Blue Jays Trade Deadline: Learning from Past Deals
Jan 31, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; The president of baseball operations Jon Daniels (left) and manager Ron Washington (right) help former Texas Ranger Michael Young (center) with his jersey and hat at a press conference announcing his retirement at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
In July of 2000, the Blue Jays needed pitching help. Sound familiar? They had an offense that was a force. Sound familiar? They were in a playoff race and needed to make a move. Sound familiar? So, they brought in Esteban Loaiza. At the time, he was a right handed pitcher who was a game under .500 (5-6) with an ERA of 5.37 for the Texas Rangers. He would give the Blue Jays 2+ seasons of less than .500 baseball in 69 starts.
And, what did it cost? Well, it might just have been one of the worst giveaways in Blue Jays history. They sent Darwin Cubillan and Michael Young the other way. Now, no one can blame you if you can’t quite place Cubillan. He was a reliever that threw a total of 69.2 innings between 200 and 2004. He has one win to his name and a healthy 6.85 ERA. On his own, not enough to make us lament the below average performance of Loaiza.
Michael Young on the other hand…
At the time of the trade, he was a minor league infielder who was the 5th round selection of the Blue Jays in 1997. He may not have seemed like a significant loss at the time. And, when you’re bringing in a B (or C) level pitcher like Loaiza, you’re probably thinking that Young would have been an acceptable price. Maybe.
Except, he went on to be a 7 time All Star and a 2008 Gold Glove winner. His 14 year career netted a line of .300/.346/.441. He twice led the league in hits (2005 & 2011) and led the league in average in 2005 with a .331 mark. Young was one of the premier hitters in the mid-2000 years. And all we could do was watch him flourish in a Rangers uniform while we lamented the failed attempt at making the playoffs in 2000.
Next: The Lesson for the Blue Jays