Adding David Cone to the Blue Jays in 1992 was a clear move to try and add an ace to their World Series run to increase their chance of winning, it worked and the Jays won the 1992 World Series.
By the time the 1992 season came along, David Cone was known as a strikeout ace. Because of this, the Jays went out to get Cone in a late-season deal. Despite already having an ace like Dave Stieb, Cone would give them a stellar rotation that no lineup could get through.
This is what the trade looks like:
August 28, 1992
To Toronto: David Cone, RHP
To New York (NL): Jeff Kent, IF, Ryan Thompson, OF
Jeff Kent wasn’t a remarkable player when the Jays traded him. In 65 games in the 1992 season, he batted .240 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. With the Mets, he did worse in 37 games hitting .239 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. This isn’t to say he didn’t end up a good player. In 2000 he won MVP by hitting .334 with 33 home runs and 125 RBIs. He just didn’t do well with the Jays and Mets at the time around the trade.
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Thompson also didn’t do well with the Mets. In the 1992 season, he hit only .222 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. He worked up to 18 home runs in 1995, but that season also hit .225. unlike Kent, he never really got better than that. He ended up with the Brewers in 2002, his fourth team in four years.
Cone is the big piece of this trade. The way we see what happened now, it’s amazing that this trade actually happened. Cone had a 2.88 ERA, five shutouts and 214 strikeouts in 196.2 innings in the 1992 season. Before the trade! Afterward, he did a bit worse with Jays, but still put up great marks of a 2.55 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 53 innings. He helped the Jays win the World Series even though he only had a 3.48 ERA.
The Jays won this trade because even though they gave up a future MVP in Kent, they were able to get an ace to help them win the championship.