New York Mets best free agent signings in franchise history
By Leen Amin
1) Mike Piazza
.296/.373/.542, .915 OPS, 136 OPS+, 220 HR, 655 RBI, 24.6 WAR
The greatest free agent signing in Mets history is also one of the greatest players in franchise history. Mike Piazza has been loved by all generations of Mets fans and was as incredible a catcher as can be, going down in history as one of the greatest catchers of all time.
Piazza was traded from the then-Florida Marlins to the Mets in May 1998 and after the season ended, the Mets signed him to a seven-year, $91 million deal, which was the richest contract in MLB history, at the time.
In 2004, Piazza broke the record for most home runs hit by a catcher.
Piazza led the Mets in home runs in 1998 as well as home runs, RBI, SLG, and OPS in 1999. In 2000, he led the team in home runs, RBI, batting average, SLG, OPS, and total bases.
In 2001, he led the Mets in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, SLG, OBP, OPS, IBB, and total bases. In 2002, he was the team leader in home runs, RBI, SLG, OPS, and total bases. Finally, in 2004, he led the team in OBP, OPS, walks, and IBB.
Piazza is famous for hitting the game-winning home run in the first baseball game played in New York post-9/11, something that has been seen as a unifying and iconic moment in baseball history.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
With the Mets, Piazza was a seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger. He also finished seventh in NL MVP voting in 1999 and third in 2000. Piazza is a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame and his number 31 is retired by the organization. He was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Met.