This Day In Baseball History- December 10, 1971- The New York Mets trade pitcher Nolan Ryan to the California Angels for third baseman Jim Fregosi. This has to go down as the worst trade in Mets history- along with the trade of Tom Seaver to the Reds later in the decade. At the time the Mets thinking was- third base had been a weak spot for the Mets in their entire history. Jim Fregosi- a former shortstop and one of the best shortstops in the majors in the 1960’s- looked like the man to fill the weakness. Fregosi would only be 30 years old in 1972- but as it turned out- his best years were behind him. Fregosi would spend only a season and a half with the Mets- and it was dismal- 5 home runs- 32 RBI’s and a .232 average. Nolan Ryan at the time was 25- and had yet to reach his potential. In 1971 with the Mets he was 10-14 with a 3.97 ERA. His first season with the Angels- he reached his potential going 19-16 with a 2.28 ERA- he would spend eight seasons with the Angels- and led the league in strikeouts in six of them. It is also worth noting that he led the league in bases on balls in six seasons also. Ryan’s only twenty game winning seasons also happened with the Angels – winning 21 in 1973 and 22 in 1974. Four of Ryan’s seven career no-hitters came as an Angel.
Par for the course with the Mets…after this it would be the Tom Seaver trade a few years away….did they also trade Mike Scott?
Yes they did- you’d think a franchise known for their pitching would have kept all those guys- of course Scott didn’t throw the split finger with the Mets- learned that later I believe.
It’s as if it doesn’t matter who owns them…it’s still the Mets. Yes you are right about Scott….I do remember that.
On my way home…David Cone popped in my mind.
Just checked Baseball-Reference, and the Mets sent four guys to California for Fregosi, then sold him to Texas after 1.5 years. That was a real stinker…
they were desperate for a third baseman- never good to be desperate.
I’ve lived through a lot of that over the years.