#11 John Franco
Coming in at the eleventh best trade in franchise history for the Mets we have left-handed closing pitcher John Franco. On December 6th, 1989, the Mets acquired Franco with minor league outfielder Don Brown from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitchers Kip Gross and Randy Myers.
Gross and Myers both ended up pitching two seasons for the Reds, and two pretty good ones at that. Gross pitched 92 innings for the Reds to a 3.52 ERA and a 1.533 WHIP. Myers logged 218.2 innings with a 2.96 ERA, a 1.340 WHIP, and 37 saves while being selected to the All-Star game, a fifth-place finish in Cy Young voting and a seventeenth place finish in MVP voting. Gross and Myers were both traded again after their two years for the Reds.
Unlike Gross and Myers, Franco went on to have a long stay with his new team. Franco ended up playing in New York for fourteen seasons. In those fourteen seasons, Franco pitched to a 3.10 ERA, a 1.365 WHIP, had 276 saves over 702.2 innings, was selected to an All-Star game, finished seventh in Cy Young voting one season and 20th in MVP voting that year as well.
Brown never ended up making the majors, but Franco made up for that.
Over fourteen seasons with the Mets, Franco combined for a 3.10 ERA, a 1.365 WHIP, and 276 saves over 702.2 innings pitched with an All-Star game appearance, a seventh-place finish in Cy Young voting, and a 20th place finish in MVP voting.
Franco’s best season came in 1992 where he had a 1.64 ERA, a 1.061 WHIP, and 15 saves in 33 innings with a 1.7 WAR.
Between the 1999 and 2000 postseasons, Franco’s overall numbers were pretty solid despite a few shaky appearances. In five different series between the two playoff appearances, he had a 1.88 ERA with a 0.977 WHIP over 14.1 innings.
Despite Franco having been rocky at times with getting himself in trouble with walks specifically, his overall numbers make it able to look past that. He is first in franchise history for games played by a pitcher, eighth in ERA, and first in saves. Franco was also named the third captain in history while with the Amazins.
Even though the Mets gave up two pretty good pitchers for Franco, the legacy he left in New York made up for it. He gave the Mets a consistent arm coming out of the bullpen to save games for fourteen years and is one of only four captains in franchise history. All of this results in the Mets trade for John Franco as the eleventh best trade in franchise history.