career. He was a good relief pitcher for them and even managed to get a handful of starts each season.