Mets Trade Nolan Ryan
The Mets have made some bad decisions over the years, but nothing can top Dec. 10, 1971 when New York's other team dealt pitcher Nolan Ryan and three others to the California Angels in exchange for shortstop Jim Fregosi. In hindsight, it was one of the worst trades ever, but no one complained at the time. That's because the young Ryan was erratic at best. He posted a 29-38 record over five seasons with the Mets, walking 344 and striking out 493. In a sense, it was a no-brainer for the Mets to get rid of Ryan. They desperately needed someone to play third base [source: Sports Illustrated].
As it turned out, Ryan turned into one of the best pitchers in the game. He threw seven no-hitters during his career. In six out of his first seven seasons with the Angels, Ryan led the American League in strikeouts and walks [source: Sports Illustrated]. Fregosi lasted only 146 games with the Mets, batting just .233. He was sold to Texas in the middle of the 1973 season [source: ESPN].