8 Blue Jays trade heists people don’t talk about enough

Which trades in Toronto Blue Jays history have they come out clearly on top even though some haven’t realized it?
Sep 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN   Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19)
Sep 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Blue Jays acquire Fred McGriff, Dave Collins and Mike Morgan from the New York Yankees for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd

At the time of the deal during the 1982-83 offseason, the key trade piece centered around veteran pitcher Dale Murray as the Yankees were looking for some pitching help in their bullpen. With a lifetime ERA below 4.00 and coming off a solid season in which he pitched to a solid 8-7 record with a 3.16 ERA and 11 saves, Murray appeared to be a good pickup for the Yankees. In return, the Jays got a promising prospect named Fred McGriff, a young pitcher in Mike Morgan and veteran OF/1B Dave Collins.

Murray would never come close to his usual career standards as he pitched to an ERA of 4.73 and WHIP of 1.45 in his three seasons with the Bronx Bombers. In the case for Dodd, he only saw eight games in the big leagues, all later with the Baltimore Orioles. In comparison, Collins put up two respectable seasons with the Jays, compiling a .291 batting average with 36 doubles, 19 triples, 3 home runs, 78 RBI and a whopping 91 stolen bases in just 246 games played. The same couldn’t be said for Morgan though, who provided minimal impact with a 5.16 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in just 16 games in his lone season with the Jays in 1983.

But the crown jewel of the trade transaction of course is Fred McGriff. After making his major league debut in 1986, he would become a mainstay in the Jays’ lineup as either the first baseman or designated hitter up until 1990. Finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting for two of those seasons along with capturing a Silver Slugger award in 1989, McGriff amassed a .278 average with an astounding .919 OPS with 125 home runs and 305 RBI in his five years with Toronto. More significantly, his impact went beyond his bat, as he became a key piece of the trade puzzle that brought in Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar to help the Jays to their first two and only World Series championships to date. On top of that, McGriff was recently enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Era Committee, showing clearly that the Jays had at one time one of the best ever to don their jersey.