5) NY Mets traded Heath Bell too early in his career
Sometimes the talent is obvious. In other cases it isn’t. Heath Bell was just another guy on the Mets from 2004-2006. Going 1-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 81 relief appearances, the trade with the San Diego Padres prior to the 2007 season didn’t seem like it would have much meaning. This assumption couldn’t have been more wrong.
Bell was 6-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 2007 for the Padres where he somehow managed to make 81 appearances in a single season. It didn’t take long at all for the Mets to realize they may have given up a gem.
The trade itself also sent Royce Ring to the Padres while bringing back Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson. Bell was easily the most accomplished major leaguer of the four. In 2009, the Padres moved him to the closer spot where he saved a league-best 42 games for them. He’d have another year of 47 and a third with 43 before they traded him to the Miami Marlins and his career was officially headed in a nosedive as many will.
There were a lot of good years left in Bell at the time of this trade. Chalk this one up as one of those deals where both teams thought they were getting a more minor piece and one ended up with a three-time All-Star.