Today In Blue Jay History: Jays Trade For Fred McGriff

Fred McGiff, he was skinny. - Getty Images

On December 9, 1982 the Blue Jays made one of the best trades in team history.

We sent reliever Dale Murray and minor leaguer Tom Dodd to the Yankees for outfielder Dave Collins, starter Mike Morgan and Fred McGriff.

What we gave the Yankees:

Todd Dodd never made it to the Yankees. they released him in 1983 and he went to the White Sox then the Orioles. He played in 8 games with the Orioles, 16 at bats, the total of him major league career. He did have a long minor league career, that included a season here in Calgary. He had a lot of power, hitting 206 home runs in 11 seasons, and in 2008, he hit 37 home runs with a .289/.381/.583 slash line in Charlotte Double-AA.

Dale Murray had been a pretty good reliever. He pitched with the Expos from 1974 to 1976. in 1976 he pitched in 81 games, 113 innings, with a 3.26 ERA and 13 saves for a team that only won 55 games. He bounced around from team to team, but in 1982 he pitched in 56 games for the Jays with a 3.16 ERA and 11 saves. In 111 innings he only had 60 strikeouts.

For the Yankees, in 2 seasons plus 3 games he had a 4.73 ERA, in 62 games, 1 save. In 120 innings he allowed 147 hits, 7 home runs, 27 walks with 58 strikeouts. They released him in April of 1985. Baseball Reference has him at a 0.0 WAR in his time as a Yankees. If you add in Dodd, they got 0 WAR out of the trade.

What the Blue Jays received:

Dave Collins played two seasons with the Blue Jays. The first one wasn't great, hitting .271/.343/.328 with 31 stolen bases, 7 times caught, as part of a pretty complicated platoon in the outfield.

He had a great season in 1984, hitting .308/.366/.444 with 60 stolen bases, 14 caught, and a league leading 15 triples as part of a complicated platoon in the outfield. Collins, a switch-hitter would play left against RHP, pushing George Bell to right field, Wilie Aikens and Jesse Barfield to the bench. Against lefties, Collins would sit, Bell would play left, Barfield right and Cliff Johnson would DH. As the season went on Barfield got more playing time.

In his two seasons as a Jay, Baseball Reference credits him with a 4.3 WAR.

Mike Morgan didn't do much for us. He was 0-3 with a 5.16 ERA in 45 innings in 1983, then went on the DL and missed all of 1984. The Mariners took him in the Rule 5 draft after the 1984 season and he went on to have an up and down career. 0 WAR as a Jays.

Fred McGriff....well you know. He was great for us. In 4 seasons, plus 3 games, he hit .278/..389/.530 with 125 home runs, 305 RBI in 578 games. Baseball Reference has him at an 18.4 WAR.

So, the players the Yankees picked up from the trade gave them 0 WAR, while the guys we got gave us 22.7 WAR.

But, of course, that isn't he whole story. The two players the Yankees got were released, they didn't get anymore value from them.

The Jays lost in the Rule 5 draft, so they got $50,000 for him. In baseball terms, nothing. Dave Collins left as a free agent and we didn't get compensation for him. was traded to the A's with Alfredo Griffin for closer Bill Caudill, who had one good season with us, 2.99 ERA and 14 saves in 1985 and one awful season, 2 saves and a 6.19 ERA before being released in April 1987..

I always forget Caudill was a trade, in my mind he was a free agent signing. The team really thought he was the final piece of the puzzle, back when they made the trade. In the three seasons before the trade, Caudill had 26,26 and 36 saves and we didn't have that great closer at the time, so we wanted to trade for the proven guy. We finally found what we wanted in Tom Henke.

Fred McGriff, on the other hand, along with Tony Fernandez, was traded to the San Diego Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, and we won two World Series after that. It's pretty tough to put a WAR value on 2 World Series wins, but I feel pretty safe in saying that we won this trade big.

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