On August 27th, 1992, the New York Mets traded away the beloved David Cone, who won 20 games in 1988 to Toronto for 2nd Basemen Jeff Kent. Toronto also included OF’er Ryan Thompson in the deal with the Mets.
However before he was a Met, Kent was drafted by the Blue Jays as a shortstop in the 20th round as the 521st overall pick in the 1989 amateur draft. But the Blue Jay’s didn’t plan to use Kent at shortstop (rightfully so), & already had Roberto Alomar at 2nd Base. So they opted to trade him for the previous 20 game winner, David Cone, who was in a contract year & was the bigger name of the 3 (at the time) involved in the trade.
Also read: #ThrowbackThursday Mets Edition: Jeff Kent
The Mets acquired Kent as an upgrade at second base over the 37 year old Willie Randolph, who was at the tail end of his career. But the Mets didn’t see any success that year as they would go on to lose 90 games but with Kent, the Mets had high hopes for the future.
Kent spent four years with the Mets putting up good numbers but not good enough for New York to stick with the right handed infielder. He also built himself a reputation within the clubhouse that distanced him from his teammates when he refused to participate in a annual Rookie Hazing, feeling that he left his rookie days in Toronto.
In 1996, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians along side with Jose Vizcaino for Alvaro Espinosa & Carlos Baerga. Kent would later on win the MVP award while with San Fransisco in 2000 & is the all time leader in home runs amongst his peers at second base. From 1997 to 2005, Kent has driven in 90 or more runs & is 21st on the all time doubles list at 560 as well as being a 5 time all-star.
In 498 games with the Mets, Kent has 510 hits, 98 doubles, 10 triples, 67 HR’s, 267 RBI’s, & 110 BB’s & his slash line at .279/ .327/ .453/ .453/ .780, an OPS+ of 107 and a 55.4 career WAR. Jeff Kent is currently not in the Hall of Fame however that’s just one of the travesties concerning Cooperstown & the BBWAA when it comes to letting in players of this caliber. 😬