2) 1998-1999 Mets offseason built two playoff squads
Mike Piazza agreeing to a new contract in October of 1998 got things started in our second best Mets offseason of all-time. It was hardly the end of a winter that would help shape the next two years.
In December, the Mets got things started early by trading Todd Hundley and Arnold Gooch to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Roger Cedeno and Charles Johnson. That same day, Johnson was flipped to the Baltimore Orioles for closer Armando Benitez. In a matter of hours, the Mets had a speedy outfielder and reliever on their team.
The fun wasn’t over yet. Their next big move was to sign free agent Robin Ventura. Only weeks after they finally got to say goodbye to Carlos Baerga, the infield was shaping up much differently for the season to come.
Not long after these moves, the Mets made one more headline-grabbing free agent deal. They added the legendary Rickey Henderson to the team.
We all remember what Piazza, Hundley, Benitez, Ventura, and Cedeno did for the Mets. Henderson, at age 40, gave them 526 plate appearances and a .315/.423/.466 slash line. Coming off a year in which he led the American League with 66 bases, he stole another 37 for the Mets.
For a final touch, the Mets also did add Orel Hershiser in March of 1999. His best years well behind him, I think he’s still a notable enough player to add to this story.