One of the dumbest running traditions (if you can even call it that) in Major League Baseball is the annual unwillingness of the New York Yankees and New York Mets to make trades. Nobody knows why.
These teams aren’t rivals. They’re in different leagues. They play a handful of times every year just for “fun.” One’s success does not define the other’s.
Maybe they’re both afraid to see one of their players make them painfully regret a move just a short 20 minutes away? The finger has typically been pointed in the Mets’ direction regarding the bizarre hesitation to do business, specifically during the Wilpons’ reign.
But now we’re in the Steve Cohen era! And just about 80 games in, it’s already refreshing for just about everyone involved. Maybe we’ll see some deals down the road? Maybe ask Uncle Steve on Twitter and he’ll provide some insight.
It’s just hard to believe that there wasn’t one time, especially in recent years, that these two teams thought they could help one another out. How?! New York is a better place when someone is winning. The Yankees and Mets haven’t been doing much of that lately … at all.
We truly wish these two teams struck a deal on at least one of these hypothetical trades because neither was keeping the following players and the other certainly could’ve used the help.
Why didn’t the Yankees and Mets make these trades in recent years?
4. Wilmer Flores to the Yankees
The Mets tried to trade Wilmer Flores back in 2015. In fact, it was reported the deal went through with the Brewers. Flores cried on the field and saluted the crowd … and the Milwaukee pulled out of the agreement. All that emotion for nothing.
Fast forward to the end of the 2018 season, one in which the Mets finished 77-85, and Flores hit free agency. He left the Mets and went to the Diamondbacks. How much better would have the 2018 season been if the Yankees didn’t have to play Greg Bird and Neil Walker as much as they did? Months later, the Yankees DFA’ed Ronald Torreyes too. It was clear they knew his fate midway through 2018.
So if the Mets weren’t going to keep Flores and the Yankees needed a more productive utility infielder, how did the two sides not strike a deal? Flores had a solid career with the Mets and has been incredibly productive ever since leaving for Arizona and San Francisco.
The Yankees could’ve signed him the offseason, but that’s when DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki came to town to make up a fairly stacked infield ahead of Opening Day. It needed to happen at the 2018 deadline. Bummer.