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Today in Blue Jays History: Brad Fullmer Traded

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Toronto Blue Jays’ Brad Fullmer hits a single off Photo credit should read J.P. MOCZULSKI/AFP/Getty Images

17 years ago today,

The Blue Jays traded Brad Fullmer to the Angels for Brian Cooper.

Cooper was an RHP. He was 27 at the time. He had pitched in portions of 3 seasons for the Angels, made 21 starts and 6 relief appearances, and reached 5-10 with a 5.33 ERA in 128 innings, with 57 walks and 58 strikeouts.

Fullmer was 27 as well. In fact, January 17 is his birthday, so happy birthday Brad. He was a 2nd round draft pick by the Expos. He played two-plus seasons with the Expos and had been a bit of a disappointment. He wasn’t very good with the glove at first base, and his bat didn’t show quite as well as the Expos hoped. He hit .276/.326/.459 with 25 home runs in 259 games with Montreal.

In March of 2000, Fullmer was part of a three-team trade between the Expos, Rangers, and Blue Jays. The Rangers sent Lee Stevens to the Expos, the Jays sent David Segui to the Rangers, and the Expos sent Fullmer to the Jays.

Stevens did a pretty good job for the Expos, hitting .243/.334/.450 with 57 home runs in 3 seasons. Segui hit .336/.391/.519 in 93 games and the Expos traded him to Cleveland for Ricky Ledee. Segui was always good at getting on base but didn’t have the power you’d like to have from a first baseman.

Fullmer DHed for the Jays for two seasons, hitting .284/.333/.499 with 50 home runs and 187 RBI in 279 games. He had an excellent season in 2000, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 104 runs. If the Jays had a better team, we’d think of Fullmer as one of the better DHs in team history.

The trade with the Angels didn’t go well for the Jays.

Fullmer played two seasons for the Angels and hit .294/.367/.521 with 28 home runs and 94 RBI in 193 games. And he played a starring role in the Angels 2002 World Series win. He hit .294/.351/.471 in 12 playoff games. In game two of the World Series, Brad also stole home as part of a double steal. Pretty crappy defense there Giants.

Brad wrecked his knee in June of 2003, and that pretty much ended his career. After the 2003 season, he signed with the White Sox as a free agent.

It wasn’t one of J.P. Ricciardi’s better trades. I’m not sure why, but Fullmer was always thought of as a disappointment. Maybe because, as an LHB, he didn’t hit lefties at all. Maybe because he really couldn’t play defense. But I don’t get why J.P. gave him away so cheaply (maybe he was tired of paying for cleaning chewing tobacco out of the Skydome’s turf?). Cooper wasn’t much of a pitcher, he wasn’t a great prospect, but Ricciardi must have thought he saw something in Cooper that the rest of us missed. I can’t imagine what he thought he saw. Cooper had as many walks as strikeouts when we traded for him.

Also on January 17, in 2011, the Jays signed Jon Rauch, without which we would have never had this:

Without Farrell’s efforts, I think we would have been treated to this scene: