5 former Mets players the team gave up on and traded too early in their career

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets / Herb Scharfman/Sports Imagery/GettyImages
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3) NY Mets traded Kevin Mitchell too early in his career

Kevin Mitchell was one of those players who helped take down the Astros in the 1986 NLCS. He was an impressive young utility player for the Mets in 1986. He batted .277/.344/.466 with 12 home runs in only 364 plate appearances. It was looking like Mitchell could become a regular in the lineup.

A poor reputation which by many accounts now seems false and overblown led to Mitchell getting traded to the San Diego Padres in the offseason. There were a lot of moving parts in the deal. The two biggest players to swap uniforms were Mitchell and the new starting left fielder for the Mets, Kevin McReynolds.

McReynolds was a really good addition for the Mets lineup. He gave them power and run production for the remainder of the decade as players like Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez went on the decline. Mitchell ended up getting traded again by the Padres in the middle of the 1987 season. His new destination put him on the San Francisco Giants roster. They were glad to make the move. 

Mitchell led the league with 47 home runs and 125 RBI in 1989. The potent display of power helped win him the MVP.

The good times were over quickly. After playing in 113 games in 1991, he never again reached triple-digits due to injury. He spent a year playing in Japan during the player’s strike. Unfortunately, after hitting 30 home runs in 95 games during the 1994 season while slashing .326/.429/.681, his MLB career was virtually over.

Mitchell, along with Jeff Kent, are the only two future MVPs the Mets have traded for as of 2023.