In Part Nine of the greatest Mets of all time by position, we move onto starting pitchers. Being that there have been more than 10 amazing starting pitchers for the Mets in their franchise history, it would only be fitting to rank the top twenty starting pitchers in Mets history.
This article will feature No. 20-11 and the next will feature the top 10. The second tier of great Mets starters included some with great mechanics that were underrated in their respective eras, while others had one or two remarkable seasons with the Mets, which were good enough for them to make this list. Some of these players may have been remembered better in association with other teams, but this list was compiled in regards to which starting pitchers had the biggest impact in Mets history.
With Johan Santana hurt, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee lead a promising Mets rotation that could potentially be very dominating in the years to come.
Here is the first installment of the top 20 starting pitchers in Mets history.
Former two-time Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen starts off the list. His Mets tenure may not be the most fondly remembered, but Saberhagen had a great season that would rank as one of the top single seasons for pitchers in Mets history.
Saberhagen came up with the Royals in 1984 and won the AL Cy Young Award twice in 1985 and 1989 to assert himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball. After the 1991 season, he and Bill Pecota were both traded to the Mets in a blockbuster trade for Kevin McReynolds, Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller.
While no clear winner was really decided from this trade, the Mets did not end up getting as much out of Saberhagen as they had hoped. Saberhagen was expected to immediately carry the Mets back into the postseason. Unfortunately, he arrived at the worst time when the Mets became the worst team in baseball in 1992 and 1993.
In 1992, Saberhagen only appeared in 17 games. He finished with a 3-5 record and a 3.50 ERA. However, in 1993, Saberhagen's year overall was not that good. His record that year was 7-7 and he had a 3.29 ERA. Despite the relatively low ERA, he got very little run support from a terrible Mets offense. Like a good number of his teammates that year, Saberhagen brought controversy to the Mets when he sprayed reporters with bleach in July. All in all, 1993 was a year for the Mets to forget.
Saberhagen redeemed himself in 1994 and turned into a master of control. He made the All-Star team and went 14-4 that year with a 2.74 ERA. What was even more amazing was his 143/13 strikeout/walk ratio that year and the fact that he had more wins than walks. Saberhagen finished third in Cy Young voting that year behind Ken Hill and the winner, Greg Maddux.
Saberhagen started off 5-5 in 1995 with a 3.35 ERA and just 20 walks before getting traded to the Rockies at the trade deadline. This deal was made so that the Mets could shed large veteran contracts. He then lost his only postseason start with the Rockies that year.
After being injured, Saberhagen moved onto the Red Sox, whom he spent 1997-1999 with. After missing all of 2000 with injuries, Saberhagen tried to make a comeback in 2001, but retired after appearing in just three games.
Bret Saberhagen's Mets resume may not have been the largest, but he had a great season in 1994 during a period in which the Mets were one of the league's biggest underachievers.
Although he spent just one year with the Mets in 2000, Mike Hampton's contributions that year were critical for the Mets as they made their most recent trip to the World Series.
After coming up with the Mariners in 1993, Hampton was traded a year later to the Astros. As an Astro from 1994-1999, Hampton asserted himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball, including a 22-4 record in 1999. He narrowly missed the Cy Young Award to Randy Johnson that year. His season, however, was good enough for him to get traded to the Mets with Derek Bell for Roger Cedeno, Octavio Dotel and Kyle Kessel prior to the 2000 season.
In 2000, Hampton had a very solid season with the Mets. He went 15-10 with a 3.14 ERA. In over 217 innings pitched, Hampton had 151 strikeouts and along with Al Leiter, the lefty tandem led the Mets to the 2000 World Series. Hampton was even more clutch during the postseason.
After losing in the division series, Hampton went 2-0 and did not give up a run in the NLCS. He also pitched a complete game shutout in the deciding Game 5 of the series. In Game 2 of the World Series, Hampton pitched well, but got out-pitched by Roger Clemens. The Mets offense made a late comeback, but fell short by one run as the Yankees ultimately won the World Series.
After the season, Hampton decided to sign with the Rockies. As a result, the Mets received an extra draft pick that they used to take David Wright. Hampton signed a large contract prior to the 2001 season, but did not pitch as well in 2001 and 2002 with the Rockies. He suffered control issues in the high altitude and got traded to the Marlins and then the Braves prior to the 2003 season.
He pitched well for the Braves in 2003 and 2004 before injuries started to keep him on the sidelines. He missed half of 2005 and all of 2006 with injuries. He did not end up making another start until July of 2008. When that season ended, so did Hampton's original eight-year $121 million contract he had signed with the Rockies. As a result, this became one of the worst contracts in baseball history.
Hampton then signed a one-year deal with the Astros for 2009, but got hurt in September and was expected to miss the 2010 season with injuries. However, he made 10 major league appearances with the Diamondbacks in 2010. After re-signing with the Diamondbacks on a minor league deal, Hampton announced his retirement in March of 2011.
Throughout his career, Hampton was one of the best hitters among pitchers. He won five Silver Slugger Awards for his hitting.
Hampton made an appearance in 2010 at Citi Field as part of the 2000 Mets' 10-year anniversary, alongside various teammates including Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo and John Franco.
Despite pitching during one of the worst eras in Mets history, Craig Swan was still one of the best pitchers the Mets had in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Swan only appeared in 16 combined games with the Mets from 1973-1975 before arriving for good in 1976. In that year, he went 6-9 with a 3.54 ERA. His record would have been better had the Mets offense given him more run support.
In 1977, Swan went 9-10 with a 4.23 ERA as the Mets fell to one of baseball's worst teams.
1978 turned out to be Swan's career season. Despite just a 9-6 record, Swan led the National League with a 2.43 ERA. The Mets offense and bullpen certainly denied him of more wins that he should have had, but nonetheless, it was productive season for Swan as he became the Mets' ace.
Swan then followed up with another great season in 1979. He went 14-13 with a 3.29 ERA. As the lone solid pitcher for the Mets that year, Swan set career highs in games started, innings pitched, complete games and shutouts. His 14 wins were also by far the most of any Met that year.
Prior to the 1980 offseason, Swan signed a lucrative contract with the Mets, which was the highest in baseball at the time. He started off with a 5-4 record and 2.21 ERA in the first half, but he then suffered a shoulder injury that had him miss a month. After returning, he re-injured his shoulder two weeks later and missed the rest of the season.
1981 was an even worse season for Swan. In his second game of the season, Swan got nailed in the back by catcher Ron Hodges on an unsuccessful throw to second base with a runner on the move. He fractured a rib and missed a month after that. When he returned, he made a few appearances before the 1981 player's strike cancelled two months of the season. When the season resumed, Swan was back on the disabled list and made just one appearance in the second half.
Swan bounced back in 1982 with an 11-7 record and 3.35 ERA. He finished second in the National League Comeback Player of the Year voting to Joe Morgan. At this point, Swan spent some time as a reliever and became skilled at this new role.
1982, however, would be the last good year for Swan. In 1983, he pitched through an arm injury that significantly limited his endurance. He finished the year with a 2-8 record and a 5.51 ERA. Then, in 1984, after just 10 sub-par relief appearances, Swan got released by the Mets in May. The Angels then signed him, but only made two appearances with them, which turned out to be his last. Before his Mets release, he went 1-0 with a 8.20 ERA.
Thanks to the injuries he suffered during his playing career, Swan became very interested in what has become known as "Rolfing." He now has his own practice in Connecticut.
Craig Swan was a good pitcher on some bad Mets teams, but he was still one of the better pitchers in the league during his career.
One of the most underrated pitchers for the Mets in the 2000s decade was Steve Trachsel. Despite his very slow delivery, Trachsel was one of the better pitchers the Mets had during his time and his accomplishments should get more recognition.
Trachsel spent the first seven years of his career with the Cubs as one of their more dependable starters. He made his only trip to the All-Star Game in 1996. One notable fact about Trachsel was that he was the pitcher that gave up Mark McGwire's 62nd home run in 1998 that broke Roger Maris' previous record of 61 home runs in a single season.
After spending 2000 split between the Devil Rays and the Blue Jays, Trachsel signed with the Mets prior to the 2001 season. Unfortunately for him, he got off to such a bad start that year and got sent to the minor leagues. Once he returned to the Mets, he pitched a lot better and finished the year with an 11-13 record and a 4.46 ERA.
In 2002, Trachsel went 11-11 and lowered his ERA to 3.37. In 2003, Trachsel was one of the very few bright spots on a very underachieving Mets team. He went 16-10 that year with a 3.78 ERA. He also won his 100th career game that year. In both of these seasons, Trachsel surpassed 200 innings pitched.
Trachsel followed up his two solid seasons with a 12-13 record and a 4.00 ERA in 2004. However, he ended up having a herniated disk in his back late in the season. This injury would end up costing the vast majority of his 2005 season as well. He made it back at the very end of 2005 for six starts and went 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA.
As the Mets improved as a team in 2006, so did Trachsel. He went 15-8 that year with a 4.97 ERA. He also was the winning pitcher in the NL East-clinching game.
In the 2006 postseason, he started Game 3 of the NLDS, but did not have good command and was removed midway through the game. His only other postseason start was in Game 3 of the NLCS. In that game, Trachsel gave up five runs in the first inning and was removed after getting hit by a ground ball. It was the last inning Trachsel ever threw as a Met.
With the Mets looking to improve their pitching through their minor league system, they did not re-sign Trachsel. As a result, Trachsel signed with the Orioles for 2007. He was then traded at the 2007 deadline to the Cubs for two minor leaguers. In 2008, Trachsel returned to the Orioles on a minor league contract, but ended up getting released in June. He has not made a major league appearance since.
He may not have been one of the most popular players while he was around, but Steve Trachsel was a dependable starter who deserves more credit than he has gotten.
He may not have had the most well-recognized name among Mets starters during his time, but Gary Gentry was another dependable starter the Mets have had.
Gentry was drafted by the Mets in 1967 and made it to the major leagues two years later. In his rookie season, the Mets won the 1969 World Series. Gentry went 13-12 with a 3.43 ERA that year. He was the winning pitcher in the NL East-clinching game that season.
In the 1969 NLCS, Gentry pitched in Game 3. He did not pitch particularly well and ended up with a no-decision, but the Mets offense rallied late in the game for a 7-4 win. Gentry then won Game 3 of the World Series, and even hit a two-run double to help his own cause.
Gentry followed up his rookie season with a 9-9 record and a 3.68 ERA in 1970. His 1971 season was slightly better though with a 12-11 record and a 3.23 ERA.
After going 7-10 in 1972 with a 4.01 ERA, the Mets decided to use Gentry as trade bait in the offseason. Right after the 1972 season ended, Gentry and Danny Frisella were both traded to the Braves for Felix Millan and George Stone.
Gentry spent 1973-1975 with the Braves before getting re-signed by the Mets in May of 1975. However, he did not make a major league appearance with the Mets that year and got released a month later. He subsequently retired after the release.
Gary Gentry was not the most critical pitcher for the Mets during his four-year stay, but he did provide some big moments for the 1969 championship Mets.
Despite only being a Met for slightly more than two full seasons, Frank Viola was another great pitcher that the Mets were fortunate to have for some time.
A Long Island native, Viola played college baseball at St. John's University. He then got drafted by the Twins and pitched in Minnesota from 1982-1989. During his time there, he helped the Twins win the 1987 World Series, while winning the World Series MVP Award, and a year later, he won his only AL Cy Young Award. He got traded at the 1989 trade deadline for Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, Dave West, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage.
In 12 starts during the last two months of the 1989 season, Viola went 5-5 with a 3.38 ERA. In 1990, Viola returned to his regular self and teamed up with Mets ace Dwight Gooden to lead the team to yet another second-place finish that year. Viola went 20-12 in 35 starts with a 2.67 ERA that season. He made the All-Star team that year and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting, behind Ramon Martinez, and the winner, Doug Drabek.
In 1991, Viola had a great start to his season and had an 11-5 record by the All-Star break. He made his third and final trip to the All-Star Game that year, but then proceeded to have a second-half collapse, that was almost as bad as what his team went through. While the Mets had a huge collapse and finished below .500 for the first time since 1983, Viola did not help his team too much by going 2-10 after the All-Star break. As a result, the Mets chose to not re-sign him in the offseason.
Viola then signed with the Red Sox, whom he spent 1992-1994 with. After one-year stints with the Reds in 1995 and the Blue Jays in 1996, Viola retired.
After spending some time coaching at various levels, Viola returned to the Mets organization in 2011 as the Brooklyn Cyclones pitching coach.
Frank Viola's time with the Mets was certainly brief, but aside from the second half of his 1991 season, he made the most of his stay in New York and was one of the better pitchers the Mets had in the early 1990s.
Another dependable starter the Mets have had was the legendary Nolan Ryan. Although most of his success came later in his career, Ryan was still a good pitcher for the Mets during his time.
Ryan originally got drafted by the Mets in 1965. He made his first two appearances in 1966, but gave up five runs in just three innings combined, which led to his 15.00 ERA that year. However, he did not make the major league team for good until 1968. As a part-time starter and part-time long reliever, Ryan went 6-9 in his rookie season with a 3.09 ERA.
In 1969, Ryan went 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA. He saved his best Mets moments though in the postseason. In Game 3 of the NLCS, Ryan relieved Gary Gentry and pitched seven innings for the win. He gave up two runs an three hits, but the Mets offense rallied late in the game.
Then, in Game 3 of the World Series, Ryan came in relief once again, but this time for a multiple-inning save. He pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and got the save in what turned out to be the only World Series appearance of his career.
In 1970, Ryan went 7-11 with a 3.42 ERA. He tied a then-Mets record on April 18 by striking out 15 batters in a game. However, his teammate Tom Seaver surpassed him with 19 strikeouts four days later.
In 1971, Ryan went 10-14 with a 3.97 ERA in what turned out to be his final season as a Met. At this point, Ryan had become very frustrated and even considered retirement. He let Mets management know that he was not happy in New York and wanted to be traded.
Mets general manager Bob Scheffing followed through on Ryan's request and infamously traded him, Leroy Stanton, Francisco Estrada and Don Rose to the Angels for Jim Fregosi. This immediately became by far one of the worst trades in Mets history. While Fregosi's contributions to the Mets were minimal, Ryan ended up becoming one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.
Although he was never happy in New York, Ryan gave a lot of credit to Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and other Mets pitchers for helping him develop from just a flamethrower into a solid pitcher.
Ryan spent 1972-1979 with the Angels, 1980-1988 with the Astros and 1989-1993 with the Rangers before retiring. During those 20 years, Ryan immediately developed into a great starting pitcher. He even got a chance to face his former team in the 1986 NLCS, which the Mets ended up winning.
Ryan finished his career with 324 wins, and holds MLB records with 5,714 career strikeouts and seven career no-hitters. He got inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 on his very first ballot.
Ryan is now the president of the Texas Rangers. He appeared at Citi Field in 2009 for the 1969 championship team's 40th Anniversary Celebration.
Although most of his success occurred after his Mets years, Nolan Ryan was still part of some big moments in Mets history when he helped the 1969 team win it all.
One former Cy Young winner the Mets are fortunate to have is Johan Santana, who despite currently being injured, is still the team's ace.
Santana was originally a center fielder, who converted to a pitcher due to his arm speed. He was first drafted by the Astros, but then got left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, following the 1999 season. As a result, the Twins picked him up.
Santana first appeared with the Twins as a reliever. He was mostly a long reliever until 2003 when he was brought into the starting rotation.
In 2004, Santana won his first AL Cy Young Award and had one of the greatest second halves in baseball history by going 13-0 after the All-Star break. He finished that season with a 20-6 record, a 2.61 ERA and a league-leading 265 strikeouts.
After another solid season in 2005, Santana won his second AL Cy Young Award in 2006. This season was even more impressive because he won the pitching Triple Crown by leading all of baseball in wins (19), ERA (2.77) and strikeouts (245). He became the first pitcher to win the Triple Crown with fewer than 20 wins.
Santana then had yet another strong season in 2007 before getting traded to the Mets in the offseason in a blockbuster deal. The Mets sent Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey to complete the trade. Then, the Mets signed Santana to a six-year $137.5 million contract.
In 2008, Santana pitched decently during the first half of the season, but pitched even better during the second half. He finished with a 16-7 record, a 2.53 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 234.1 innings pitched. He capped his great season with a complete-game three-hit shutout on only three days' rest against the Marlins in the second-to-last game of the season.
It was then revealed that Santana had a torn meniscus in his knee, which he had surgery on after the season. Santana finished third in the 2008 NL Cy Young voting behind Brandon Webb and the winner Tim Lincecum.
In 2009, Santana got off to a great start, but suffered a tough loss in second start of the year. It was his first loss since late June of 2008. Santana made his first NL All-Star team that year and finished 13-9 with a 3.13 ERA before missing the rest of the season in late August due to bone chips being found in his elbow.
In 2010, Santana got off to a rocky start and suffered his worst career performance in early May against the Phillies. He then pitched a lot better until he got hurt yet again in early September, this time with a strained pectoral muscle. He ended up having shoulder surgery a few weeks later and has not made a major league appearance since. He finished the year with an 11-9 record and a 2.98 ERA in 199 innings pitched.
Santana was scheduled to be ready by the second half of the 2011 season, but he is still rehabbing and could potentially make a few starts at the end of the season. If not, hopefully, he will be ready to go for the 2012 season.
Although his Mets contributions have been rather underwhelming compared to original expectations, Johan Santana is the Mets' current ace and hopefully, better seasons for him are on the way.
Yet another former Cy Young winner the Mets were thankful to have was Pedro Martinez.
Martinez first came up with the Dodgers and played with his older brother, Ramon Martinez. Pedro had what it took to be a great starting pitcher, but Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda thought it would be better to have him in the bullpen due to his small stature. Martinez first came up with the Dodgers as a September call-up in 1992 and pitched in Los Angeles in 1993 before getting traded to the Expos for Delino DeShields.
Once he went to Montreal, Martinez developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball. He won his first and only NL Cy Young Award in 1997 with a 17-8 record, a 1.90 ERA, 305 strikeouts and 13 complete games. However, after this memorable season, Martinez was approaching free agency and the low-budgeted Expos traded him prior to the 1998 season to the Red Sox for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.
After arriving in Boston, Martinez signed a new six-year contract with the Red Sox. He went 19-7 in 1998 and finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting to Roger Clemens. A year later, Martinez had one of the best pitching seasons ever. He won the pitching Triple Crown in 1999 by going 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. As a result, he was unanimously selected for his first AL Cy Young Award and second overall. He even finished a close second place in the AL MVP voting to Ivan Rodriguez.
In 2000, Martinez was even better. He won his third Cy Young Award in a four-year span by going 18-6 with a remarkable 1.74 ERA. He then stayed in Boston through 2004 and helped the Red Sox break their 86-year World Series drought in his final year in Boston.
After winning his first and only World Series, Martinez signed a four-year $53 million contract to become the Mets' new ace. His signing turned out to be pivotal, as it helped the Mets land Carlos Beltran as well during the same offseason.
In 2005, Martinez went 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA. He made his first All-Star team as a Met that year, and seventh overall. He also had 208 strikeouts and led the league with a 0.95 WHIP.
Martinez had another promising start in 2006, but in May, during a game in Florida, Martinez was told by an umpire to change his undershirt. While heading into the clubhouse to do so, Martinez slipped and hurt his hip, although this injury did not really affect him significantly until later. Martinez had started the year with a 5-1 record, but only went 4-7 during the last four months of the season.
He also missed a month due to that same hip injury, as well as another two months later in the season due to a calf injury, which sidelined him throughout the postseason. Martinez finished the 2006 season with a 9-8 record and a 4.48 ERA.
At the end of the 2006 season, it was also discovered that Martinez had a torn rotator cuff. As a result, he was forced to miss the vast majority of the 2007 season. While rehabbing, Martinez considered retirement if the rehabbing did not go thoroughly well. However, he returned to the mound in early September of 2007 and went 3-1 in five starts with a 2.57 ERA only to see his Mets team ultimately collapse and narrowly miss the postseason in heartbreaking fashion.
When the Mets traded for Johan Santana before the 2008 season, the Mets were projected to be one of the best teams in the National League with Santana and Martinez leading the rotation. However, 2008 was a year to forget for Martinez. He got injured just four innings into his first start of the season and missed the next two months with a strained left hamstring.
When he returned, his fastball lost velocity and Martinez simply wasn't the same pitcher as before. He ended up suffering his first losing record ever at 5-6 and he finished with a career-worst 5.61 ERA.
After the 2008 season, Martinez remained un-signed through most of 2009. However, the Phillies of all teams decided to sign Pedro to a one-year $1 million contract in July. He made a few starts for the Phillies that year, including one against his former Mets team that he ultimately won. There was a lot of hype in the 2009 World Series as Martinez and his Phillies faced the Yankees. However, Martinez struggled in the World Series and the Yankees ultimately won it all.
Martinez has not made a major league appearance since the 2009 World Series, but he has yet to officially announce his retirement.
Pedro Martinez may not have done as much as the Mets and their fans had hoped he would do, but Martinez certainly became a symbol of the improvement the Mets made between their poor seasons between 2002-2004 and their better seasons between 2005-2008.
Rounding out the second tier of top Mets starting pitchers is Rick Reed.
Known as "the poor man's Greg Maddux," Reed was one of the best control pitchers the Mets have had in recent years and a dependable innings-eater for the Mets during his five-year stay.
Reed first came up with the Pirates, whom he played for from 1988-1991. However, he did not see much time in the major leagues during any of those years. Reed then played for the Royals in 1992 and part of 1993 before signing with the Rangers in August of 1993. He remained in Texas until May of 1994 when he was claimed off waivers by the Reds. He pitched for the Reds organization through 1995.
During the MLB players strike in 1994-1995, Reed made a bold decision to become a replacement player in 1995 during the strike. He stated that his family was in desperate need of money at this time, and that was the reason he ultimately decided to go against the Players Union and support his family. Reed did not pitch well though and got released.
The Mets then signed Reed to a minor league contract in 1996. He spent the entire year with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets' Triple-A affiliate and improved his pitching with the help of eventual Mets manager Bobby Valentine and pitching coach Bob Apodaca. When Valentine and Apodaca were promoted to the Mets in August of 1996 following the firing of Dallas Green, Reed's moment to shine was just around the corner.
Going into spring training in 1997, Reed was not one of the most likely pitchers to crack the Opening Day rotation. However, Valentine, the new Mets manager had a lot of confidence in Reed, who ended up getting the last spot in the starting rotation. This upset a good number of players, mostly notably longtime closer John Franco, who was the Mets' representative in the Players Union.
However, Reed put that aside and had his long-awaited breakout season that year.
During the 1997 season, Reed went 13-9 with a 2.89 ERA, which was the sixth-best in the league. He became known for his great command, as illustrated by his 113/31 strikeout/walk ratio.
Reed was even better in 1998 as he became a low-profile, but dependable workhorse. He could outperform his more high-profile teammates, but still remained low key at all times. He won a career-high 16 games (16-11 overall) and finished with a 3.48 ERA. He made his first trip to the All-Star Game that year and had an excellent 153/29 strikeout/walk ratio.
However, being that Reed consistently threw strikes, he was also prone to the longball. He gave up 30 home runs that year.
Reed had another solid season in 1999. He went 11-5 that year with a 4.58 ERA. He pitched well during his two postseason starts by winning one and taking a no-decision during the other. He gave up just two runs in each of those outings.
In 2000, Reed continued his success by going 11-5 and lowered his ERA to 4.11. He pitched well during his first postseason start that year in the NLDS, but did not make it past the fourth inning in his only start during the NLCS. In the 2000 World Series, Reed was the starting pitcher in the only game the Mets won. He pitched six innings and gave up just two runs and six hits, but the Mets offense rallied late for the win.
Prior to the 2001 season, Reed had signed a new three-year contract to remain a Met. Unfortunately, this turned out to be short-lived. Reed made his second and final appearance to the All-Star Game that year and went 8-6 with a 3.48 ERA before getting traded to the Twins at the trade deadline for Matt Lawton.
Reed's 2001 season did not end as well once he arrived in Minnesota, but he bounced back and won 15 games in 2002. However, after going 6-12 in 2003, Reed decided to retire from baseball at the age of 38. He had really enjoyed pitching in New York and stated that his love for baseball was not the same after being traded to the Twins.
Since retiring, Reed has been a pitching coach for Marshall University, his alma mater. He has also made a few appearances at Citi Field as part of the Mets' Alumni Association. One of those appearances occurred in 2010 during the 2000 Mets' 10-Year Anniversary Celebration.
Rick Reed may not have been one of the biggest names among the pitchers the Mets have had, but he was certainly one of the more durable pitchers in recent Mets history and someone who certainly exceeded his expectations.