New York Mets: 15 best trades the franchise has ever made
#3 Keith Hernandez
As we arrive at the three best trades in franchise history, you can make an argument for them to be in any rearranged order they were all that great and impactful. With that being said, the third-best trade in Mets franchise history is the acquisition of first baseman Keith Hernandez. On June 15th, 1983, the Mets acquired Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.
Allen pitched in parts of three different seasons before being purchased by the New York Yankees. Over those three and a half seasons, he pitched to a 3.84 ERA, a 1.383 WHIP, and had 20 wins over 269.2 innings pitched.
Ownbey only played in two seasons for the Cardinals before becoming a free agent and ultimately never playing again. In those two seasons, he combined for a 4.09 ERA and 1.573 WHIP over 61.2 innings pitched.
As for the Mets return, they got one of the most important players in the history of their franchise with Hernandez. Hernandez played six and a half seasons for the Amazin’s and was exactly that. He combined to hit .297/.387/.429/.816 with 80 home runs, 468 RBI, 939 hits, and 455 runs scored over 880 games played with 5 gold gloves, 3 All-Star game appearances, a silver slugger award, and a second, fourth, and an eighth-place finish in MVP voting.
His best season came in his first full season for the Mets in 1984. Hernandez went on to slash .311/.409/.449/.859 with 15 home runs, 94 RBI, 171 hits, and 83 runs scored in 154 games played with a 6.3 WAR while being sent to the All-Star game, winning a gold glove award, a silver slugger award, and a second-place finish in MVP voting.
In addition to Hernandez’s great hitting, he was one of the best fielding first basemen the game has seen as he went on to win five gold gloves in six seasons for the Mets. In those six seasons, Hernandez went on to have a combined total zone total fielding runs above average of 52. His best season came in 1985 where his total zone fielding runs above average was 14.
Hernandez proved to be one of the most important pieces to the 1986 World Series Championship team and for the franchise during his time in New York. He currently has the tenth most RBI, sixth-most walks, and is fourth in batting average and on-base percentage in addition to being just outside of the top ten in many other offensive categories.
With the Mets only giving up two pitchers who only played a few seasons with the Cardinals and were not anything special, the trade to acquire Hernandez finds itself as the third-best in franchise history with the minimal amount given up and the impact he had on the franchise.