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Today in Blue Jays History: The Return of Gibby

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Seven Years Ago

We traded Liam Hendricks to the A’s for Jesse Chavez. The comment thread was mixed. Some liked it. Some didn’t.

It turned out to be a terrible trade.

After being a swingman, a part-time starter for the first four years of his career, the Blue Jays put Liam in the pen in 2015, and he was good. As a starter, he had a 5.80 ERA in those four seasons. Then, in 2015, he had a 2.92 ERA in 58 appearances.

The A’s kept him in the pen, and he was ok there for the first three seasons (4.01 ERA in 148 games). Then, in 2019, he became their closer and a star. He had a 1.80 ERA and 25 saves. 2020 was more of the same in the short season. And, before the 2021 season, he signed a big free-agent contract with the White Sox.

In his 12 year career, he’s pitched in 471 games, 44 starts, with a 3.81 ERA and 115 saves (all but 1 of them coming in the last four seasons.

Chavez? He had a 4.43 ERA with us until we traded him to the Dodgers for Mike Bolsinger in August. Since then, he’s played for the Angels, Rangers, Cubs, Rangers again, Braves, Cubs again, Braves again and Angels again (the last two both in 2022).

In 2021, he pitched in 7 playoff games, for the Braves, without giving up a run in their World Series winning run.

In all, he’s played 15 MLB series, getting into 571 games, 84 starts, with a 4.40 ERA.

Matt wrote about Chavez a couple of days after the trade.

Also, Seven Years Ago

Cee Angi wrote us a post telling us we were going to love Mark Buehrle. I mostly note it because the comment thread went way off the rails.

A little history, SB Nation came up with a small group of writers, Designated Columnists, who would do one post weekly for each site (headed by a writer I like very much, Steven Goldman). I liked the idea, but many didn’t, feeling the guest writers were intruders on their ground.

Cee did a couple of posts for us. I liked them, but folks would focus on one line and complain. Then Cee wrote a post for DRaysBay, which ended the guest writer program. The post was fine, but the comment thread was the worst thing I’ve ever read on any SB Nation site, full of sexism, general stupidity and then out-and-out threats to harm Cee. As a result, many folks were banned, and there was a change in the blog’s management. And the Designated Columnist idea ended.

In this case, it is just as well that the comment threads are gone, but I wish we could have them back for most old posts.

Ten Years Ago

The Jays signed John Gibbons to be our manager for a second time. You’ll likely remember that John Farrell left the team to take his ‘dream job’ with the Red Sox (that went well for him).

We were happy.

Gibby would lead the team for six seasons, getting us back to the playoffs twice. He has a very, very fan-friendly personality and was a lot of fun in interviews. He has a 793-789 record in his career, all with the Jays. In that second stint, he was 488-484.

I hope he gets another shot at a manager’s job.