2. Trading Noah Syndergaard to San Diego for prospects
There are very few topics that entire fanbases are in agreement on. In 2018, Mets fans agreed that Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard could not be traded unless ownership was completely 'blown away'. We were all disgusted with the Daily News back page cover that featured deGrom and Syndergaard in Yankees uniforms. Trading one or both of them would have signaled an early end to the 'Flushing Five' rotation the Mets had been building around for years.
The San Diego Padres tried to pry Syndergaard away from Van Wagenen and the Mets at the 2018 Winter Meetings. According to reports, the Padres were willing to talk prospects aside from their best at the time, Fernando Tatis Jr. This report turned every Mets fan off to the idea because Syndergaard meant more to us than just one or two top-tier prospects. Since the Padres never came forward with a proposal that blew Van Wagenen and the Wilpons away, the Mets never dealt Syndergaard.
In hindsight, the Mets should have dealt Syndergaard for other prospects in the Padres system. This deal could have included players such as MacKenzie Gore or Chris Paddack, both of whom have had inconsistent careers. Regardless, prospects can also be used as assets in other trades such as for Realmuto or Diaz with or without Cano. Syndergaard would also never be the same after 2018, only pitching one more full season for the Mets in 2019 where he had a 4.28 ERA in 197 innings pitched.