Ranking the 6 best Mets players acquired via trade with a division rival

NLDS - Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets - Game 1
NLDS - Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets - Game 1 / Chris McGrath/GettyImages
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4) NY Mets trade with the Marlins for Al Leiter

The lone pitcher to make this list, we have another Marlins trade. Al Leiter was acquired by the Mets on February 6, 1998, in exchange for a lifelong minor leaguer plus Jesus Sanchez and A.J. Burnett. It wasn’t an absolute steal because of what Burnett was able to become, but we should consider this deal a win for the Mets anyway.

Contrary to how many of us may remember his career, Leiter wasn’t actually a very good pitcher until the 1995 season when he made 28 starts for the Toronto Blue Jays. He came into his own in 1996 with the Marlins in his age 30 season. The definition of a late bloomer, his first year with the Mets included a 17-6 record and 2.47 ERA. He finished sixth in the Cy Young vote during a period when the league was dominated by home run hitters.

Leiter stayed with the Mets through the 2004 campaign and would go on to win 95 games with a 3.42 ERA. He was never one of the best pitchers in the league and not even the ace on the Mets’ staff. However, he could be counted on to eat innings and keep runs off the scoreboard.

Notable yet often overlooked, Leiter made 28+ starts in all seven of his years with the Mets. He won 10 or more games each year and never had a below .500 record for the team.