NY Mets and TB Rays trades have been few yet memorable

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 8: Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets hits a two-run double in front of catcher Curt Casali #19 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a game on August 8, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 8: Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets hits a two-run double in front of catcher Curt Casali #19 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a game on August 8, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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The New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays haven’t made too many trades over the years. However, you probably remember most of them.

I may have set aside more time than I thought I would need to examine the trade history between the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays. Since the Rays came to be in 1998, the two clubs have made only six trades. Somehow, many of these trades have been impactful ones.

The Mets and Rays have made three notable trade deadline deals. Twice, the Mets did the buying.

The first took place on July 28, 2000. On their way to a World Series appearance, the Mets traded for outfielder Bubba Trammell and relief pitcher Rick White. It cost them prospect Jason Tyner and starting pitcher Paul Wilson.

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This wasn’t a hugely impactful deal for New York but certainly a helpful one as they added depth to their bullpen and outfield.

Two years later, on December 15, 2002, the Amazins said farewell to longtime shortstop Rey Ordonez in a trade with Tampa Bay. They got back Russ Johnson and Josh Pressley. Neither ever played a game in an orange and blue NY cap.

Perhaps the most memorable trade of all between these two teams took place on July 30, 2004. Another deadline deal, this time the Mets picked up Bartolome Fortunate and Victor Zambrano. The cost was steeper. Jose Diaz and Scott Kazmir went to Tampa Bay in the deal.

As all Mets fans will recall, Kazmir went on to have a lengthy and productive big league career with the Rays and a few other teams over the years. Fortunato gave them some good relief innings in 2004, but that was about it. Zambrano made just three starts in 2004. The following year, he went 7-12 with a 4.17 ERA. His big league career was pretty much done after.

A small “trade” took place on November 28, 2007, when the Mets purchased Brian Stokes from the Rays. While not what we typically consider a trade, it still counts. In his two seasons with the team, Stokes gave them 103.2 innings and a 3.82 ERA.

Ten years went by before another deal was struck. We remember this one well because the guy that shipped up to New York is still with the organization.

On July 27, 2017, Lucas Duda was traded to the Rays for pitcher Drew Smith. Smith is still with the Mets and looking to find a permanent gig in the bullpen. There’s a chance this could actually turn into one of the few seller moves made by this franchise that actually turn into wins.

Finally, the most recent trade between these two teams took place on May 6, 2019. Wilmer Font went to New York in exchange for a player to be named later. This turned out to be a minor league pitcher named Neraldo Catalina.

Font made a handful of appearances for the Mets in 2019 before he was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-July. There weren’t too many tears shed because of how unproductive he was for the club.

Next. Mets winning trades with the Diamondbacks

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Because the Rays are such a young baseball team, it’s not a shock to see so few trades with other teams. The same is true for the other team born in 1998, the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, their trade history with the Metropolitans has paid off much better for New York.

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