#13 Jesse Orosco
Coming in at the thirteenth best trade in Mets franchise history is the acquisition of the man on the mound for the last out of the 1986 World Series in Jesse Orosco. On February 7th, 1979, Orosco was sent to the Mets as “a player to be named later” to complete an earlier deal that saw the Mets receive minor league pitcher Greg Field from the Minnesota Twins and a player to be named later for pitcher Jerry Koosman.
Koosman had just spent twelve great seasons with the Mets and went on to pitch two and a half seasons for the Twins. In his two and half years with the Twins, Koosman won 39 games with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.337 WHIP in 601.1 innings with a sixth-place finish in Cy Young voting.
Field never ended up pitching for the Mets and was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Orosco went on to be a huge piece for the Mets over the next eight seasons. In those eight seasons, he put up a 2.73 ERA, a 1.209 WHIP, had 107 saves, pitched 595.2 innings over 372 games, and won a World Series.
Orosco’s best year with the Mets came in 1983 when was selected to his first of two All-Star games, had a 1.47 ERA, won 13 games, had a 1.036 WHIP, logged 110 innings, saved 17 games, finished in third-place for Cy Young voting, and had a seventeenth place finish in MVP voting with a 3.8 WAR.
Orosco’s main name to fame comes as previously stated, being the man on the mound for the last out of the 1986 World Series. Aside from being on the mound for the last out, Orosco was great the rest of the postseason too. In the NLCS he pitched to a 3.38 ERA, had a 0.875 WHIP, and had 10 strikeouts in 8 innings. In the World Series, he was even better not allowing a run in 5.2 innings, pitching to a 0.353 WHIP, and striking out 6 batters while not allowing any walks.
Orosco’s great stretch in Queens currently has him with the third-best ERA in franchise history, sixth-most games by a pitcher, fourth-most saves, and fifth-best batting average against.
Although the Mets did give up one of their best pitches in their history with Koosman, he was never truly the same player once leaving Queens. The Mets were able to receive a key piece to their team and franchise over eight years which helped them win a World Series. As a result, the Mets acquisition of Orsosco finds itself as the thirteenth best trade in franchise history.