Over the last several years, us Met fans have watched the Mets make some great acquisitions. Obtaining players like Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza and John Olerud have all made the Mets a better team.
But over the last several years, us Met fans have also seen the Mets make some horrific moves. I shutter when I think of the talent the Mets have sent packing because of a lack of patience by the team's front office.
So, I comprised a lineup of players the Mets let get away, who have wound up becoming stars in the Major Leagues. Additionally, I made a lineup of players the Mets acquired who were stars at one point, but either did not pan out and/or were at the tail-end of their careers.
THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY
C - Jesus Flores (picked by the Nationals in the Rule V Draft) 23-year old catcher who is now the starting backstop for the Nats.
1B - Mike Jacobs (sent to the Marlins along with Yusmeiro for Carlos Delgado - 2005) Jacobs has hit at least 15 home runs in each of his three seasons with the Marlins.
2B - Jeff Kent (traded with Jose Vizcaino to the Indians for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza - 1996) Kent has gone on to have a Hall-of-Fame type career, and is a former Most Valuable Player.
3B - Ty Wigginton (traded with Jose Bautista to the Pirates for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger). Benson was not very good with the Mets, but they were able to trade him for John Maine. Keppinger, however, was used to acquired Ruben Gotay from the Royals (another great move). Meanwhile, Wiggy has gone on to be a versatile player who just flat out hits the ball.
SS - Melvin Mora (traded to the Orioles for Mike Bordick - 2000) Mora has gone on to be a great power hitter for the O's. Bordick, on the other hand,
OF - Jason Bay (yes that Jason Bay - traded to the Padres with Bobby Jones for Steve Reed and Jason Middlebrook - 2002) All Bay has gone on to do is be named the NL Rookie of the Year, hit over 130 home runs and make the All-Star game twice.
P - Scott Kazmir (one of the worst trades in Major League Baseball history - traded to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano for Bartolome Fortunato - 2004) What were the Mets thinking here? Kaz is an All-Star and will certainly become a Cy Young award winner. As for Zambrano, well he went a combined 10-14 in three seasons with the Mets, hit four homers in his half season with the Mets, and walked only 15 times in 192 ABs.
C - Mike Piazza (acquired from the Marlins for Preston Wilson - 1998) Piazza was one of the few acquisitions that I could find which actually panned out for the Mets, even though he was getting over his prime.
1B - Mo Vaughn (acquired from the Angels for Kevin Appier - 2001) In two seasons as a Met, Vaughn hit 29 home runs, which is less than he hit in any single season since 1994. He also cost the Mets about $46 million over three injury-filled seasons.
2B - Roberto Alomar (acquired with Mike Bacsik from the Indians for Alex Escobar, Matt Lawton, Jerrod Riggan, and Billy Traber - 2001) Alomar is almost a certain Hall-of-Famer. But he definitely will not be wearing a Mets hat going into Cooperstown. Robbie played in just over 200 games with the Mets and managed to hit 13 home runs.
3B - Jay Bell (signed as a free agent - 2003) Bell played in 72 games for the Mets in '03, and hit zero home runs and only drove in three! OUCH!
SS - Kazuo Matsui (signed as a free agent - 2004) Kaz Mat was signed to a 3-year contract, worth more than $20 million. In fact, he was so highly touted that they moved phenom Jose Reyes to second base! And what a signing he was - Matsui hit 11 home runs in his two-plus seasons in Queens.
OF - Jeromy Burnitz (acquired from the Brewers as part of a three-team deal - 2002) The second time around as not as nice for Burnitz. Burnitz, who also played as a Met in 1993-94, did hit 37 homers in his second tour of duty with the club, in 2002-03. But in 2002, he hit .215, had an on-base percentage of .311 and struck out 135 times!
P - Shawn Estes (acquired from the Giants for Tsuyoshi Shinjo - 2001) With the Giants, Estes was an ace, and looked like a true stud. But in his one half season with the Mets, Estes went 4-9 with a 4.55 ERA, and walked 66 batters (compared to 92 strikeouts). Whatever magic Estes had in San Francisco has been missing since that trade to the Mets.
Ok Met fans, I know there are more transactions like these that we can just say "YUCK" to. Let's recollect, shall we?