New York Mets: 15 best trades the franchise has ever made
#12 Johan Santana
Next up on the list of best trades in franchise history, we have left-handed starting pitcher Johan Santana. On February 2nd, 2008, the Mets acquired their new ace from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for young outfielder Carlos Gomez, minor league pitchers Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey, and pitcher Philip Humber.
Most would think that at least one out of the four players sent to the Twins would either play relatively well for them or serve as a solid trade piece. Well, this is the rare scenario where none of these players did anything great for the Twins.
Guerra never pitched in a game for the Twins and Mulvey gave up 4 runs in 1.1 innings before being traded for future Met pitcher Jon Rauch who only pitched a year and a half for the Twins. Although Rauch did have a 2.82 ERA in 73.1 innings it will take more than that to save the Twins here.
Humber only pitched 20.2 innings and had an ERA over six before becoming a free agent. Gomez only ended up playing in two seasons where he hit .248/.293/.352/.645 with 10 home runs, 87 RBI, and 47 stolen bases in 290 games. Gomez was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for shortstop J.J. Hardy who only played one season for the Twins, and just like Rauch, his minimal time there was not enough to save the Twins for the poor production they got from the trade with the Mets.
Despite Santana’s Mets career being cut short due to multiple injuries, he had an incredible run for the few years he was healthy. He ended up only pitching in four seasons, with his last one being cut short to injury, but had great numbers as a whole. In his four seasons, he was selected to an All-Star game, finished third in Cy Young voting, finished fourteenth in MVP voting, won 46 games, had a 3.18 ERA, and a 1.201 WHIP in 717 innings.
Santana’s best season was his first one in 2008 where he won 16 games, led the league with a 2.53 ERA, had a 1.148 WHIP, and led the league with 234.1 innings pitched while finishing third in Cy Young voting and fourteenth in MVP voting with a 7.1 WAR.
Although Santana never got to pitch in the postseason while in Queens, he was still extremely clutch for the Amazins. On the second to last day of the season in 2008, Santana pitched on three days rest to help keep the Mets playoffs hopes alive. He ended up pitching a complete game shutout to keep the Mets season alive going into the last day of the season. A week later it was revealed that he even pitched that day with a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Santana’s clutch gene stayed with him for years when he made history on June 1st, 2012, by throwing the first and only no-hitter in franchise history. Santana was coming off major shoulder surgery from the season prior and had a pitch limit, although that was overlooked that day as he and the Mets had history on their mind. Even though that game could single-handily be the result for ruining the rest of his career as he threw a career-high in pitches coming off major shoulder surgery, it is still the only no-hitter in Mets history.
Although Santana’s stint with the Mets was relatively short-lived, he made the most of it when he was on the field. He was able to give the Mets a true ace and provided the first and only no-hitter in franchise history. The Mets gave up next to nothing for Santana and were given a stretch of incredible pitching including their only no-hitter, resulting in the twelfth best trade in franchise history.