Tony Fernandez had been with the Blue Jays organization since he was 16 years old and had already played parts of eight seasons in the major leagues by the end of the 1990 season. Fernandez, who was 28-years old at the time of the trade, had just led the league in triples with 17 and had won four of the previous five Gold Gloves as the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Fernandez was the type of player that I feel had he played for the New York Yankees, he would be in the Hall of Fame.
When Fernandez joined the Padres he did not disappoint in his two seasons, and was named an All-Star during the 1992 campaign when he collected 40 extra-base hits and had a slash line of .272/.337/.359. At the end of that year, the Padres would trade him to the New York Mets for D.J. Dozier, Wally Whitehurst and Raul Casanova. While Whitehurst would be a starter for a couple years, Dozier and Casanova were never impact players. Fernandez would struggle to start the 1993 season with the Mets and by the time he had played just under 50 games he was hitting just .225 and New York was looking to move on from him. The Mets sent him back to the Toronto in exchange for Darrin Jackson.
Coming home to the Blue Jays was a resurgence for him when he returned to his familiar spot as the starting shortstop in Toronto. He would hit .306/.361/.442 for the remainder of the season and play the best defence in years since he left Toronto. Fernandez would make just seven errors in 463 chances for the remainder of the season. Fernandez would get even better once the post season started and went 7 for 22 in the ALCS against the Chicago White. After playing in the league for well over a decade he would make his first appearance in the World Series, which saw him hit .333 with nine RBI and had Paul Molitor not absolutely destroyed the ball in that series, there was a good chance Fernandez would have won the World Series MVP. This was the last time we would see Fernandez in the postseason as a Blue Jay, and he would finished his October Blue Jays career with a batting average of .333 over four series, 24 games and 87 at bats.
Fernandez would bounce around the league for the next six seasons as a free agent, which included two more returns to Toronto. In 1998 he would return to Toronto, but shift over to the hot corner at third base. The following season he would be selected to the All-Star Game for the first time since playing in San Diego as he batted .328 with a .427 OBP. As stated above, I believe that Fernandez should be in the Hall of Fame as he finished his 17 year career with a slash line of .288/.347/.399 while being one of the best defensive players at his position for a decade. Fernandez ended his career with five All-Star Appearances, Four Gold Gloves and a World Series ring.