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On This Day in Blue Jay History: Doyle Alexander Traded For Duane Ward

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On July 6th, 1986 the Blue Jays traded Doyle Alexander to the Braves for Duane Ward.

Doyle had been a good pitcher for the Jays. We signed him in June of 1983, after the Yankees released him. In the 4 seasons (well, 2 full seasons and 2 half seasons) he won 46 games (tied for 13th in franchise history) and lost 26 in 103 starts, with a 3.56 ERA. Pretty decent.

Duane Ward, as you know, went on to be setup man for Tom Henke and, after Henke left the team, was closer for the Jays. He ha 121 saves for the Jays (trailing only Henke on the team leader board). He pitched in 462 games, 2 of them starts, over 9 seasons with the Jays, with a 3.28 ERA. He owns 2 World Series rings and was the winning pitcher in game 6 of the 1993 Series when Joe Carter hit his home run. It was a really good deal for the Jays.

Of course, we could have done better. About a year later the Braves traded Doyle to the Detroit Tigers for John Smoltz. Smoltz won a Cy Young, had a 213-155 record, with 154 saves over 20 season as a Brave, as well as helping them to 13 playoff appearances. It wasn't all bad for the Tigers, Alexander helped them make the playoffs in 1987. Doyle went 9-0 down the stretch for the Tigers. You'll remember that that was the less than fun season that the Jays lost their last 7 games, including the final 3 games in Detroit, to miss out on the playoffs. Alexander won the first of the games in that last series.

Anyway, that was one of the better trades of Pat Gillick's time with the Jays.