From 1989 until 2019, the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays have made five very notable and impactful trades.
Geographically, the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are only a long bus ride away. Historically, I’m not sure how much they really have in common.
The two organizations never played each other until interleague play came around. This didn’t prevent them from swapping players as early as 1980 when the Blue Jays were still a young team.
In the years since, the Mets and Blue Jays have cut numerous deals. There are five of them that stand out most because of the impact each had on the two organizations—positive and negative.
July 31, 1989 – Mets trade Mookie Wilson
We’re going to get the heartbreak out of the way early so stick with us, Mets fans.
On July 31, 1989, Mookie Wilson’s time with the Mets came to an end. He was struggling, hitting .205 through his first 80 games. The situation wasn’t ideal for Wilson to thrive. The team had already acquired Juan Samuel from the Philadelphia Phillies. The club was hopeful he would be an improvement.
It didn’t exactly work out that way as Samuel struggled in New York. Meanwhile, Wilson managed to hit .298 in 238 trips to the plate for the Blue Jays in 1989. He remained productive into 1990 before sliding back into a decline during his final season in 1991.
There are two sides to all trades so it’s worth looking at what the Mets got in return for Wilson.
Mike Brady never made the major leagues but Jeff Musselman was already an experienced reliever. The Mets landed him when his ERA was 10.64 through 11 frames. He did turn things around in his 26.1 innings with the Mets, going 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA.
Unfortunately, Musselman only played one more big-league season. He finished 1990 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA.
More than anything, the Wilson deal helped spark the end of an era in Flushing. Although the team remained competitive in 1990, they were beginning to make some changes for the worse.
And the worst of the trades with the Blue Jays was yet to come.