A couple of significant trades have happened between the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers. The two clubs have never played in the same league so there’s no rivalry to worry about.
The first trade that comes to mind for many is one from only a few years ago at the 2015 trade deadline. I thought long and hard about it. This deal isn’t the best the Mets have made with the Tigers.
No. To find the best deal we need to go back to 1984. In exchange for Walt Terrell, the Mets picked up one of their best infielders ever, Howard Johnson.
The best Mets trade with the Tigers brought Howard Johnson to Queens
The Mets made some huge moves in the early and mid-1980s to build themselves a championship roster in 1986. One of the lesser deals that paid off later on was the trade with the Tigers to bring HoJo to Queens.
Terrell was a good yet expendable pitcher for the Mets at the time. Johnson, still a youngster with a World Series ring already on his hand, would grow into one of the club’s most significant power hitters.
Johnson had a small role with the 1986 team. In 1987, he became their starting third baseman and a real threat in the lineup. He would hit 36 home runs and steal 32 bases that year. In 1991, he led the league with 38 home runs and 117 RBI. The season also included 30 stolen bases for his second 30/30 campaign.
Johnson’s unique mix of power and speed made him a beloved member of the franchise. The team was competitive on a regular basis during his tenure. The fond memories he left with fans continue to do this day.
Honorable mention trades between the Mets and Tigers
You can’t talk about Mets and Tigers trades without mentioning Yoenis Cespedes. Another important deal in club history, he was the catalyst for the club turning things around permanently in 2015 on their way to the World Series. If you want to say this was a better deal, you can! The Mets did give up Michael Fulmer in the deal but for what Cespedes gave them in 2015 and 2016, it was well worth it.
This isn’t the end of the honorable mentions. In March of 1994, Rico Brogna was traded to the Mets for Alan Zinter. For Mets fans of a certain age, Brogna remains a favorite.
No deal, however, compares to the HoJo one. He gave the club many years of production. Add in his time as a coach after his playing days were over and he’s someone generations of fans will always appreciate.