What if Ken Griffey Jr. had accepted his trade to the New York Mets in 2000?

Andres Chavez
Simeon Woods-Richardson
Mar 23, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A view of the Grapefruit League logo on the hat of New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Griffey Jr. and the New York Mets were close to crossing their paths back in 2000, when the Flushing squad went to the World Series and lost to the Yankees there.

It’s hard to imagine, though! Griffey was the game’s true superstar of the nineties, he was almost as big as his sport.

Thinking about a lineup including Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, Griffey and company is sure entertaining.
Griffey ended up going to the Cincinnati Reds, and the Seattle Mariners got Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko and Antonio Perez in exchange. But before that, the M’s and the Mets had agreed to a deal in which Octavio Dotel (who went on to have a fantastic career as a reliever) Armando Benitez and Roger Cedeno would go to the West Coast in exchange for Junior.

The pact didn’t come to fruition since Junior used his 10-and-5 rights to veto the trade.

Would the Mets have advanced to the 2000 World Series?

Would the New York Mets have made the World Series, or won it, with Ken Griffey Jr. in the fold? This is just speculation, but probably not.

As great as Ken Griffey Jr. is (I maintain that he would be the current home run king if injuries hadn’t gotten in the way) if the trade had gone through, the Mets wouldn’t have the pieces to acquire Mike Hampton.

The Astros traded Hampton, along with Derek Bell, for Dotel, Cedeno and minor-league pitcher Kyle Kessel. In 33 starts for the Mets in 2000, Hampton was 15–10 with a 3.14 ERA. He was a one-man show in the 2000 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, uncorking 16 scoreless innings and taking home MVP honors.

Without Hampton, the outcome of the series could have been different.

Another alternate “ending”: if the Mets hadn’t acquired Hampton, they wouldn’t have the rights over the supplemental draft pick when he walked away and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies. That pick turned out to be David Wright.