Mike Piazza – May 22, 1998
I’m not sure there is a bigger or more impactful trade in MLB history in May than the one that brought Mike Piazza to Flushing. It all began on May 14, 1998, when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded him to the Florida Marlins with Todd Zeile for a huge return which included Gary Sheffield as one of the headliners.
Not long after, the Marlins struck a deal with the Mets to move Piazza once again. On May 22, Piazza changed uniforms again. This time he was going to the Big Apple for Geoff Goetz, Ed Yarnall, and the best player the Marlins acquired in the deal, Preston Wilson.
If you know anything about Mets baseball, you understand how important Piazza was to the organization. Just having any knowledge of baseball history itself sheds some light on his importance.
Piazza was immediately impactful. In his 109 games played for the 1998 Mets, he hit .348/.417/.607 with 33 doubles and another 23 home runs.
This was just the start of his glory years in New York. Whether this team was winning or losing, Piazza was always there pounding baseballs and building his case as the greatest catcher of all-time.
Down in Florida, the Marlins never saw Goetz reach the major leagues. Yarnall only ever suited up in the big leagues as a member of the Yankees following a 1999 trade back to the city that never sleeps.
Wilson, however, had some fine years with the Fish. From 1999-2002, he was an impact player in the middle of the lineup with 23+ home runs each season. In his 1999 rookie campaign, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting.
As impactful as Wilson could have been as a member of the Mets, I think ten out of ten fans would select the years Piazza had with the Amazins.