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We had no way of knowing, but what if…..
- Updated: May 13, 2012
Every team at one point or another in their history has had a prospect that they dealt away, only to have the player they gave up outperform the one they brought in by a large margin. We have a few of our own.
The first such story is the Trevor Hoffman trade for Gary Sheffield. We dealt the then unknown rookie Hoffman to the San Diego Padres for the veteran Sheffield midway through the 1993 season. True, Sheffield did play well for us, hitting 122 home runs from midseason 93 till being dealt away in the 97 fire sale, but Hoffman was enormous for San Diego. While Sheff helped us to a World Series title in 97, Trevor Hoffman grew into the most dominant closer in baseball, saving 599 of his 601 total saves after departing Florida. How many of our subsequent closers blew saves that Hoffman could have coverted? Imagine the possibilities.
Our second, and most glaring example, outside of our fire sale of 97, was giving up Johan Santana for Jared Camp. We picked santana in the Rule 5 draft in 1999, only to deal him away for Camp in a pre-arranged trade. Santana made his Major League debut April 3rd, 2000, and through Opening Day 2012 he has compiled a 134-71 record for the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets. Jared Camp never made even a single appearance for our organization. 134-71.
We gave up a good one there. What made it worse is we not only traded Santana for Camp, we gave the Twins $50,000 to go along with him. We actually PAID Minnesota to take Santana from us, and he turned up to be a dominant force from then on out, logging 4 All-Star appearances, among other accolades. Who got hosed on that one?
We traded away quite a few impact players in our short history. Imagine what might have happened if we would have kept just one or two…