Thanks to a John Buck illness, Travis d’Arnaud is making the most of his opportunity to play behind the plate for the Mets in Spring Training.

Despite his fine performance, d’Arnaud will probably still start the season in the minors, but his outstanding play got me thinking.

Could last December’s trade for d’Arnaud with the Blue Jays be the best the team has made in the new millennium?

Sure it may be too early to make that decision and the d’Arnaud sample size is small, but the youngster has excelled wherever he has played and his excellent performance continues at the big league level with New York.

The Mets have made plenty of trades – both good and bad – since January 1, 2000, so let’s take a look at some of the best they’ve made since that time and decide upon a winner.

The Mets trade Shawn Estes and cash to the Reds for Pedro Feliciano, Raul Gonzalez, Brady Clark and Elvin Andujar.

This deal doesn’t read as a blockbuster, but people seem to forget just how good Feliciano was for the Mets.

He appeared in 459 games and tossed 372.1 innings of 3.31 ERA ball for the team over eight seasons. He set a team record for appearances in three consecutive seasons and was a crucial part of their bullpen before injuries took over his career.

Clark, Gonzalez and Andujar didn’t turn into much, but Feliciano was worth losing Estes over. Estes ended up going 1-3 with an ERA of 7.72 for the Reds that season.

The Mets trade Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra to the Twins for Johan Santana.

Gomez is rounding into a nice player for the Brewers and Humber owns a perfect game, but it’s not every day that you get yourself an ace calibre pitcher.

Santana ended up costing the Mets a fortune in cash and he’s had shoulder and elbow issues in his time with the team, but he still had an excellent season in 2008, was above average in 2009 and ’10 and was looking good last season – see June 1 no-hitter – until ankle and back issues sidelined him yet again.

This season may be Santana’s last for the Mets, but his time on the club was worth Gomez, Humber, Mulvey and Guerra.

The Mets trade Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit and Grant Psomas to Florida for Carlos Delgado and cash.

Jacobs had a big year for Florida in 2008 belting 32 home runs and he’s hit 100 home runs over 569 MLB games. Petit has 37 MLB starts under his belt – with less then stellar numbers – which included a 3-10 season for Arizona in 2009 and a career ERA of 5.54 and Psomas never made it passed Triple-A.

What did the Mets get for these three guys?

They received a hitting machine in Delgado – who despite being in the tail-end of his career – hit 38 home runs and over 100 RBI in two seasons for the team. Even a below-average season – compared to his career numbers – in 2007 saw him drive in 87 runs with 24 long balls. Well worth what they paid for him.

The Mets trade Carlos Beltran to the Giants for Zack Wheeler.

Beltran was a mainstay in the Mets’ outfield for six and a half seasons, but there was no way the Mets were going to keep him after the 2011 season.

They managed to acquire one of the best young arms and top pitching prospects in the game for an aging outfielder, whose best days were probably behind him.

Wheeler projects to be a future front of the line starter and was included in Baseball America’s Top Prospect list in four consecutive seasons.

This trade could potentially be one of, if not, the best Mets fans will ever see.

The Mets trade R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Blue Jays for Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, John Buck, and Wuilmer Becerra.

The Mets gave up their NL Cy Young Award winner and two catchers for an aging backstop and three prospects.

Buck was tossed into this deal so Toronto didn’t have a backlog of catchers on their team and because the Mets needed a starter to warm the seat for the time-being.

Syndergaard has a ton of potential and the minor league pitching numbers to indicate a possible rotation member down the road and Becerra looks like a promising young outfield prospect, but won’t be Major League ready for quite some time.

However, this deal was all about d’Arnaud.

Analysts have compared him to Buster Posey and Javy Lopez. He tore up minor league pitching offensively and his play calling and defensive ability behind the plate are above-average as well. He was named the Best Defensive Catcher in the Eastern League in 2011 by Baseball America.

He is the total package and has hit Baseball America and’s top prospect lists on several occasions.

He looks ready for the majors right now and could be the starting catcher about mid-season.

The potential is there and he could even become one of the team’s franchise players if he can avoid the injury bug – he tore his PCL last season – and continue upwards with his progression.

So, which of these five trades do you think had the most impact on the Mets? Will the d’Arnaud trade pan out as expected? Is there another trade that you think betters what is listed here?

5 comments on “The best Mets trades (2000 to present)

  • Mike Koehler

    I feel so good about the team after reading this post that I almost forgot about all the bad trades, stupid FA signings and bad luck that’s trailed this team since 2000, almost.

    I’m very excited about the d’Arnaud trade because it wasn’t just an ace (who’s looked shaky in the WBC) for a top prospect. It was an ace, serviceable catcher and career minor leaguer for an MLB ready top prospect, a younger top prospect, a serviceable catcher and a very raw promising prospect. Even if d’Arnaud implodes, there’s still a chance the Mets win if Syndegaard and/or Becerra develop.

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  • Dan Satck

    I really like the trades Alderson has made. The payoff down the line could be huge.

  • Brian Joura

    It missed 2000 by about a week, but otherwise trading for Mike Hampton would have to be here.

    There’s got to be a better deal than the Feliciano one but I’m having a hard time thinking what it might be. Maybe flipping Xavier Nady for Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez?

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