We take a look at the three worst New York Mets trades made in the month of June.
June isn’t the best month in Major League Baseball to make a deal these days, but many years ago, the trade deadline took place on June 15th every season. This is why when you look back at New York Mets history, some of the biggest deals in franchise history went down on that date.
Sadly, many of those June Mets trades didn’t work as so well for the Amazins. Too often, June trades by the Mets front office resulted in a disaster.
There are three June trades that stand out as the worst of any. One of them is even regarded as possibly the worst deal in franchise history.
3) Worst Mets June Trades – Dave Kingman to the Padres on June 15, 1977
Dave Kingman was a frustrating player for some people to watch. The San Francisco Giants seemed to feel this way when they sold him to the Mets in February of 1975. Kingman got a jolt from the change of scenery, setting single-season franchise home run records in each of his first two seasons with the club.
Unfortunately, the all-or-nothing Kingman didn’t get a chance to complete his third season in New York. On June 15, 1977, the infamous Midnight Massacre occurred. Kingman was traded to the San Diego Padres as a part of the franchise’s massive tear down.
In return, the Mets picked up Paul Siebert and a far more familiar name, Bobby Valentine. Siebert pitched only 56 innings for the Mets across two seasons while posting a 4.50 ERA. Meanwhile, Valentine hit .222 across 278 trips to the plate.
Although Kingman struggled with the Padres and was even selected off of waivers and then traded before the season was through, he did get back to his slugging ways in 1978. He hit 28 home runs for the Chicago Cubs that year before smashing a National League-best 48 in 1979.
Kingman did later return to the Mets for the 1981 season where he was able to offer them his usual free-swinging approach at the plate.
Had the Mets never made this trade, they may have gotten a little more excellence. Alternatively, what if they had actually gotten better players back in return?