Gary Carter, a seven-time All-Star catcher with the Montreal Expos, was traded tonight to the New York Mets for infielder Hubie Brooks, catcher Mike Fitzgerald and two minor leaguers.
Carter, 30, is coming off one of his finest seasons. He hit 27 home runs last year and tied with Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt for the league lead with 106 RBI. He also had career highs with a .294 average and 175 hits.
Carter, who makes about $2 million a season, appeared in his seventh All-Star game in 1984 and was named most valuable player for the second time after his home run led the National League to a 3-1 triumph. He also was the All-Star MVP in 1981.
"I could've vetoed the trade if I'd wanted to," Carter said. "One of the reasons I didn't was that I was aware of the fine nucleus of young talent on the Mets. They're a fine team that just missed winning the division last year."
Brooks, 28, the Mets' starting third baseman who shifted to shortstop during the pennant race, hit .283 with 16 homers and 73 RBI. Fitzgerald, 24, in his first full season in the majors, played 107 games and committed only four errors -- the best in the NL -- and hit .242 with two homers and 33 RBI.
The minor leaguers were Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans. Winningham, 23, an outfielder, hit .281 in the International League and .407 in 14 games for the Mets in September. Youmans, 20, had 132 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings in the Carolina and Texas leagues.
"This (the trade) is not something that came overnight," said New York General Manager Frank Cashen. "We have been talking for quite some time. Everyone is aware of our needs for a right-handed power hitter and they don't come much better than Gary Carter. This is a banner day for the New York Mets."
Carter is considered a fine handler of pitchers, which should aid the Mets' young staff. His right-handed power hitting complements left-handed hitters Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry.
"He's a manager's dream," said New York's Dave Johnson. "You don't have to look at the stats to know that he can help you both offensively and defensively."
"On the other side," said Cashen, "we have parted with some outstanding young talent . . . "
In September, Brooks showed he could play shortstop after having spent most of his career as a third baseman. He is expected to play alongside third baseman Tim Wallach.