4 times the Mets overpaid for a rental in a trade deadline deal

Washington Nationals v New York Mets
Washington Nationals v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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2) NY Mets trade for Kris Benson was an overpayment

The 2004 trade deadline was not kind to the Mets and their GM Jim Duquette. After a 2003 record of 66-95, Duquette decided that it was time for the Mets to do something dramatic to try to salvage their season and perhaps save his job. On July 30, the Mets acquired a young Jose Bautista in a trade with the Kansas City Royals and then turned right around and included him in another trade that sent Matt Peterson, Ty Wigginton, and Bautista to the Pittsburgh Pirates for free agent to be pitcher Kris Benson. Benson would go 4-4 in 11 starts for the Mets that season before becoming a free agent. Jose Bautista would have a 15 year major league career, slugging 344 home runs and 975 RBI’s.

The Mets also made another trade that day and although it wasn’t for a free agent to be, it is a trade that is infamous in Mets lore as the team’s all-time worst deal. On the same day, the Mets traded Jose Diaz and their best pitching prospect in Scott Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Bartolome Fortunato and pitcher Victor Zambrano. Zambrano was known to have had some difficulties but Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson famously claimed that he could fix any of Zambrano’s flaws in 10 minutes. Zambrano only pitched in three games for the Mets before arm trouble caused him to be shut down for the remainder of the season.

In his three-year Mets career he would go 10-14. Scott Kazmir would go on to pitch in three All-Star games and win 108 games in a 13 year major league career. Zambrano, who had been averaging 6.8 walks per nine innings at the time of the trade and despite being in the National League for the final two months, still led the American League in walks.

The Mets would finish at 71-91 that year. Jim Duquette would be replaced as GM by Omar Minaya. Free agent Kris Benson would sign with the Mets in 2005 but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles the following year.