1) Worst Mets June Trades – Tom Seaver to the Reds on June 15, 1977
We are back to where we began this journey. They don’t call it The Midnight Massacre because it sounds great. It’s because the trades the Mets made on June 15, 1977, literally massacred their chances at contending for several seasons.
The Tom Seaver trade to the Cincinnati Reds is regarded as one of the worst ever made by the franchise. Although the Mets did get some quality players back, none came close to replicating what Tom Terrific could.
Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry are the men the Mets received for their franchise player. If this deal proved anything, it’s how much quality matters more in a trade than quantity.
Flynn did win a Gold Glove with the Mets and Henderson hit .287 during his four seasons with the club. Norman barely played for the team while Zachry gave them six decent years. Coincidentally enough, Zachry led the National League in 1981 with 14 losses while Seaver led it in wins with just as many.
Seaver’s time with the Reds wasn’t as superb as the glory days in Flushing. However it did include a fourth and second-place finish in the Cy Young race along with a pair of All-Star selections.
Looking at the haul the Mets got for Seaver, the deal really wasn’t horrific. All four men did play for the team and some were pretty important. The problem with this trade is how little impact they actually had on the franchise like Seaver would have through the remainder of the 1970s and into the early 1980s.
Seaver did return for one more stint in New York when he pitched for the 1983 Mets. By then, he wasn’t the same star pitcher he was in his earlier days. The trade was still haunting the franchise at the time, too. It would take another year before the team finally began to seriously compete again.
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What other June trades do you remember from Mets history?