There is a younger generation that thinks of the Kansas City Royals as the team to take down the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series. Long before that moment, many remembered them as the club the Mets were able to steal a pitcher away from.
Following the 1986 season, the Mets went out and bolstered their pitching staff with a young pitcher named David Cone.
In only his second year with the team, Cone went 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA. He finished third in the Cy Young, tenth in the MVP, and was on his way to becoming one of the club’s most successful pitchers.
The best Mets trade with the Royals brought David Cone to Flushing
Cone wouldn’t quite match up to what he did in 1988 again but he was consistently good through mid-1992 before he was traded away to the Toronto Blue Jays. He won double-digit games every year for the team, never posting an ERA higher than the 3.71 he had in 1987 while working as a starter and reliever.
The trade was a spectacular one for the Mets. They received Chris Jelic in the deal as well with the price tag including Rick Anderson, Mauro Gozzo, and Ed Hearn.
The Royals had already won the World Series in 1985, one season before the Mets did so. They wouldn’t even make it to the postseason again until 2014. Trades like this are a big reason why. They got nothing for Cone while the Mets were able to remain competitive with him on their roster.
Honorable mention trades between the Mets and Royals
If ridding the roster of Vince Coleman counts, there’s that one to mention. If we’re not going to count this one, there’s only one other truly good trade the Mets made with the Royals.
In September of 1999, Glendon Rusch was introduced to the orange and blue. In exchange for Dan Murray, the Mets picked up a future starting pitcher for their 2000 and 2001 rotation. Although he was just 19-23 with a 4.30 ERA during his time with the Mets, they practically picked him up for free.
Nothing compares to the Cone deal. It remains the best New York has made with Kansas City.