When the Mets traded a fan favorite from the past for one of the future

A rare March Mets trade included two fan favorites.

Joe McEwing blows on his hand
Joe McEwing blows on his hand / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Nobody pitched in more games than Jesse Orosco. In parts of 24 seasons, Orosco appeared in 1,252 games as a pitcher. He spent the 1995-1999 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles with a lot of success until the 1999 campaign which gave New York Mets fans flashbacks to 1987 when Orosco lost his mojo.

The Mets ended up trading for Orosco on December 10, 1999, offering the Orioles reliever Chuck McElroy. Orosco’s reunion would be short-lived. On March 18, 2000, the fan-favorite from the past was traded for one of the future.

The Mets traded for future fan favorite Joe McEwing in exchange for Jesse Orosco

There’s no use grading this trade because Orosco would appear in only 6 games and 2.1 innings for the Cardinals in 2000. Back in those prehistoric days of the LOOGY, Orosco’s time in St. Louis was unmemorable.

McEwing, on the other hand, filled the niche of super utility man. His nickname became Super Joe because of his ability to play every position.

In the 2000 season, McEwing saw his impressive rookie stats from the year prior nosedive. He went from hitting .275/.333/.398 with the Cardinals to a .222/.248/.366 hitter with the Mets. While still useful, it was a disappointing result. The fifth-place finisher in the 1999 Rookie of the Year ballot would need to spend some more time in the minors.

McEwing wasn’t done in New York and rebounded nicely in 2001 by having a big year as a utility player. McEwing hit .283/.342/.449 for the Mets in 319 plate appearances spread across 116 games. He played a lot of left field and right field. He was found frequently at third base. His defensive wasn’t immaculate nor was it a problem.

Because of the direction of the team, McEwing became increasingly popular with fans. This was a period of past-their-prime players such as Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, and others would land at Shea Stadium and spoil dreams. McEwing was one of the constants.

McEwing was released in spring training of 2005 almost to the day of when he first joined the Mets. It began with a spring training swap for another Mets fan favorite of the past.