One of the most iconic rivalries in Major League Baseball behind the Red Sox/ Yankees and maybe Cubs/ Cardinals also features a couple of trades for iconic players.
Two trades, to be exact, provided major impact players for the Phillies. The first came in 1974.
New York Mets trade Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck to the Philadelphia Phillies for John Stearns, Del Unser and Mac Scarce on December 3, 1974.
John Stearns was a prospect at the time for the Phillies. Although he hit .302 in AAA in the ’74 season, he was blocked by another young catcher by the name of Bob Boone. Stearns would end up making 4 all-star appearances for the Mets. Del Unser was coming off 2 strong years with the Phillies. In 1973-74, Unser hit .276/.345/.413 with an OPS+ of 108. Mac Scarce pitched in exactly 1 game for the Mets, facing 1 batter and giving up a hit.
For the Phillies, Don Hahn played in 9 games for the Phillies, failing to record a hit in 5 at bats. Dave Schneck never cracked AAA.
Tug McGraw made this trade go down in history for the Phillies.
With 1 all-star appearance, McGraw had a 3.10 ERA over 722 IP in 10 seasons for the Phillies. He received MVP votes in 1977 and 1980 with a 5th place Cy Young finish in 1980.
But this is what he’ll be remembered for.
In 7.2 IP, McGraw allowed only 1 run in the 1980 World Series and that’s history.
New York Mets traded Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell and Tom Edens to the Philadelphia Phillies for Juan Samuel on June 18, 1989.
Juan Samuel was a young star for the Phillies before he was traded. Before 1989, Samuel averaged 15 HRs, 66 RBIs, and 40 SBs a year. In his time with the Phillies, he accumulated 2 all-star nods and a second-place Rookie of the Year finish. His tenure with the Mets would only last 86 games with a batting average of .228.
Rodger McDowell had proved to be a more than serviceable reliver for the Mets in the 1988 season, posting a 2.63 ERA in 92 IP. In his time with the Phillies, he would post a 2.90 ERA and lead the league in games finished in 1990.
Tom Edens was a player to be named later in the deal. He would only play in 7 games in AAA according to Baseball Reference. In fact, that’s the only stat available for Edens playing for the Phillies in 1989 on the webpage.
The now infamous Lenny Dykstra was the gem of this deal. Juan Samuel straight up for Dykstra probably would’ve been a fair deal at the time. Dykstra was only 26 when the trade happened and had hit .278/.350/.413 for the Mets over 4 1/2 seasons. He also raked in the 1986 and 1988 postseasons, hitting no less than .296 in any series. In the 1988 NLCS against the Dodgers, he hit like no tomorrow, slashing .429/.600/.857.
After coming to the Phillies, Dykstra hit .289/.388/.422 in 7 1/2 seasons. He accumulated 3 all-star nods and a 2nd place finish in MVP voting in 1993. That year he set the Phillies franchise record for walks in a season with 129, which Carlos Santana currently has a chance to break with 78 in 101 games.
Dykstra was also key to the Phillies surprise 1993 World Series run.
There’s a theme here.
There hasn’t been a trade between the Mets and Phillies since 2001 when the New York Mets traded Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook to the Philadelphia Phillies for Bruce Chen and Adam Walker, which was not really a memorable one.
The 2018 Phillies are in the middle of a pennant race, against all preseason odds. Could a piece they need be sitting in the Mets clubhouse as we speak? With the Mets currently in the basement of the NL East, it sure is a possibility.
One player that has been connected to the Phillies, is current second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera is having an above average year offensively, hitting .273 with 17 homers. His current OPS+ is at 119, only 2 points lower than his career high. He also fits positionally in an area of need for the Phillies. He has played shortstop for the majority of his career but has also played 2nd and 3rd. The addition of Cabrera could help rookie Scott Kingery out of his struggles and possibly serve as a veteran mentor. We saw what a little rest did for Rhys Hoskins.
As for pitching, it would probably take too much to pry Jacob DeGrom or Noah Syndergaard from the Mets. Both could cost a king’s ransom. One starter the Phillies might want to kick the tires on is Zach Wheeler. Since June 6th, Wheeler has had a 3.54 ERA and has averaged just over 6 innings per start over 9 games. The Phillies could use a veteran starter to solidify the back end of the rotation.
With only 4 day until the nonwaiver trade deadline, if anyone is going to move they’ll be moving soon.
Hopefully, whoever the Phillies acquire will propel the young team deep into October.
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports