The history between the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles goes way back. The first actual trade the teams made took place on May 9, 1962, when New York acquired the marvelous one, Marv Throneberry, from Baltimore. The two teams would face off many years later in the 1969 World Series. However, from the 1962 Throneberry trade until one made in 1986, the two teams would never swap players again aside from two purchases: one made by each club.
In regards to the best trade the Mets ever made with Baltimore, this took place on December 1, 1998. In exchange for Charles Johnson who never played a game for the Mets, the Orioles gave up relief pitcher Armando Benitez.
I can feel Mets fans shivering already.
The best Mets trade with the Orioles was the one for Armando Benitez
The Mets had no need for Johnson on the roster because of the presence of Mike Piazza. So, to move him in a one-for-one deal and land a closer is a big deal.
Benitez is nobody’s favorite Mets player. I think even his family would admit there were times when John Franco may have done a better job.
However, in parts of five seasons with the club, he was 18-14 with a 2.70 ERA and 160 saves. His best years took place as a member of the Mets. Although he may have given a few fans heart attacks over the years, Benitez was one of the better closers the organization has employed.
All it cost the team was a veteran player they didn’t even need.
Honorable mention trades with the Orioles
The trades these two teams have made have their pluses and minuses. For instance, in January of 2006, the team packaged Kris Benson to acquire Jorge Julio and John Maine. Each experienced some success with the Mets and Julio did end up bringing the team Orlando Hernandez later that season in a pretty good swap for New York.
At the trade deadline in 2000, desperate for some shortstop defense to replace the injured and immortal Rey Ordonez, the Mets sent several minor leaguers/minor players plus Melvin Mora in exchange for Mike Bordick. Bordick was a bit of a disappointment but not an absolute bust. If not for Mora becoming an All-Star shortly thereafter, this trade could have had the chance to look a little more favorably from a New York point of view.
Instead, we rest with the Benitez for Johnson swap as the best the two clubs have made.