Days before Christmas in 1997, the New York Mets made a trade with the Houston Astros. The day was December 22. We can assume the weather was cold. The Mets were a few months away from heating up.
Outfielder Carl Everett was the subject of this trade. After three years in New York with some rather underwhelming results, the team was ready to deal him away. He was sent off to the Astros for pitcher John Hudek.
The winner of this trade was pretty clear.
Remembering when the Mets traded Carl Everett to the Astros
Everett developed into a pretty good power hitting in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It didn’t take him long after leaving the Mets to find his swing. He set new career highs in just about every category immediately upon arriving in Houston. His two years with the Astros were extremely productive. Meanwhile, the Mets were left with a relief pitcher who wouldn’t even stick with the ball club through the 1998 campaign.
New York moved on from Hudek quickly. After 28 games and a 4.00 ERA out of their bullpen, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. This was an unusually early trade deadline deal taking place on July 3. In return, the Mets acquired Lenny Harris.
Hudek was about done with his career by the next season. Harris, meanwhile, added some depth to the Mets roster for the remainder of the 1998 season. He wasn’t terrific for them, but it did setup for a reunion in the middle of the 2000 season. It was that run with the Mets when Harris slashed .304/.381/.457 for the National League Pennant-winning Mets that was far more memorable.
The Mets managed to get something out of this trade, eventually. One has to wonder what would have hoped with them and Everett if he stuck around.
Given some of the questionable and outrageous opinions Everett had in his career, we can safely assume that if he did remain with the Mets he might have been playing cards right there alongside Rickey Henderson and Bobby Bonilla during Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS.