The best trade for a relief pitcher the Mets have ever made

New York Mets
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After a disastrous start, the New York Mets trading for Edwin Diaz has become one of their greatest trades this century. Even with his recent injury, the Diaz trade can be seen as a win for the Mets front office.

However, it hasn't quite taken the title of best relief pitcher trade of all time just yet. That honor goes to Frank Cashen and the 1989 Mets front office when they traded for John Franco, who went on to become one of the best closers in franchise history.

John Franco was the best relief pitcher the Mets have ever traded for

John Franco was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in 1984 in exchange for Randy Myers and Kip Gross. Franco, a Brooklyn native, was embraced by Mets fans and eventually inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2012.

Over his 14 seasons in blue and orange, Franco recorded 276 saves with an ERA of 3.10. A four time All Star, Franco holds the MLB record for most saves by a left handed pitcher in history with 424. He was a team captain and instrumental to the teams success throughout the 1990s.

Franco is also responsible for some of the most iconic Mets moments of the late 20th century as well. He allowed three runs in 15 innings of work in the 1999 and 2000 playoffs, including 3.1 scoreless innings in the 2000 World Series. He struck out Barry Bonds during a pitoval Game 2 of the 2000 NLDS, arguably the most important appearance of his career.

One of the wilder Franco (and Mets) stories came on May 11th 1996, more importantly known as "John Franco Day." That day was one of celebration, as the Mets and their fans were honoring Franco recording his 300th career save a few weeks prior. The good mood of the day only lasted until about the fifth inning, when an all out brawl broke out between the Mets and visiting Chicago Cubs. Benches and bullpen cleared, which led to multiple ejections, including the man of the hour Franco himself. The Mets went on to win the game 7-6 on a walk off home run.

Randy Myers went on to be a key piece for the Reds, making four All Star teams and helping them win the 1990 World Series before retiring in 1998. Even though they ended up giving up a solid relief pitcher in Myers, John Franco became a legendary part of Mets history for 14 seasons, and should be seen as the best closer the Mets have traded for.

Next. 3 best trades of the Steve Cohen era so far. dark