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Today in Blue Jays history: Jays trade for Marco Estrada

Also trade for Damaso Garcia

Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Seven Years Ago

Alex Anthopoulos traded Adam Lind to the Brewers for Marco Estrada. I wasn’t overly thrilled about the trade. He appeared to be a kind of mediocre 5th starter/long reliever/swingman type. I expected a little more for Lind. I worried about Estrada’s tendency to give up home runs. The AL East seemed to be the wrong place for a guy who gives up home runs.

The next day we put up a poll and, well, most of us didn’t like the trade:

  • Absolutely hate it: 21%
  • Slightly unhappy, but willing to see what else we do: 49%
  • Neutral: 18%
  • Somewhat happy: 9%
  • Very happy: 2%

As it turned out, the trade worked out very well for us.

Lind hit .277/.360/.460 in 149 games that first season after the trade, earning a 3.1 bWAR, his best WAR number since 2009.

Marco started the season in the bullpen, then joined the rotation at the start of May. It took him a few starts to get going (0-3 with a 5.02 ERA in May in 5 starts), but he was terrific after that. From June 1st on, he was 12-5 with a 2.92 ERA. In all, he had a 3.6 bWAR.

And Marco had an excellent postseason. He made 3 starts, went 2-1, with a 2.32 ERA. He came up big when we needed him.

After the season, he signed a 3-year, $39 million contract.

In his four seasons with the Blue Jays, Marco had a 39-40 record and a 4.25 ERA in 124 games, 118 starts. His bWAR totalled 10.4.

His first two seasons were great, the third one was ok, with a bad stretch in the middle, and this last one wasn’t good. You would imagine that most long-term contracts tend to work that way.

Of course, he was super in the playoffs. He made six starts with a 2.16 ERA.

He spent 2019 with the A’s, but he was on the IL most of the year.

Lind has played for 3 MLB teams since the trade. He’s hit .270/.336/.462 with 54 home runs for a 3.7 bWAR. After the Brewers in 2015, he played for the Phillies in 2016 and Nationals in 2017. In 2018, he played in Triple-A for the Yankees and Red Sox and that was the end of his career.

I was a fan of Adam’s. I wrote a goodbye post a couple of days later.

Also, seven years ago:

The Jays exercised the option in J.A. Happ’s contract and then traded him to Seattle for Michael Saunders a month later.

Saunders played for us for parts of 3 seasons, hitting .247/.33/.451 with 24 homers in 161 games. He had the All-Star season in 2016 when he played 140 of those 161 games. That year, at the All-Star break, he was hitting .298/.372/.551 with 16 home runs. After the break, he hit .172/.282/.357.

Happ had a rough time in Seattle, and they traded him to the Pirates at the deadline, and he, with the help of Ray Searage, J.A. became top of the rotation pitcher. After the season, he signed a 3-year free agent contract with us. His second stint with the Jays was 40-21 with a 3.55 ERA in 77 starts.

He was traded to the Yankees at the deadline in 2018. As a Yankee, he was 21-10 with a 4.13 ERA in the year and a half. The Yankees turned down his contract option for 2021 last week.

Also, on that day, the Blue Jays gave Melky Cabrera a Qualifying Offer. So Melky signed with the White Sox (3 years, $42 million, glad it wasn’t us). With the Sox, he hit .287/.331/.427 with 39 home runs in 407 games and they traded him to the Royals at the 2017 season deadline. This season he played for the Indians, hitting .280/.335/.420.

43 years ago:

The Jays traded catcher Rick Cerone (with pitcher Tom Underwood and Ted Wilborn) to the Yankees for Chris Chambliss, Damaso Garcia and Paul Mirabella.

Cerone played five seasons for the Yankees, then went to the Braves, Brewers, Yankees again, Red Sox, Yankees again, and Expos. He had a good season in 1980, hitting .277/.321/.432, and he finished 7th in MVP voting. After that, he was a part-timer for the Yankees for four more years.

Underwood had been our best starter for two seasons. After the trade, he had a good 1980 season for the Yankees, going 13-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 38 games, 27 starts. Unfortunately, Underwood had a poor start to the next season, and the Yankees shipped him off to the A’s.

Ted Wilborn would play 8 games for the Yankees and never be seen in the majors again.

The big piece for the Jays was Garcia. He would go on to play second (and hit leadoff) for the next seven seasons. He hit .288/.309/.371 with 194 steals as a Jay. He was the prototypical middle infielder of the era, high batting average, but wouldn’t take a walk and had no power. Add in that his base-stealing success rate was so poor that we would have been better off if he didn’t try to steal so much.

Chambliss was a fan favourite for the Yankees. The Jays flipped him to the Braves for Barry Bonnell, Joey McLaughlin, and Pat Rockett.

In 1980 Mirabella pitched in 33 games, making 22 starts, putting up a 5-12 record and a 4.34 ERA. However, he had a rough start to 1981, and the Jays traded him to the Cubs.