Throwback: Trades made between the Blue Jays and Expos

Apr 4, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; General view of the stadium with snow and a baseball before the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Toronto Blue Jays at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; General view of the stadium with snow and a baseball before the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Toronto Blue Jays at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Blue Jays and the Montreal Expos shared the spotlight as Canada’s diamond darlings for 28 seasons before the Expos finally packed it in at the conclusion of the 2004 season. However during their co-reign north of the border the Blue Jays and Expos were only able to consummate a trade on four occasions. None of the wheeling and dealing was earth-shattering and for the most part involved role players when the two-sides did manage to get together and pull the trigger. Their final transaction would end up being the deal of the most consequence between the two sides.

First Trade- July 20th, 1978

The Blue Jays sent first baseman / outfielder Tom Hutton to the Montreal Expos in exchange for cash considerations. Hutton was in his first season with Toronto as the Jays had purchased him from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations during the previous offseason. Hutton was batting .254 with a .669 OPS and two home runs in 64 games when the trade was finalized.

Hutton would spend his final 4.5 years as a player with the Expos before retiring in 1981. He finished his career a .248 hitter with 22 home runs in 1920 plate appearances. Hutton’s claim to fame was his success rate versus Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver. Hutton saved his best for Seaver batting .320 with three round trippers and 11 RBI’s in 62 career plate appearances.

Hutton moved from the field to the broadcast booth where he worked for both the Blue Jays and Expos.

Second Trade- July 30th, 1979

On this date the Toronto Blue Jays acquired first baseman Tony Solaita from the Montreal Expos in exchanged for future considerations. Solaita was in his 7th season in the majors at the time of trade after seeing time with the Yankees, Royals, Angels prior to being purchased by the Expos in the offseason of 1978.

Solaita would only suit up for 29 games with the Expos before they sent him packing to Toronto. There, Solaita played in 36 games batting .265 with 27 hits and two home runs in 121 plate appearances for the Jays. The native of Nu’uuli, American Samoa left the majors at the conclusion of the 1979 season to go play in Japan. In four seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters, Solaita hit 155 home runs and knocked in 371.

On October 24th, 1979 the Blue Jays made good on their end of the deal sending pitcher Dyar Miller to the Expos. Miller had a 10.57 ERA in 15.1 innings of work with the Jays prior to the trade and would never actually suit up for the Expos. On March 3rd, 1980 the Expos released Miller who would later be picked up by the New York Mets.

Third Trade- January 15th, 1981

The Blue Jays received corner infielder Ken Macha from the Expos for cash considerations. Macha had spent the previous two seasons with the Expos and was productive in a reserve role batting .278 and .290 respectively in Montreal.

Macha played 37 games for the Blue Jays in 1981 hitting .200 with 17 hits in 94 plate appearances. Macha also headed for Japan at the conclusion of the season with the Jays. He would spend four years with the Chunichi Dragons where he also saw a power surge in production. Macha hit 84 home runs in his seasons with the Dragons.

According to my count those are the only three times the Blue Jays and Expos brain-trust were ever able to see eye to eye on a transaction during their 28 years of coexistence in the majors.

Next: Long-term forecast: How the Jays set up for '17 trade deadline

Fourth Trade- March 16th, 2000

For their fourth and final deal, the Expos and Blue Jays were involved in a three team swap with the Texas Rangers seeing the Jays acquire Brad Fullmer from Montreal. The Jays would send David Segui to the Rangers with the Expos receiving Lee Stevens from Texas in return. Fullmer would play two seasons in Toronto hitting .295 with 32 homers in 2000 followed up by a .274 average and 18 dingers in 2001. Segui would eventually be dealt from the Rangers to Cleveland before the conclusion of the 2000 campaign.

Lee Stevens would have two 20+ homer seasons for Montreal before being dealt to the Indians in the Cliff Lee/ Bartolo Colon blockbuster.

This trade would benefit both the Expos and Blue Jays as both Fullmer and Stevens would contribute with their new teams while the Rangers acquisition of Segui would be a non-factor.

Interesting Expos Fact

The final Expos trade ever made was on September 16th, 2004 when they sent Alex Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres as part of a conditional deal. The same Alex Gonzalez that played shortstop for the Blue Jays for eight seasons from 1994-2001.