#14 Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud
Coming in at the fourteenth best trade in franchise history we have one of the best steals in recent memory with Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. This blockbuster trade went down on December 17th, 2012, where the Mets sent reigning Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for veteran catcher John Buck, minor league outfielder Wuilmer Becerra, catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, and pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard.
Dickey was the most successful for the Jays as he went on to pitch in four seasons with an ERA of 4.05 in 824.1 innings while winning a gold glove award in his first season. Nickeas appeared in only one game and did not even receive a plate appearance and Thole played in four seasons where he combined to hit .200/.275/.248/.522 with 2 home runs, and 24 RBI in 170 games.
Becerra has yet to make it past A+ ball and Buck was traded during his first season with the Mets. Buck did have quite the first month for the Mets though as he hit 9 home runs and drove in 25 runs in April before fizzling out and being traded with Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and pitcher Vic Black.
The two main pieces the Mets received went on to do a bit better than the other two as they were key pieces to the Mets National League Championship team in 2015. In parts of seven seasons with the Amazins, d’Arnaud went on to hit .242/.303/.401/.704 with 47 home runs and 164 RBI in 407 games with a seventh-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting.
His best season came in 2015 when they won the National League Championship. That season d’Arnaud hit .268/.340/.485/.825 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI in only 67 games played with a 1.5 WAR.
Syndergaard has had a nice career in Queens so far as well. In his five seasons, he has pitched to a 3.31 ERA, with a 1.161 WHIP and 775 strikeouts in 716 innings pitched with a fourth-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting, an All-Star game appearance, an eighth-place finish in Cy Young voting, and a nineteenth place finish in MVP voting. Syndergaard is still under contract for one more season, although he is recovering from Tommy John surgery and not expected back until mid-season, he can still add to his numbers in New York.
His best season came in 2016 where he won 14 games, had a 2.60 ERA, a 1.149 WHIP, and 218 strikeouts in 183.2 innings pitched with a 5.0 WAR. He was also selected to his first All-Star game, had an 8th place finish in Cy Young voting, and a 19th place finish in MVP voting.
Although a relatively small sample size, Syndergaard was clutch for the Mets in the playoffs as well. Between the 2015 playoffs and the 2016 Wild Card game, he had a 2.42 ERA, a 1.077 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts in 26 postseason innings. Although the Mets ended up losing the game, his 2016 Wild Card game was the most impressive as it saw him pitch 7 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants.
d’Arnaud and Syndergaard have both had great impacts on the Mets in their careers. Helping the Mets reach the World Series in 2015 and the Wild Card game in 2016 would not have been made possible without them. With the Mets giving up essentially just Dickey who was never the same after winning the Cy Young award, this was easily one of the best trades in Mets franchise history.