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 Juan Guzmán from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mike Sharperson

With a pretty stacked lineup in the Jays’ contending season back in 1987, former first-round pick Mike Sharperson found himself to be one of the odd man out when he was traded in-season to the Dodgers for Juan Guzmán. The Jays had incumbents Garth Iorg, Nelson Liriano and Manuel Lee to fill Sharperson’s role adequately on the roster, so it gave the team some flexibility to look for some future pitching help.

Playing mainly in a utility role with the Dodgers, Sharperson just put up modest production numbers, averaging just 43 runs scored, 3 home runs and 36 RBI while hitting .280 over a 162-game schedule pace for his career. He was a part of the Dodgers’ 1988 championship winning team, but he played just a minor role as he ended up with only two postseason plate appearances. 

On the other hand, Guzmán provided the much-needed stability and impact in the Jays’ starting rotation the moment he made his MLB debut in 1991. He played a huge role in leading the Jays to three consecutive postseason appearances from 1991-1993 as he compiled a stellar 40-11 record with a 3.28 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 482 strikeouts in 540.1 innings pitched in 84 starts over that time frame. More importantly, he was a beast when the games mattered most during the playoffs where he went 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA, giving up just 1 home run along with 41 strikeouts in 51.2 total postseason innings pitched. Guzmán eventually regressed somewhat in the following years, but there was no doubt without Guzmán, the Jays do not win back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.