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New York Mets History

Mets: Three trades with the Twins that changed the franchise

PITTSBURGH, PA - CIRCA 1986: Relief pitcher Jesse Orosco #47 of the New York Mets looks in at the batter before pitching during a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium circa 1986 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - CIRCA 1986: Relief pitcher Jesse Orosco #47 of the New York Mets looks in at the batter before pitching during a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium circa 1986 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA – CIRCA 1985: Jesse Orosco of the New York Mets pitches against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium circa 1985 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images)

The New York Mets have made three trades with the Minnesota Twins that helped alter the franchise for the better.

The New York Mets and Minnesota Twins haven’t been regular trade partners over the years. The first actual trade took place in 1978 and the most recent was in 2008. While the trades are not plentiful, they have been impactful.

Even those lesser trades made by the Mets have included some familiar names. Wally Backman and Rick Reed were both traded to Minnesota at one point. Neither trade changed the franchise so it’s not on this list.

Instead, I want to focus on three trades that actually altered the franchise for the better. So, those looking for a Luis Castillo appearance can look elsewhere.

December 8, 1978 – Mets trade Jerry Koosman, acquire Jesse Orosco

Jerry Koosman and Jesse Orosco are two of the most important pitchers in Mets history. In 1969, Koosman was on the mound for the final out in the World Series. In 1986, it was Orosco’s turn to record the final out.

Amazingly, these two were actually traded for one another.

On December 8, 1978, the Mets continued their ongoing fire sale. A year and a half after they traded Tom Seaver, it was Koosman’s turn to get dealt.

In what would become the first actual trade between the Mets and Twins, minor leaguer Greg Field and a player to be named later were sent to New York for Koosman. The player ended up becoming one of the greatest closers in franchise history, Orosco.

It’s no secret how this trade altered the team’s history. Without Orosco closing out games for a number of years, they may have never enjoyed their 1986 World Series Championship.

This deal was a literal one door closing and another opening scenario.

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