Blue Jays Trade Deadline: Learning from Past Deals

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May 24, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees former player David Cone looks on during the ceremony retiring Bernie Williams number 51 prior to the game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Near the end of August, 1992, the Blue Jays brought in David Cone in exchange for Jeff Kent and a player to be named later, which ended up to be Ryan Thompson. At that point in the season, Cone was 13-7, 2.88. He had already had a 20-3 season in 1988 and was putting together another All Star season when the Blue Jays brought him aboard. He was granted his free agency in the fall after he had helped bring the first World Series trophy to Canada. His efforts totaled a 4-3 record with a 2.55 ERA. He threw 53 innings (224 batters faced) for the Blue Jays with an ERA+ of 161. 

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  • And, what did it cost to get Cone to face 224 batters and help bring this team to the World Series victory? Well, Ryan Thompson, an outfielder, went on to play 9 years at the big league level including the first 4 years with the New York Mets. He never saw more than 98 games in a season (1994) and ended with a career line of .243/.301/.433.

    Jeff Kent, though is a different story. He went on to have a great major league career with the Mets, Giants, Astros, and Dodgers. At the time, he was a 24 year old rookie. But, he’d go on to have a 17 year career where he was a 5 time All Star and the National League MVP in 2000. He finished top 10 in MVP voting 3 times. He’s not won a World Series, but did play on the 2002 runner up Giants team that lost to the Angels.

    Regardless, this trade can be debated. Did the Blue Jays “win” this one? Well, they won the World Series (and the next one). But, for the cost of David Cone and his 224 batters faced, they gave up an infielder who had a stellar career and recently received 15.2% of Hall of Fame votes to remain on the ballot for future considerations. What is interesting is that these days, many say it was worth it to give up such talent to make a push toward the promised land.

    Next: Renting Glory Pt.2: Rickey Henderson