There were some gigantic trades that helped to build the 1986 New York Mets. Many of them began well before the 1986 season. One often-overlooked deal occurred on January 16 of that year.
Billy Beane, Joe Klink, and Bill Latham were all sent to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Pat Crobsy and a guy named Tim Teufel. Teufel was a young second baseman for the Twins who finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year vote in 1984. On the Mets, he’d have a much different role.
The 1986 Mets trade for Tim Teufel was a win for New York
Teufel ended up playing a lot of second base for the Mets in 1986 while platooning at the position with Wally Backman. It became a trend in his Mets career. Teufel never did play more than the 97 games he would log in 1987.
For the 1986 club, Teufel’s most memorable moment came on June 10th when he hit a walk-off grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies. The “Teufel shuffle” was suddenly cool.
His best year in New York came the following season. He went from hitting .247/.324/.369 to a robust .308/.398/.545. His power numbers rose a great deal, going from 20 doubles to 29 and 4 home runs to 14.
The final years Teufel spent with the Mets were closer to his first. He’d end up as a .256/.336/.411 hitter for them in 1460 total plate appearances.
Meanwhile, Crosby never reached the majors for the Mets or anyone else. As for the three players New York gave up, none of them did much either. Beane became one of the biggest first-round busts in Mets history and settled for the consolation prize of having Brad Pitt play him in a movie many years later. Latham had only 16 big league innings in 1986 and was done in “the show” after. Klink had the most success in the big leagues of the three with a 4.26 ERA in 164.2 total innings. Only 23 came as a member of the Twins.
The Teufel trade made its mark most on Mets history because of how the team performed immediately after adding him. As someone who could have continued to start with another team, we lucked out using him in a different way.