2) NY Mets Worst Trades: Tom Seaver to the Reds
I’ll debate this trade with any fan. The Tom Seaver trade is not the worst in franchise history. I can defend this simply by stating how useful the players the Mets got back from the Cincinnati Reds in return for him. Even if none came close to measuring up to what The Franchise brought to the organization, at least they got productive years from Steve Henderson, Pat Zachry, and Doug Flynn to a lesser extent.
Still, there’s no defending how dreadfully awful this trade remains in the history of baseball. More symbolic for its awfulness, it was a slap in the face to loyal fans and the greatest player to ever wear their uniform.
You know a trade is infamous when the day it took place has its own nickname, the Midnight Massacre. The second of those deals to make our list of the worst trades in Mets history, the Seaver deal is one fans have never forgiven. And as the story goes, Seaver wasn’t so happy about it either.
There’s not much explaining needed for anyone to grasp just how poor of a decision this was. From intent to result, the trading of Seaver remains a classic bad front office decision in sports.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, after Seaver return, the front office flubbed by leaving him unprotected in the free agent compensation draft following the 1983 season. How do you treat such an icon like this?
1) NY Mets Worst Trades: Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi
You knew it was coming. In my opinion, this is indeed the worst trade of all made by the Mets franchise. Nobody knew at the time like they did with the Seaver deal. However, based solely on results, this one has so much in between what the two teams received.
The deal sent four player to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi, an obviously fading star from the 1960s. The day was now December 10, 1971, so you can see where this is headed.
Frank Estrada, Don Rose, and Leroy Stanton all went westward. Oh. And they had a companion by the name of Nolan Ryan.
Ryan would only go on to become the all-time strikeout king in baseball history. Over 27 years, he would struck out 5714 batters. The Mets must have gotten something good in return for him, right?
Fregosi was a shell of his former self. After hitting .233 with the Angels in 1971, he downsized to a .232 average in 1972 with the Mets in a year which saw him play only 101 games due to injury. Then there was some improvement in 1973 with a .234 batting average. Hooray!
Unimpressed with this light-hitting infielder who seemed to lose his baseball abilities after the 1970s season, the Mets cut bait in mid-1973 when he was purchased by the Texas Rangers.
This Ryan+ for Fregosi deal might be a top ten all-time in baseball history. Notoriously awful, we can only hope nothing ever tops it.