New York Mets: 15 best trades the franchise has ever made
#7 Howard Johnson
Up next on the Mets best trades in franchise history we have another member of the 1986 World Series Championship team, this time an infielder in Howard Johnson. On December 7th, 1984, the Mets acquired Johnson from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for pitcher Walt Terrell, who the Mets received with Ron Darling as previously mentioned.
Terrell put up respectable numbers while in Detroit, but he was never quite as good as the few seasons he was in New York. He pitched in four seasons for Detroit before being traded away, although he did return back to the Tigers a few years later for another two and a half seasons. In his first time with the Tigers, he pitched over 200 innings each season and had an ERA ranging from 3.85 to 4.56.
Johnson got off to a bit of a slow start in his first two seasons for the Mets despite winning a World Series in his second year. He ended up playing in nine different seasons and was fantastic overall. Over his nine seasons, he hit .251/.341/.459/.801 with 192 home runs, 629 RBI, 202 stolen bases, 627 runs scored, multiple 30/30 seasons, 2 All-Star game selections, 2 Silver Slugger awards, 2 fifth-place finishes in MVP voting, and a tenth place finish in MVP voting.
Johnson’s best season came in 1989 where he hit .287/.369/.559/.928 with 36 home runs, 101 RBI, 41 stolen bases, a league-leading 104 runs scored, an All-Star game selection, a Silver Slugger award, and a fifth-place finish in MVP voting with a 6.9 WAR.
Although Johnson was never great with the glove, he made up for it with the bat. He is currently seventh in games played for position players in franchise history, fourth in runs scored, home runs, walks, and RBI, tenth in hits, fifth in doubles, and third in stolen bases.
With the Mets not giving up a whole lot with Terrell, this makes the acquisition of Johnson all that much better in addition to his solid production. The Mets got a key player and bat to their team for multiple years and someone who is at the top of most offensive categories in franchise history by giving up Terrell who was never great with the Tigers. As a result, the trade for Johnson finds itself as the seventh-best trade in franchise history.