This Date in Mets History: July 28 — Beltran trade sets stage for future Wonderful Wheeler Days

Kevin C. Cox

The Mets and Carlos Beltran parted ways on this date two years ago. Of course, you have to go away to come back via free agency, right? Maybe?

Hard to believe it was only two years ago today that the selfish Carlos Beltran selfishly opted to waive his no-trade clause, enabling the the Mets to send him to San Francisco for Zack Wheeler. If you want to reminisce about how trade went down, here's the play-by-play that ran on Amazin' Avenue. It's filled with great details, like how early rumors had the Mets accepting offers built around Jonathan Sanchez and outfield prospect Gary Brown. Also that in typical selfish fashion, Carlos Beltran took the entire team out to dinner the night before the trade and that the rest of the roster gladly mooched off of him in a typically classless Mets move.

Despite all his blameworthy antics, Carlos Beltran was a great player during his six and a half years as a Met. Our own Matthew Callan, Chris McShane, and Bill Petti all wrote glowing tributes to the center fielder in the aftermath of the trade. Read those and if you find yourself getting a bit misty-eyed, remember that we can still blame Beltran for not being swapped for a future Mets number one starter at the very least. Some would argue that's because Matt Harvey has emerged as perhaps the best pitcher in the National League and it would be unrealistic to expect similar that Zack Wheeler do the same, but we all know who's really to blame. This guy. Blame that guy forever.

Transactions
Sandy Alderson wasn't the only Mets general manager orchestrating trades on July 28. Steve Phillips made two deals of note on this date in 2000. In the first, he shipped two former first round draft picks, Paul Wilson and Jason Tyner, to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for outfielder Bubba Trammell and reliever Rick White. For Wilson, it was actually the second time in five days that he'd been traded. On July 23, 2000, Phillips and Cincinnati GM Jim Bowden agreed to a deal that would have made the one-time Generation K phenom to Cincinnati (as well as top prospect Alex Escobar) Reds in exchange for future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Larkin, however, stated he'd only waive his 10-and-5 trade rights if the Mets agreed to grant him a three-year, $27.9 million contract extension. Owners Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday (though likely more Doubleday than Wilpon) balked at shelling out that much money for 36-year old shortstop and so Larkin remained a Reds lifer. Spurned, Steve Phillips moved on to plan B, the second trade executed on this date in 2000, dealing Melvin Mora and others to the Baltimore Orioles for two-plus months of Mike Bordick's services, which wasn't a panic move in the least.

Game of Note
Anthony Young's 465-day long, 27 decision long losing streak finally came to an end on this date in 1993, though not without coming precariously close to getting stretched to 28 straight defeats. AY entered the July 28 Mets versus Marlins contest with the game tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth. The Fish quickly loaded the base with no outs, as the first three batters of the inning reached via a single and—in typical '93 Mets fashion—two sacrifice attempts the defense couldn't field cleanly. Young bore down at this point, inducing a 5-2-3 double play to erase one runner at the plate. It looked like he might escape unscathed, but speedy Chuck Carr laid down the third bunt of the inning and easily beat it out for an RBI single. Young fanned the next batter to limit the damage, but as he stalked off the mound, his hopes for getting off the schneid weren't high. He later told the New York Times, "I've lost a lot of games that way."

The offense, however, would bail him out for a change. Two bloops from Jeff McKnight and Ryan Thompson tied the score and and a laser beam double into the right field corner off of Eddie Murray's bat finally made Young the pitcher of record in a good way. He then proceeded to lose his next three decisions to finish the year with a 1-16 record.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
No Met past or present has a birthday on July 28, but Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez would have turned 59 today and he once donned a full Mets uniform—pinstriped pants and all—to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a game. As it turned out, that wasn't even the craziest costume worn that night. For a good read, check out our own Matthew Callan's excellent piece on Bobby V's mustache over at the Classical.

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