Scott Kazmir once was in Zack Wheeler's position - considered one of the top pitching prospects for the New York Mets and a big piece of the franchise's future.
Traded in a lopsided deal that prevented him from ever donning a Mets uniform, Kazmir gets his first chance to face the team that drafted him when the playoff-hopeful Cleveland Indians host Wheeler and New York on Friday night.
Struggling to get into postseason contention as the 2004 trade deadline approached, New York shipped Kazmir - the 15th overall pick two years earlier and one of baseball's top prospects - to Tampa Bay as part of the deal that landed right-hander Victor Zambrano.
The Mets ended up finishing 20 games below .500 that season, and Zambrano would be gone in 2006.
Kazmir (7-7, 4.36 ERA), meanwhile, has had a solid major league career that includes seven appearances in postseason games. He's never faced the Mets, but he'll do so Friday while looking to help Cleveland (74-65) bolster its playoff chances.