Tag: new york mets

Gary, We Hardly Knew Ye

The passing of Gary Carter is a blow to anyone that followed the Mets in the mid-1980’s. About 24 hours after first hearing the news and after watching a tribute to Gary on The Baseball Network, I have developed the sense that Carter is/was probably the greatest Met we’ve ever underappreciated.

It could be that his career at Shea was relatively short, full seasons from 1985 thru 1988 with a 50-game 1989 finale due to injuries. He hit a combined 16 homeruns in 1988-89. It could be that he essentially dropped off the team’s radar after he retired. Other 1986 Mets including Darryl Strawberry, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Bob Ojeda, Howard Johnson, Wally Backman, Mookie Wilson and even Tim Tuefel returned to the fold after their playing careers ended, while Dwight Gooden and Lenny Dykstra have maintained notoriety for different reasons. Maybe it’s the fact that he entered the Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo. It could be his unabashed Christian faith. I remember his interview after Game 7 in 1986 when he thanked Jesus Christ, a remark which elicited an internal groan in my then 26-year old mind. (Life experiences have changed my opinions on that!) He seemed strangely out of place on a team of hard living hell raisers and his beliefs made him seem more seem more suited for a role in Bible-Belt city rather than in New York.

Often when people pass, it’s a time for the rest of us to put things in perspective. His teammates have been effusive in their praise for his role on the 1986 squad. While short, his Met career was very significant and I best believe can be put in perspective with just four words:

Tenth Inning Game Six.

The Mets are down to their last out and on the verge of one of the largest letdowns in baseball history at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Gooden, having melted down in Game Five is in the dugout, unavailable. Strawberry, removed as part of a double switch earlier in the game, sulks in somewhere in the shadows. Hernandez has just flied out to deep center. That leaves Carter. Refusing to make the last out, he wills a single and then, pushed by hits from Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight, chugs around the bases, pointing prophetically at Wilson while crossing the plate. Was it Divine Intervention that saved the Mets that night? (It certainly was a miracle). Carter’s refusal to give up, his heart of a champion, kept the Mets heart beating that inning and eventually carried them to the pennant.

I was a season ticket holder in 1989. Towards the end of that dismal season, I was struck with the realization that soon Carter would no longer be a Met. I will never forget soaking in those final appearances of his from my seat in deep left field: his stance was a near perfect replica of the MLB logo, the number 8 centered down his back and his bat held the anticipation that a ball may be hit a long way at any moment. Aside from that somewhat personal moment, there are some other highlights to consider.

• His game-winning 1985 Opening Day home run off of Neil Allen in the bottom of the 10th inning.

• His game-winning NLDS Game Five hit off of Charlie Kerfield

• His two home run game in Game 4, 1986 World Series

• His torrid September 1985—Carter hits 13 home runs, including 5 in two games vs. San Francisco.

Very few players have those types of highlights on their Met resumes. For those reasons alone, I hope the Mets do the right thing and retire Carter’s number this summer (it might be a good idea to also retire #17 at the same time).

Godspeed and thank you, Gary. May the faith you readily shared with everyone be a comfort to those who mourn you here and may you enjoy eternity as a heavenly all-star.
Let’s Go Mets!


In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Some Random Thoughts

I think most Mets fans are hoping for a scenario that goes something like this: a combination of losses on the field and in the courtroom that forces the Wilpons into selling. Then as 2013 dawns, the team has rich new ownership, a dream team in the front office and a roster full of dynamic young players.

Not so fast. One of the keys to the Wilpons’ losing control of the team will be a further decline in attendance. Declining attendance is usually connected to a poor on-field performance. A poor on-field performance means one of two things: either a rash of devastating injuries or the reality that the new “core” of Duda, Davis, Tejada, etc. isn’t very good. If the latter is indeed the case, then the team is in for a long stay in the basement.

The last time ownership changed here was after the 1979 season when a perfect storm of poor play, financial woes and front office blunders dragged the franchise to hell. Already down and out for three seasons, the Mets struggled for nearly four more years after the Wilpon-Doubleday group took over, going through three managers in the process. It wasn’t until the end of the 1983 season and the arrival of Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez that things began to look up.

It’s a conundrum. I think everyone wants the Wilpons gone, but to hasten their demise, the team has to be awful. If they are awful however it means a total rebuilding (just two players from the 1980 team, Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman lasted to 1986) and several more years of 5th place finishes. If they play better and hover around .500, the Wilpons may just decide to try and hold on, which means more teetering on the edge of financial ruin, etc. etc.

One wonders if the Wilpons couldn’t benefit by hiring a spokesman to handle all of their media contacts. I can’t help but think that at 74, Fred may no longer be up to the task of dealing with the press. His New Yorker interview last spring angered and alienated both fans and players. His recent words after the owners meetings reassured us that his family is “holding up well” (well, that’s a relief) and that he hopes the fans will “give the Mets a try” (as if the team is a brand of snack food).Hard to gauge, but I’d be willing to bet that every time Fred opens his mouth, he costs the Mets 10,000 tickets sold. Where is Jay Horowitz while all this is going on? Perhaps it’s time for a younger, hipper, more believable mouthpiece and one with no current ties to the Wilpons to intervene.

Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Zach Wheeler are the Mets next great hope. Just ask Baseball America, hey they’re never wrong—right, Fernando? My hope is that Sandy Alderson is quietly shopping them around, just to see what they could get in return. Let’s face it; probably none of these guys is the next Stephen Strasburg. About the only thing more dangerous than trading away young pitchers is depending on them to develop into franchise-saving stars—right, Pulse?

So Scott Boras found his “stupid owner” in Detroit, eh? On paper that Tiger batting order looks terrific but in the field…well let’s just say that they are going to have to score a lot of runs! Remember the Howard Johnson in center or Daniel Murphy in left experiments? How did they work out? It probably also means that we can cross off Detroit from the list of possible destinations for David Wright this summer.

David Einhorn got a hefty fine from the U.K’s finance regulator for insider trading. First Bernie Madoff and now Einhorn. The Wilpons can sure pick’em.

I may not get to Citi Field at all this season, but I do plan on several trips to Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Buffalo Bisons are coming in for three separate stands, so I hope to get a glimpse of some future Mets, right here in Allentown. Coca-Cola Park is a beautiful place to take in a game, not a bad seat in the house, with a friendly staff and reasonably priced tickets and food. Think about this for a moment: a minor league community with a reputation as an industrial wasteland (thanks again, Billy Joel) one that hadn’t hosted a professional baseball game in nearly 40 years, was able to build a great stadium literally from a patch of weeds. The Iron Pigs, despite a poor record, have set minor league attendance records each year since their inaugural season in 2009. Meanwhile, there is another stadium that also opened in 2009 about 100 miles to the northeast that is unloved by the fans, has poor sight lines, charges exorbitant rates for food and celebrates someone else’s heritage. What went wrong?

And finally, if you expect that the Mets will “go big” in this June’s draft and spend lots of money on premiere talent, I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you. I do have this rich old guy with a Brooklyn fetish interested but if you make me a strong offer…


I’ve Got 23…

Like moths to a flame, bloggers, boarders and callers are all stirred up over a tweet from Anthony DiComo who has “heard” that the Mets are done tweaking the 40-man roster. DiComo hears it, Cerrone posts and comments on it and bang, instant “story.” Maybe we should wait for a team source to confirm it? It’s unwelcome news for sure, if it is indeed true. What it does do however, is give a clearer idea of what the Opening Day roster might look like and another excuse for me to pad my article count total on Mets Today.

As of January 12, 2012 (the 44th anniversary of the Jet win in SB III) here is the projected Opening Day roster for the New York Mets:

Eight Starters: Torres-cf, Murphy-2b, Wright-3b, Davis-1b, Bay-lf, Duda-rf, Tejada-ss, Thole-c

Five in the Rotation: Santana, Dickey, Niese, Pelfrey and Gee.

Four on the Bench: Cedeno-ss, Turner-2b, Hairston-OF and Nickeas-c

Six in the Pen: Francisco-cl, Rauch-8th, Ramirez-7th, Byrdak-LOOGY, Parnell-ROOGY and Acosta

That’s 23. First off, I don’t know if we should be happy or sad that a team coming off three consecutive losing seasons while staring at a fourth has nearly its entire opening day roster set more than a month before spring training starts. Is this a new-found stability or just more evidence that the team is so badly hamstrung by their finances that they can’t do anything?

Of the players mentioned, I think that Johan Santana has the best (worst?) chance to start the season on the DL. Looking into my crystal ball, I expect about 20-25 starts from Johan this year, with him maybe joining the team in Miami in May and perhaps being passed over a few times in late July and then a September shut down. I also think Bobby Parnell is being wasted as a ROOGY and would like to see him close in Buffalo. As for that bench, well it’s just awful right now.
But I digress. With 23 Opening Day spots seemingly nailed down, there are two left to be filled. If there are no major moves being made between now and then we have to assume that spots #24 and #25 will go either to someone already connected to the organization or who will take a cheap, non-guaranteed offer. So here are a few possibilities:

A down-sized roster: Hey it’s all the rage elsewhere; maybe the Wilpons figure that fewer workers can handle the load and go with 23 players to do the work of 25. Don’t laugh; we older fans might recall the 1980’s when teams used a 24-man roster.

Future Shock: It would be a developmental disaster, IMHO, to push any of the prospects before their time, but perhaps Kirk Nieuwenhuis goes north as the 5th outfielder and someone like Robert Carson or Josh Edgin get the last bullpen spot. The Mets most likely plan to market the Harveys, Wheelers, etc. heavily in the coming months and it might be tempting to use one or more of these guys as teasers for the steady stream of good young players that they hope will soon follow. I don’t think that either Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson are in danger of losing their jobs, so they don’t have to promote any of these guys early to save their skins, a la Omar and Jerry with Jenrry Mejia. While I am intrigued by some of the Mets prospects, I really don’t want to see any of here until this September at the earliest.

Quad-A Blue Plate Specials: Sadly for us, I think this is the most likely scenario. Look to the bench for precedent. I am sure that Mike Nickeas is a wonderful person and has worked hard to get here, but there is nothing in his body of minor league work to suggest that he belongs on a major league roster. His main asset it appears is that he costs the major league minimum. So brace yourselves for the Home Opener tip of the cap from Chris Schwinden, or Jose Bautista, or Pedro Beato (still holding out hope for him), or Mike Baxter or Val Pascucci or Adam Loewen.

Will Work For Food: OK that isn’t funny, but perhaps a combination of investor money and some too-go-to pass-on players results in the late February minor league contract/spring training invite to some intriguing names. Imagine for example, Ivan Rodriquez coming to the Mets and pursuing his 3,000th hit. That might be the most interesting on-field development for the Mets in 2012. Even at .218 he out-hit Nickeas last year. Instead of Bautista, how about Brad Penny or Joel Pinero for the last pitcher’s spot? Not expecting great shakes, but I think I would rather see either of them start in place of Santana than I would Bautista. For the 5th outfielder, who about Rick Ankiel? I really like Lucas Duda but am concerned about a season-long force feed in right field. Ankiel’s arm makes him the perfect late-inning replacement. Too late now, perhaps, but I really wanted a grinder like Ryan Theriot at second. I just cringe every time I think of Murphy at second (and I am a Murphy fan).

So what do you think might happen between now and Spring Training?


The Mets: Seven Reasons to Stay Tuned in 2012

Happy New Year everyone! With the holidays now in the rear view mirror and me now settling down into my new job, it’s time to take look ahead to what 2012 might hold in store for the New York Mets.

Like most of us, I have very low expectations for the team this year. Team finances aside, the starting rotation is mediocre at best, there are several defensive liabilities in the projected starting eight, the bench is horrible, there is little speed on the current roster and they play in a tough division. Still, I will watch as many Mets games as I can this year. Now that I have a steady income again, I may even make the pilgrimage from my home in Bethlehem to Citi Field to take in a game or two. I know that there is no postseason in store for the Mets in 2012, but I can think of at least seven reasons to pay attention to the team this year:


The Fantasy 3-Way Deal: No Gio for Metsies

Amid these new rumors circulating around New York Mets and Oakland A’s left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez; I have cultivated a 3-way trade proposal.

Thursday night, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Mets are in on the 25-year-old left-hander. Along with the Mets, the Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins (they should just go away now), Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, and the Texas Rangers all have interest in the southpaw.

So it comes as a surprise that the Mets are even talking to any teams at this point; let alone going after a high-profile lefthander.

But my judgment says the Mets are nothing going strictly for Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez would be a nice fit in a rotation but he’s a now pitcher. The Mets aren’t a “now” team. They are a later team. I think everyone has come to terms that the Mets will not be competitive for a few years.

So here’s a 3-way trade scenario I made up. This involves the Toronto Blue Jays (Note: I am not a general manager, nor am I a business major. I know if Blue Jay fans read this they’ll go after my neck but I felt that this is how this deal gets done.):


In this trade, the Blue Jays receive an already proven pitcher. In the American League East, you need solid pitching. We already know that the Blue Jays won the bidding rights for Japanese stud Yu Darvish. However, the Jays lack left-handed starters (and effective ones). If you put Rickey Romero and Gonzalez in a rotation with Darvish*, Brandon Morrow, and the 5th spot being up for grabs; you have a rotation that is ready to compete. The Blue Jays are a now team. GM Alex Anthopoulos has shown he is ready to make the steps to the next level. The Jays recently switched their logos to the old Blue Jay, with future star Brett Lawrie saying, “I feel that this year is our year” (Can’t find the video…grr..really cool video though). The Blue Jays believe they can compete and with the acquisitions of Darvish* and Gonzalez, they would be a force to reckon with, including with the new wild card system.

From the Oakland A’s perspective, Billy Beane has made it known: he wants prospects (like usual). The A’s receive an already proven young left-handed pitcher, Jon Niese, who is under club control for another four years. That’s four years for A’s to ponder what they want to do with Niese. Niese can blossom into the pitcher we want to see. Maybe he’ll find himself somewhere else?

Rumor has it that the A’s want a “future third-basemen”. Slot in Wilmer Flores. When you think future, you think of 2 years (even though I don’t know if the A’s will ever be competitive again). Wilmer Flores is not going to play in New York. While many are still hyping him up, he just has not performed well enough for me to remain drooling over. He is expendable, in my opinion. Now you throw in an MLB-ready talent like right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez, you might have a deal. Alvarez dazzled as a 21-year-old in AA, posting a 2.86 ERA with am 1.11 WHIP. He was called up in August by the Jays and went 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 starts.

Finally, the Mets haul. The Mets would receive another left-handed pitcher in Brett Cecil. A former first-round selection out of Maryland, Cecil has pitched well in the AL East. While his numbers aren’t exactly standout numbers, Cecil sits in a low to mid 90s. He has a somewhat lazy delivery but gets some nice bit off his fastball. In 2010, he had a 2.6 WAR, however it dropped to 0.4 in 2011, mainly because he was wild. I’ve always been a fan of Cecil ever since he was drafted. I felt the Jays rushed him a bit but he’s starting to find himself. I feel that his biggest weakness is pitching in the American League East and a change of scenery would be best for him.

And here’s where the deal gets sweet. The Mets would receive Blue Jays prized prospect Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud was originally drafted in 2007 by the Philadelphia Phillies. How sweet would it be to have him as the Mets back stop for years to come?

Rated the 36th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, d’Arnaud did not disappoint in 2011. The 22-year-old hit .311 with 21 home runs and 78 runs batted in at Double-A New Hampshire. The only concerns are over his glove and if he can make the step to being an all around catcher (aka: Matt Wieters). But still, he’s a catcher of the future. Not Josh Thole. And by a catcher of the future, think a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good catcher!

The Mets also receive a pitcher! A possible clone of Jon Niese in Griffin Murphy. The Jays draftEd High-school heavy in the past two drafts, which is why some guys get lost in their system, like Murphy. Murphy was selected in the 2nd round in 2010 and pitched so-so in Rookie League. He walked 16 in 41 innings. He has to have more control since he really isn’t a power lefty. His frame (6’3″ 200) is intriguing because if he could fill it out, say gain another 15 pounds, he might get the velocity that is missing. Clearly, I used him in this proposal as a throw in player. Sure you could pray for a Justin Nicolino or a Deck McGuire, but the Jays are parting with d’Arnaud and Alvarez.

So tell me, what would you give up for Jon Niese? If you were GM Sandy Alderson, would you entertain this offer? Is it too much? Or just right?


Are We Even Worse Off Than We Thought?

Last summer, while Jose Reyes was running away with the NL batting crown, I envisioned a fierce bidding war for his services developing over the winter. The way I figured it, there had to be at least a dozen teams lining up to throw money and years at him. After all, he is the total package, right? He has the speed, the energy, plays a premium position, has some pop in his bat and is on the right side of age 30. What team wouldn’t want him?

Well, we found out: there were 28 teams not interested enough to make contact with his agent and only one that made an offer. Reyes ended up signing with his only suitor, the Miami Marlins. And they got him for a contract that only two years ago would have seemed like a bargain.

There is an old saying about familiarity breeding contempt. After watching Jose’s entire career with the Mets, I was hesitant about seeing him get a long-term deal. Too many injuries! And for a team like the Mets with a long history of regrettable contracts, I felt that a multi-year deal was another ticking time bomb. FWIW, I think the Marlins will regret three, possibly four years of the deal. I favored dealing Reyes last July, but that’s another topic.

So, I watched and waited in hopeful anticipation during last week’s winter meetings. I was cheered by Sandy Alderson’s comments about listening to offers on everyone on the roster. That’s good. After three consecutive sub-.500 seasons, no one should be untouchable. A nice prospect or two, like what they got from the Giants for Carlos Beltran last July would certainly jump start the rebuilding process. What isn’t so good is the types of offers they reportedly received for what should be their prime trading chips, a.k.a the contract-friendly, major league ready starters currently wearing a Met uniform.

For example:

Daniel Murphy: Hit .320 last year and was 5th in the NL when he sustained a season-ending injury. Alderson praised his leadership ability. So here come the LA Dodgers with an offer of Tony Gywnn Jr. Tony Gwynn Jr.? He of the .660 OPS? On his third team in the past three years? Two years older than Murphy and nearly twice as expensive? WTF?

Ike Davis: Accordingly the Pirates, yes the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team that hasn’t won anything in 20 years, came calling, offering AA outfielder Sterling Marte and AAA pitcher Brad Lincoln. The latter is not a prospect: he projects at best as a 4/5 starter. Marte has some appeal, but he is at least two years away. Isn’t Davis supposed to carry a gold glove and have the potential to hit 30 homers?

• Jon Niese: I thought that left handed starting pitchers under team control for the next several years are just about the most prized commodity in baseball. So we hear the Mets are “listening” to offers on Jon. One would expect a long line of suitors. Nope. In fact one of those interested teams was the San Diego Padres. Then they hire Omar Minaya and they suddenly aren’t interested any more. Coincidence? Didn’t Minaya draft this guy? (Rhetorical question).

Bobby Parnell: Like Niese, Bobby is young and under team control for the next several years. Although not a southpaw, he does have that triple-digit speed fastball. He is also available. There aren’t even any good rumors out there about a deal for him.

So adding it all up leads to an unpleasant conclusion: the Mets are what their record says they are, which is a bad team with a roster full of players that most teams don’t have more than a passing interest in. The slow market for Reyes and the lack of interest in players from last year’s roster certainly indicates that. Perhaps the next coming weeks will reveal better news, but given the circumstances right now we are getting a good indication of what the market thinks about current Mets. Between this and the latest revelation on the Wilponzi’s finances, we may be on the precipice of a long dark age.


Now You’re Talking Turkey: Mets Transactions During Thanksgiving Week

In my household, the week before Thanksgiving has traditionally been one of preparation. Since we host the annual family gathering, there is food to be bought, a turkey to stuff, rugs to vacuum, bathrooms to be cleaned, toys to put away and extra chairs to be brought up from the cellar.

For the Mets, this week has also signaled the start of their preparation for the next season. With an eye on ticket sales, several Mets GMs have swung deals during this shortened work week. For most of us fans, the news of these transactions is a welcome change from a long stretch of no news at all. In more recent years, a genuine move means temporary relief from the incessant and preposterous speculation in all corners of the media about rumored trades and/or signings.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have had more patience! Here are a passel of Thanksgiving week deals made by the Mets, a few which may lead to some indigestion.


The Endy Chavez Encore and 10 Other Double-Duty Mets

A recent NYDN article indicated that the Mets have “discussed” a reunion with OF Endy Chavez. FWIW, I am in favor of this deal and hope it gets done. One of my reasons for this is that if Endy dons the orange and blue again, he becomes an interesting part of Mets History—players who have had two tours of duty with the Mets.

Technically, this would be Endy’s third go round with the Mets. First he was in their farm system from 1997-2001. He returned and played for the big club from 2006 through the end of the 2008 season before departing to Seattle in the massive three-team, twelve player deal that December.

So how have other encore performances worked out for the Mets? We’re glad you asked!
1. Rusty Staub (1972-75, 1981-85): This is the best recycled player the franchise has had to date. After a four year stint with the Mets where he hit 62 homers and drove in 307 runs, the Mets shipped Le Grande Orange to Detroit for Mickey Lolich after the 1975 season, easily one of the worst deals in franchise history. Six years later, Frank Cashen undid that move and Staub returned to the Mets as a free agent. In 1983, he tied an NL record with eight straight pinch-hits and in that same season also tied the Major League record of 25 RBIs by a pinch hitter. He lasted until 1985, providing veteran leadership for a team on the rise. One of the more beloved Mets, he was later elected into the Mets Hall of Fame.
2. Lee Mazzilli (1976-82, 1986-89): Boy, I seem to blog about Maz often and for good reason: he has a fascinating history as a Met. His first stint from 1976 through 1981 coincided with one of the worst periods in team history. He was dealt to Texas before the 1982 season for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell, a deal largely credited (by me at least) in sparking the franchise’s resurgence. In 1986 the Mets picked him back up on waivers from the Pirates and he played an important part of their championship team. He hit .306 the next year and his career with the Mets continued until 1989.
3. Dave Kingman (1975-77, 1981-83): Dave clubbed 62 home runs for the Mets, some of them legendary, during his first two and a half seasons with the club. He also struck out 344 times in 1,208 ABs, couldn’t field a lick and was a surly clubhouse presence. He was shipped to San Diego as part of the June 15 1977 “Midnight Massacre.” The Mets re-acquired him before the 1981 season for Steve Henderson, another one of the trade principles from that fateful June evening. It was more of the same: Kong hit 52 homeruns and struck out 334 times in 1,136 at bats. His personality hadn’t changed and the Mets were glad to see him go after the 1983 season.
4. Tom Seaver (1966-76, 1983): The Worst Trade in Mets History (a.k.a the Midnight Massacre) sent their Franchise Player to Cincinnati in 1977. (Kingman went to San Diego in a separate deal that same night). Cashen undid that move by trading back for him in 1983. Tom lasted a season with the Mets, going 9 and 14 before being exposed a free agent compensation draft and getting claimed by the White Sox. I will always wonder why the Mets couldn’t have traded a prospect or two to the Sox instead and kept him. Seaver later moved to Boston and created a “what if” scenario, as an injury kept him off the Bosox active roster during the 1986 World Series.
5. Kevin McReynolds (1987-1991, 1994): Forgot this one? Kevin came to symbolize all that was wrong with the late 1980’s Mets and was run out of town in 1991. His replacement was Vince Coleman, who came to symbolize all that was wrong with the early 1990’s Mets until he was run out of town after the 1993 season—to Kansas City for McReynolds. K-Mac hit .256 during the strike-shortened 1994 season and then called it a career.
6. Jason Isringhausen (1995-99, 2011): Nice story last year, but is probably moving on again. His first go round with the Mets is worth a post in itself.
7. Tim Foli (1970-71, 78-79): Ah, Crazy Horse. Traded for Staub and then had his contract purchased by the Mets from the Giants in 1978. Later traded again, this time to Pittsburgh in early 1979 for Frank Taveras; a move that I loved at the time. He helped Pittsburgh win a World Series the next year.
8. Mike Jorgensen (1970-71, 1980-83): Traded with Foli and Ken Singleton for Staub prior to the 1972 season. Came back to the Mets in 1980 with Ed Lynch in a deal for Willie Montanez (not a bad trade!) The Mets sold his contract to Atlanta in 1983 on the same day they acquired Keith Hernandez from the Cardinals. Nice Upgrade.
9. Bill Pulsipher (1995-98, 2000): Can’t miss prospect that missed. Twice.
10. Bobby Bonilla (1992-95, 1999): Hard to believe, but his second stint with the Mets was worse than his first. The Mets are now paying him a million a year until around 2025.

Honorable Mentions: Kelly Stinnett, Alex Trevino, Ray Sadecki, Al Jackson, Bob L. Miller and David Cone.

Did I miss anyone?