Some of the best trades in New York Mets history barely go over the fence. This one is one of the no-doubters that clobbers someone in the last row.
Prior to the 2008 season, the Mets swung a deal with the Minnesota Twins to bring two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana to Queens.
According to Twins fans, this might be the worst trade in the entire franchise’s history. For the Mets, it was a powerful move that would give them an ace in the rotation.
The best Mets trade with the Twins changed franchise history
Santana is best known for his 2012 no-hitter but even with this removed from his resume there is a lot to like about what he gave the team.
In parts of four seasons, Santana went 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished third in the 2008 Cy Young race while winning the National League ERA title. If not for the team’s late-season collapse, Santana may have reached a level few Mets pitchers have. He never did get to pitch in the postseason for the club, a true shame for such a talented pitcher.
To acquire him, you’d think the Mets would have to give up a lot more than they actually did. A young Carlos Gomez (before he was good) and three other minor leaguers went to Minnesota in the deal.
Santana was about to reach free agency the following winter. With no intention to extend him, Minnesota had to make a trade. You’d think they could have gotten back more.
Instead, the Mets signed Santana to an extension immediately. A generational favorite because he is the only man to throw Mets no-hitter, fans also adore him for how genuinely pleasant he appears.
Honorable mention Mets trades with the Twins
The two clubs haven’t made any trades since the 2008 deal for Santana. A year earlier, they picked up Luis Castillo for Dustin Martin and Drew Butera. Although Castillo became known for his injuries and dropped final out against the New York Yankees, he hit quite well for the Mets.
Two earlier trades were far more important in Mets history. In 1978, Jerry Koosman was traded to the Mets for a minor leaguer and a player to be named later. The PTBNL ended up being Jesse Orosco.
More than a decade later, the two made a trade deadline swap. A haul of players was sent to Minnesota in exchange for Frank Viola. Viola was a productive member of the club for several years but because it did cost them some good players (Rick Aguilera being one of them), it’s an easy choice to say the Santana deal was better.