On December 6, 1989 the Cincinnati Reds traded standout closer John Franco and minor leaguer Don Brown to the New York Mets and received All-Star closer Randy Myers and minor league pitcher Kip Gross
Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was suspended from baseball for gambling on games and coach Tommy Helms replaced him in late August in 1989. The Reds who finished ’88 with an 87-74 record fell to 77-87 in ’89. a much…. a do…. went on in the media over Pete Rose (Charlie Hustle as he was often called) gambling addition... so to calm things down Cincinnati management decided in early December to change some of its players as well. So this trade came about.
Meanwhile, when the Mets won the 1988 NL East with a very fine 2.91 earned run average and after they finished second to the Cubs in their division in 1989 as their ERA went up to 3.29 they were eager to swap pitchers.
Randy Myers, left-handed, pitching with the Mets, rang up a 7-3 record in 1988 with a stingy 1.72 ERA and posted 26 saves. The next season he had a 7-4 record, 2.35 ERA and 24 saves. In his first year with the Reds, 1990, Randy Myers gathered a 4-6 record, 31 saves and compiled a 2.08 ERA.
John Franco, left-handed, had a 6-6 record in 1988, a miserly 1.57 ERA for the Reds with 39 saves. In ’89 he was 4-8 with a 3.12 ERA with 32 saves. In 1990 for John Franco compiled a 5-3 record with 33 saves and a 2.53 ERA.
Kip Gross, right-handed, pitched in the minors in 1989. He started the 1990 season pitching for Nashville Triple A baseball and won two straight to open the season. Right after he was named the American Association Player of the Week, he was brought up to the majors by the Cincinnati Reds and pitched in his first MLB game on April 21, 1990, tossing a scoreless inning vs Atlanta. He pitched in 5 games and 6.1 innings for the year. In 1991 Kip Gross posted a 6-4 record for the Reds.
Don Brown never played in the majors.