1) Mets miss out on Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame career
No trade might be worse in Mets history than the one that happened on December 10, 1971. The team traded four players to the California Angels for infielder Jim Fregosi.
Fregosi was a disaster in New York. He hit .232 in his first season and was batting .234 the following year when he parted ways with the Mets. His performance isn’t what makes this so bad. It’s what happened with one of the players the Angels acquired that makes this so utterly painful.
Nolan Ryan was a young yet flawed pitcher for the Mets at the time of the trade. Working as a starter and reliever, he managed to go 29-38 with a 3.58 ERA in his 510 frames with the Metropolitans. Control was a major issue for him. His walk ratio was at 6.1 per nine innings.
Minus a crystal ball, the Mets ended up dealing him away for a shot at Fregosi—a veteran whose better days were in the past.
The complete opposite can be said about Ryan. He would go on to become the all-time strikeout leader in Major League Baseball history. Another record he owns, Ryan’s 6.6 hits per nine is also the lowest of any qualified pitcher.
Ryan’s Hall of Fame career lasted until 1993. In all of those years, Mets fans cringed at how the organization missed out on so many wonderful seasons from him.
Although Ryan would never win another World Series aside from the one he enjoyed in 1969 with his Mets teammates, he became one of the greatest pitchers to ever step on a mound.
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In my opinion, this is the worst trade in Mets history. Not only did it bring the Mets very little in return, it also cost them a legend.