Blue Jays: Worst trades in franchise history
August 27th, 1992: Blue Jays trade Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson for David Cone
When evaluating the Blue Jays exchange of Jeff Kent to the Mets and a player to be named later, outfielder Ryan Thompson, for David Cone, it can be looked at two different ways. Value wise it was a terrible trade for the Jays as they shipped out a borderline (and still potential) Hall of Famer at a young age for a rental, albeit a good one.
That same rental went on to help the club capture its first World Series title, pitching 22 1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.26 in the postseason and the Jays going 3-1 in his starts including the World Series clinching game 6. The point of making a move for a player on an expiring contract is to bolster your lineup to make a run in October, but also to get the player at a cheaper cost due to his looming free agency. Thankfully this somewhat panned out for the Jays as Cone did indeed help them win a championship but signed that offseason in Kansas City, but they also gave up a young star in the making.
The following season as a 25-year-old in his first season with the Mets, the worst team in the MLB that year, Kent was one of the team’s top contributors slashing .270/.320/.446 with 21 home runs and 80 RBI’s.
Looking at this trade value wise for both teams, Cone’s value with the Blue Jays was 0.9 WAR while Kent’s with the Mets was 7.6 and 3.5 for Thomson, a combined 10.9 WAR.
But it wasn’t Kent’s time with the Mets that had Jays fans kicking themselves over this trade, it was his following 12 years playing with the Giants, Astros and, Dodgers. He was the NL MVP in 2000 with the Giants and appeared in five All-Star Games to go along four Silver Slugger Awards. His WAR of 46.8 during those 12 seasons was the 19th best in all of baseball.
Was it worth a few months from a true ace accompanied by a ring for a player who will either enter the hall or ride out all ten years on the ballot, with just four years remaining to receive the 75 percent needed? It takes a special player to even come that close and the Blue Jays could have seen those accomplishments happen in Toronto if they had been thinking long-term instead of short-term. The short-term results weren’t all that bad either, though.
Jays Journal Contributor: Cam Black-Araujo