On June 15th in 1983, the New York Mets traded relievers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to the St. Louis Cardinals for the 29 year old first basemen Keith Hernandez.
In prior seasons, the 25 year old right hander Neil Allen was viewed as the Mets “most reliable” reliever in the Mets bullpen, however, was struggling in 1983 with a 2-7 win/loss record and owned an ERA of 4.50 before the trade. He even requested time off due to what he called a drinking problem however was later called a “stress reaction” after spending time in the starting rotation.
Mets General Manager Frank Cashen even came out and denied that the reason for trading Allen had anything to do with any of his problems and continued to speak about the newly added Hernandez and the potential impact to the lineup as well as bench.
”It’s not often that you get the chance to acquire someone with the talent of Keith Hernandez,” Mets GM Frank Cashen said after swinging the trade. ”His addition should improve our club in two areas, the starting lineup and the bench.”
”This will put Dave on the bench as the right-handed pinch-hitter, with Rusty Staub as the left-handed pinch-hitter,” said Cashen, who stressed that Frank Howard, the Mets’ manager, would make all final lineup decisions. ”But, in good conscience, I will try and trade Dave if I can.”
Hernandez told the media that he wasn’t exactly shocked about being traded from the Cardinals however was in shock that the team he was traded to was the Mets. I think it’s safe to say it worked out well for the debatable should-be hall of famer.
Source: SNY & NYTimes.com