Posted at 8:50 PM on July 30, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
Baseball’s non-waiver trading deadline is upon us and the Twins have signaled their intentions to become sellers. Since it will be hard to assess the Luis Castillo trade for several years, I thought it would be fun to look through Twins history at the trades that have helped the team the most.
12/31/99 - Twins trade pitcher Jared Camp to Florida for Johan Santana and cash. Santana is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and the best lefthander in the game. Camp never threw a pitch in the Majors and is out of baseball.
11/14/03 – Twins trade A.J. Pierzynski and cash to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser. Pierzynski had become expendable with the emergence of Joe Mauer and Terry Ryan still managed to get a closer and two starters for a difficult personality that left the Giants in free agency after just one season.
7/16/03 – Twins receive Shannon Stewart and and Dave Gassner from Toronto in exchange for Bobby Kielty. Stewart helped the Twins win the division in 2003, the first of three straight. Kielty has never been more than a role player for the Jays or A's.
7/31/89 Twins send Frank “Sweet Music” Viola and outfielder Loy McBride to the Mets for pitchers Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Jack Savage, Kevin Tapani and David West. Viola was arguably the game’s best lefthander but was a free agent. For Viola, the Twins received three pitchers that helped them win the 1991 World Series in starter Tapani, reliever West and converted closer Aguilera.
2-3-87 – Twins send pitchers Al Cardwood, Neal Heaton and Yorkis Perez along with catcher Jeff Reed to the Montreal Expos for catcher Tom Nieto and closer Jeff Reardon. Nieto played sparingly for the Twins in 1987 and was left off the playoff roster. Reardon erased the ghosts of Ron Davis while saving 31 games that year, including three in postseason play, and didn’t give up a run in the World Series win over the Cardinals. It appears Cardwood was lost in customs while Heaton, Perez and Reed did little for any of the teams they would later play with.
3-31-87 – Twins part with former Gopher Bryan Hickerson along with Jose Dominguez and Ray Velasquez and receive in return pitcher David Blakley and outfield Dan Gladden from the Giants. Hickerson would finish his major league career 21-21. “Dazzle” was the heart of the 1987 and 1991 championship teams and scored the lone run in the greatest World Series game ever played.
Those are my favorites. What other great moves in Twins history should join this list?