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Bluebird Links - A Little Bit of Everything, and a Blast From the Past.

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News and speculation seems to be picking up with the approach of the annual winter meetings in Florida.  With the approach of this years winter meetings, I thought I'd link a few articles from the winter meetings 20 years ago, when the Blue Jays made perhaps the biggest trade in franchise history.

On December 5, 1990 (20 years ago Sunday), Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick teamed up with Joe McIlvaine of the Padres for a "trade of All-Stars".  The trade of Alomar and Carter for McGriff and Fernandez has been looked at from every angle in the past 20 years - I'm not here to do that, however I wanted to take a look at some of the reactions from around the time of the deal.

From the LATimes

The trade was so stunning in its impact that when the names were announced, the audience of reporters and television crews gasped.

No kidding - I'm sure Gillick making any trade at the time was stunning, never mind this doozy.

More reaction and lots of  Links after the Jump.

So who won the trade?

"Let's just say we had a good nucleus that was going to get better," McKeon said. "The Padres traded away a guy who might be in the Hall of Fame and another who drives in 100 runs a year.

Who got the better end of the deal?

"No comment."


From the NY Times:

When Gillick approached McIlvaine Tuesday afternoon, the Padres' new man mentioned that the Blue Jays had a good young hitter in John Olerud, a first baseman Toronto planned to use in left field. Why not trade McGriff for Carter, he said, putting Carter in left and allowing Olerud to play his more natural position?

The trade talk started with a straight up deal of McGriff for Carter, but then

"Then they brought up Alomar and then Fernandez," McIlvaine said. "I had no intention of trading Alomar, but I've always liked Fernandez. Today at 2 or 2:30, we agreed. You kind of catch your breath. You know the magnitude of it."

From an SI article in December:

Says California manager Doug Rader, "Defensively, the Blue Jays are so much better. Everyone says San Diego got the better of their trade. That's baloney." Even Padres G.M. Joe McIlvaine says, " Toronto came out of [the winter meetings] better than anyone."

(I think he was right).

Another SI article regarding the winter meetings had some real gems.  Contracts were going through the roof.

How preposterous did it get? Pitcher Matt Young, whose .395 career winning percentage is the third lowest among all active pitchers with 50 or more decisions, signed a three-year, $6.35 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.


By the fourth day, it had become so depressing to San Diego Padres general manager Joe McIlvaine that he and Toronto G.M. Pat Gillick got together and—in 24 hours—engineered one of the biggest trades in baseball history. The Padres sent second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Joe Carter to Toronto for shortstop Tony Fernandez and first baseman Fred McGriff. Said McIlvaine later, "I was tired of reading about who the next 10-millionaire would be. So we thought we'd give everybody a good old baseball trade."

After discussing the runaway salaries:

Is baseball looking at serious financial trouble by '94?

A couple other articles covering the trade are here and here. 

Jays Links

1 Blue Jays Way : Toronto Blue Jays Blog: Overvaluing Arencibia
Is Arencibia overvalued by us Jays fans? (probably). Is his trade value as high as it's going to ever be? (who knows?) 1 Blue Jays Way takes a look at Arencibia, D'Arnaud, and Jimenez's major league equivalencies.

Jays keeping injury-plagued McGowan | Posted Sports | National Post
Jeremy Sandler thinks that part of the reason McGowan was offered a contract, was because they didn't offer one to Carpenter and he went on to win the Cy. I doubt it has anything to do with that (Carpenter actually pitched at least 70 innings every year as opposed to McGowan), but you never know. 

Jays Pen News | Jays Journal | A Toronto Blue Jays Blog
Mat Germain takes a look at Guerrier and Crain and how they would fit into the Jays bullpen.

Griffin: Bullpen picture in sharper focus with Frasor -
Another look at the Bullpen picture. Interesting note at the end.

As far as MLB relievers, active, who have been with the same team since 2004, there are only nine, including Frasor. The list is comprised of Joe Nathan (Twins), Ryan Madson (Phils), Mariano Rivera (Yanks), Crain, Justin Duchscherrer (A’s), Frank Francisco (Rangers), Scot Shields (Angels), Matt Guerrier (Twins) and Frasor.

Jays head to Meetings ready to make moves | News
Gregor Chisholm takes a look at club needs, tradeable players and unloadable contracts.

The Southpaw: Manuver-ability!
Reviewing the offseason thus far.

Interesting Non-Tenders: MLB Rumors
A look at some available non-tenders. Of note, both Edwin Encarnacion and Taylor Bucholtz were non-tendered (as well as Jeremy Accardo and Fred Lewis).

Orioles, Padres, Blue Jays Interested In Reynolds: MLB Rumors
Jays, Padres and Orioles interested in Reynolds? Gah, I hope not. Hopefully this is just a case of AA kicking the tires on everyone.

FAN590 - Blogs - Miked Up " Blog Archive " Tenderness (Where Is It?)
Wilner breaks down Accardo and Lewis, and their lack of a contract today.

Could Canadian Rich Harden be the next Kerry Wood? " Cooperstowners in Canada
Cooperstowners in Canada wonders if Harden could be useful to the Jays as a closer. I'd rather stay away from Harden, or at least, I wouldn't want to be depending on him entering a season.

Clint Hurdle, Fredi Gonzalez leadranking of new managers in MLB - Jon Heyman -
Jon Heyman ranks the managerial higherings this winter. Farrell didn't grade out so well.

free agents at a glance - The Globe and Mail
Robert Macleod supplies Jays fans with perhaps the most useless free agent primer that I have ever seen.

Around the League

Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo dies
Chicago Cubs great and longtime WGN Radio announcer Ron Santo has died. He was 70.

Crashburn Alley " Blog Archive " CSI One-Liners, Baseball Style
Funny stuff here.  If you like CSI, or hate CSI, or have ever seen CSI (Miami), take a look.

More than three decades of exciting games
The Jays have played in the 5th most exciting game since 2006.  According to the Hardball Times.

Hinchliffe Stadium " Mop Up Duty | Baseball News Sabermetric | Baseball History Bio
A look at Hinchliffe Stadium, which housed some of the all-time negro league greats.

Griffin: Hall of Fame ballot deciphered -
Griffin breaks down this years Hall of Fame Ballot, with an early look at who he looks to vote in. His reasoning for Blyleven was interesting (solid sabermetric arguments) compared to Morris (integrity, character and contribution to the team). Good read though.

Braves Re-Sign Eric Hinske: MLB Rumors
Eric Hinske re-signed with the Braves. I always liked Hinske and am glad to see him sticking around the league for another year or two.

White Sox Sign Adam Dunn | FanGraphs Baseball
A look at Adam Dunn's contract.

THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball
No CHONE projections for 2011 as Sean is 'under contract with a team for 2011'

THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball
Tango takes a look at game length. Interesting read as always.

Baseball has high ADHD rate
Major League Baseball granted 105 exemptions for otherwise-banned stimulants in the last year because of attention eficit hyperactivity disorder, virtually unchanged from the previous year's total.

Winter Meetings Coverage | FanGraphs Baseball
FanGraphs will be at the winter meetings so keep an eye out on their site for some (hopefully) interesting commentary.