NY Mets: 15 worst trade deadline deals in franchise history
3) NY Mets Worst Trade Deadline Deals: Prospect Scott Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devils Rays
The 2004 Mets got too caught up in reaching for the postseason. They made several trades during the summer to make themselves better. One trade that stands out as a bad one occurred on July 30. Bartolome Fortunate and Victor Zambrano went to New York. Heading to the Devil Rays (I’m going to give them the Devil adjective, it was 2004!), the Mets sent Jose Diaz and a young pitcher named Scott Kazmir.
Fortunato was okay for the team in 2004 but missed all of 2005 due to injury. This was the end of his major league career outside of a single appearance in 2006.
Zambrano, meanwhile, saw much more action with the Mets. Arriving to New York with a 4.43 ERA, he actually did manage to go 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 2004. The bigger issue is that he made only 3 starts. He would stay with the team into 2006 with rather poor results. An injury eventually took its toll and knocked him out of the season early on in 2006.
Meanwhile, Kazmir became a two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay and joined a long yet injury-filled career. During the 2006-2008 season when the Mets could have really used an arm like Kazmir, he was dominating in the American League.
Always a fighter, Kazmir continually battled back from injuries and managed to pitch well as recently as 2015. His comeback tour extended into 2021 but the results for the now 37-year-old weren’t nearly as great.
In short: the Mets literally traded away their future for an attempt at being better in the moment. It didn’t work out.