1) NY Mets Worst Trade Deadline Deals: Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds
What else would it be? Arguably the worst trade in Mets history (I think it’s second to the Nolan Ryan deal), this deal involving the legendary Tom Seaver defined the Midnight Massacre of 1977. The greatest player in franchise history was shipped from out of town to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for several players. I don’t care if they did actually perform well—to a degree. This trade broke hearts and the franchise to pieces.
Seaver wasn’t nearly as tremendous with the Reds but that doesn’t make this one sting any less. He remained one of the league’s best starting pitchers for several more years while the Mets stayed down at the bottom of the league.
In return, New York acquired Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry. Each had some level of success calling Shea Stadium home. Together, even on their best days, I don’t think they compare to what Seaver was able to accomplish.
That’s the problem with trade deadline deals involving any established big leaguers. It’s rare you can get the prospects or younger players back of equal value. In the history of the Mets, the only trade we can even consider a good one where they sold at the deadline is the Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler move.
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There was no way to possibly win the Seaver trade. Getting rid of your franchise’s best player is not a winning move. In fact, it’s an all-time loser of a trade.