6) NY Mets Worst Trades: Scott Kazmir to the Devil Rays
What makes a trade so legendarily awful? There are many factors to consider. This trade made on July 30, 2004 has a little bit of everything.
Hoping to contend in 2004, the Mets acquired Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano in a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Fortunato would only ever throw 21.2 more big league innings after the trade, in large part due to injuries. Zambrano was the bigger addition, posting mediocre numbers with the Mets in 2004 and beyond. His addition in 2004 was especially notable because he only made 3 starts for the Mets that season. Injuries completely derailed his career as well.
Then there’s the big reason why this trade was so bad for the Mets. Along with Jose Diaz, the franchise shipped former first-round pick Scott Kazmir to Tampa Bay.
Kazmir would go on to become a three-time All-Star and win over 100 games in his career. A rather up-and-down time in the big leagues, he also got bitten by the injury bug quite often.
His story is quite different, though. Kazmir has managed to successfully come back from several major injuries and pitched yet again as recently as 2021 at age 37. We couldn’t have expected him to stay with the Mets for all of those years, but if they had his arm in the rotation from 2006-2008 when he was 35-25 with a 3.41 ERA with the Devil Rays, who knows what the Mets could have done?