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Happy Birthday Marco Estrada

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Estrada turns 40 today.

Back on November 1, 2014, we weren’t exactly thrilled with the trade of Adam Lind for Marco Estrada. Here is something I said:

I’d likely be happier with the trade if we got someone younger. At 31...he’s not someone that will suddenly become a star. And, with only one year of control left, will we keep him if he becomes someone good?

Wrong again. Marco did become a star. And we did keep him.

We had a poll the day after the trade, and 70% of us were unhappy.

Part of the reason for the trade was ‘payroll flexibility.’ And we used that ‘flexibility’ at the trade deadline, so it seems it worked.

Marco was 39-40 for the Jays with a 4.25 ERA in 113 games, 107 starts.

In 2015 he had a 3.13 ERA and a 13-8 record in 34 games, 28 starts and finished 10th in Cy Young voting. And he was terrific in the playoffs, with a 2.33 ERA in 3 starts.

In 2016 he was 9-9 with a 3.48 ERA. He made the All-Star team. He was terrific in the first half, with a 2.93 ERA, but not so great in the second half, 4.27 ERA. Again he was great in the playoffs, making one of the best playoff starts in Jays history in game one of the ALDS.

2017 didn’t go so well. He was 10-9 with 4.98, his ERA was over 9 in June, and he was 0-5 in June and July while battling back and neck troubles.

2018 started well, and then he went through a bad stretch of 9 starts with a 6.50 ERA. He finished the season with a 7-14 record and a 5.64 ERA in 28.

The A’s signed Marco before the start of the 2019 season. He made five starts in April. The first three were good. The last two weren’t. And then he went on the IL with a back injury, which ended his MLB career.

Adam Lind had a pretty good 2015 season, hitting .277/.360/.460 with 20 home runs. Since then, he’s bounced around. He had a crappy 2016 with the Mariners and a good 2017 with the Nationals. He hasn’t had an MLB at-bat since 2017. He played in the minors with the Yankees and Red Sox in 2018 but never returned to the major. If you look him up on Google, you find stories about something called Team Mom, but that’s a different Adam Lind.

Estrada has become my second favourite Marco ever (sorry, but Scutaro will always have a special place in my heart).

My favourite Estrada moment? Likely when he walked off the field in the 7th inning of game three of the 2015 ALDS. Going into the game, we were down two games to one, and our first playoff appearance in 22 years could end far too quickly. Of course, he was at least equally good in game five of the ALCS.

Happy birthday Marco. I hope it is a good one.