Blue Jays Trade History Part 6: Tony Fernandez

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Aug 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former Toronto Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick and former Toronto Blue Jays player Roberto Alomar on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former Toronto Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick and former Toronto Blue Jays player Roberto Alomar on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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In 1993 the Toronto Blue Jays won their second World Series title with a few faces who weren’t on the team for their first title in 1992. One of those was shortstop Tony Fernandez, who was a fan favourite when he was traded to San Diego in the 1990 Roberto Alomar trade.

One of the bittersweet moments of the Blue Jays winning the World Series in 1992 was that some of the franchise icons, like George Bell, Alfredo Griffin, and Tony Fernandez weren’t on the team. While they were on their way to a second straight title in 1993, General Manager Pat Gillick tried to reconcile some of those feelings, by trading for Fernandez in a 1-for1 swap with the New York Mets.

This is what the trade looks like:

June 11, 1993

To Toronto: Tony Fernandez, SS

To New York (NL): Darrin Jackson, OF

This is an odd trade because Jackson had just been traded to the Jays three months earlier on Mar. 30, 1993 from San Diego for a former top prospect, outfielder Derek Bell, and Stoney Briggs, also an outfielder. In 1991 and 1992, Jackson had 4.4 WAR seasons hitting a combined 38 home runs, with 119 RBIs and 19 stolen bases with a .254 batting average in 277 games.

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This made Toronto want to go out and get him, because of the value he brought to the plate. But once with Toronto, he hit only .216 with five home runs and 19 RBIs with no stolen bases in 46 games. This porous offensive production made him expendable, and they were able to trade what little value he had left for a veteran Fernandez, who would become a leader on the 1993 Jays.

In the first part of 1993 with the Mets, Fernandez didn’t look like anything special. He hit .225 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 48 games. But once he was traded back to Toronto he caught fire and hit .306 with four home runs and 50 RBIs in 94 games. He ended up providing great leadership along with Paul Molitor as the Jays won the 1993 World Series.

Next: Blue Jays flashback to inaugural game in 1977

The Jays won this trade. Not only did they get good leadership and solid production from Fernandez, they didn’t give up a lot, as Jackson didn’t do much with the Mets and had only one more solid season, in 1994 when he hit 10 home runs and 51 RBIs with the White Sox.

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