8) NY Mets Worst Trades: Rusty Staub to the Tigers
Following the 1975 season, the Mets made the decision to trade fan favorite Rusty Staub to the Detroit Tigers. Staub had already been traded to the Mets several seasons early from the Montreal Expos in a trade that cost them young outfielder Ken Singleton. However, because Staub was one of the better Mets hitters during his first stint with the club, we can’t really criticism them too harshly.
Instead, it’s this deal with Detroit that lands on our list. Just one year after becoming the first player in franchise history to reach 100 RBI in a season, Le Grande Orange was dealt away and ready for a Renaissance in the Motor City.
A pair of Williams were involved in this trade. Bill Laxton went with Staub to Detroit and Billy Baldwin (no relation to Alec) came to the Mets. They were small pieces in the deal. It was pitcher Mickey Lolich who helped headline it.
A runner-up in the Cy Young vote and a third-place finisher in 1971 and 1972, Lolich was nearing the end of his career with an age 35 campaign ahead of him in 1976. He was actually pretty good for the Mets, going 8-13 with a 3.22 ERA. However, there was some background turmoil from the start. Lolich tried vetoing the deal but was eventually convinced to agree to it. Disagreements with coaches led to a lot of unhappiness for Lolich and he would retire after the season ended, only to later come back in 1978 with the—you guessed it—Padres!