One of the most lopsided trades in MLB history occurred when the Los Angeles Angels acquired Nolan Ryan (and others) in exchange for Jim Fregosi. Fregosi is the best Angels player to ever wear number 11 and is one of the best players in franchise history. It's never easy trading away a franchise icon like Fregosi, but when you get a player as talented as Nolan Ryan was you pull the trigger.
The Mets got an established star while the Angels got a player who was full of potential but hadn't realized it yet. Nolan Ryan was used as a starter and in relief for the Mets. Ryan could strike anyone out with his electric stuff, but also had no idea where it was going half the time. The Mets traded a project for a player who could help them now. It didn't end up working out.
Fregosi struggled mightily as a Met and was only there for 1.5 seasons. Nolan Ryan on the other hand is one of the best pitchers in baseball history. He's without a doubt the best Angels player to wear number 30.
Nolan Ryan is the best player to wear number 30 in Angels history
The Angels immediately reaped the benefits of the trade the first year they acquired him. Ryan was made a full-time starter and took over the league. He posted a 2.28 ERA in 39 starts and 284 innings pitched. The walks were still high, as he walked 5 batters per nine, but he doubled that mark in strikeouts. He walked 157 batters which led the league but he also struck out 329 batters which led the league. The reason Ryan was able to be successful is he allowed just 5.3 H/9 and 0.4 HR/9. He'd walk five batters per start but rarely gave up hits and when he did, they were mostly singles.
The walk numbers limited him from winning a Cy Young but Ryan was a workhorse who had three straight seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA and four out of eight with the Angels. He made the all-star team five times in eight seasons and led the league in strikeouts in seven of eight seasons. He was, without a doubt, one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Ryan ranks second in bWAR for pitchers, fourth in ERA, third in wins, second in innings pitched, and third in games started. He's the franchise leader in shutouts, FIP, and of course, walks and strikeouts.
He had his flaws, but boy was he fun to watch. Ryan is a Hall of Famer and has his number 30 retired by the Angels. He's one of the best pitchers in Angels history.