12 worst Mets trades and free agent signings since Steve Cohen took over as majority owner

Washington Nationals v New York Mets
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3) Worst NY Mets trade or free agent signing since Steve Cohen took over: Khalil Lee trade

Another more under the radar trade by the Mets was a twin of another deal they made. Maybe the Mets need to stay away from three-team deals because this one had them coming out on the bottom as well.

The Mets, Boston Red Sox, and Kansas City Royals decided to swap players prior to the 2021 season. The Mets sent Freddy Valdez and Josh Winckowski to the Red Sox for Royals outfield prospect Khalil Lee. It seemed like a fine move at the time. It has turned into a mess.

Lee saw limited big league action with the Mets and had an atrocious stretch for them in 2021 full of strikeouts. He eventually pieced it together in the minors but struggled in 2022. His time with the Mets eventually came to an end in 2023 following another bad start to the season and a lingering domestic abuse accusation which initially led to him getting designated for assignment by the team in the preseason.

Over in Boston, Winckowski has become a good bullpen arm for the Red Sox after failing as a starter. Valdez, a somewhat forgotten piece in the deal, hasn’t done much in the minors. This won’t help make Mets fans feel any better about the trade. It’s a clear win for the Red Sox or Royals. Again, the Mets take the bronze.