Ferguson: Jays have history of making trades in August

Scott Ferguson
8/24/2012 10:56:11 AM
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The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline gets most of the attention in the Majors and rightly so. But significant deals do happen occasionally in August before the waiver trade deadline of the 31st. In fact, trades can even be made in September, but those players when acquired can't be added to a post-season roster.

By my count, the Blue Jays have made deals in August in 17 of their 35 seasons so far. Their longest stretch of not making an August swap was five seasons between 2001 and 2005.

Their first such deal was August 30 of their very first campaign in 1977 when they bought middle infielder Tim Nordbrook from the White Sox. Their first really significant August trade was August 15, 1978 when they dealt the "Beeg Mon" Rico Carty to Oakland for former Tigers star Willie Horton and pitcher Phil Huffman.

The year of their first division title, 1985, they picked up DH Cliff Johnson from Texas for three prospects on August 28.
In 1987, when they were vying (unsuccessfully) for their second division crown, they acquired knuckleballer Phil Niekro from Cleveland for two prospects and when it was clear there was nothing left in Phil's tank, they picked up the late Mike Flanagan from Baltimore for two prospects, including future closer Jose Mesa.
On August 9, 1991, the Blue Jays got left fielder Candy Maldonado for two prospects and Candy was in the line-up the night they clinched their first World Series title in Atlanta in '92.
My most memorable August Jays trade came on the August 27, 1992. The Jays shipped Jeff Kent and a player to be named later (Ryan Thompson) to the New York Mets for David Cone.

Former Jays reliever Dan Plesac told me a few years later that his then-teammates in Milwaukee knew the division race was over the day the Jays made that deal, that the Brew Crew had no hope of catching the Jays. Cone, who left as a free agent after that season, none the less helped the Jays win that '92 crown.

As recently as August 23 of last season, the Jays made a fairly big trade, sending Aaron Hill and John McDonald to Arizona for Kelly Johnson.

Rare though they may be, the Jays have even made a swap or two in September. The best of them all, getting Juan Guzman from the Dodgers on September 22, 1987 for the late Mike Sharperson.

Guzman was instrumental in the Jays winning those pair of World Series titles.
I don't expect much if any action this time around with the Jays largely because of all the injuries. Still, they could deal off an expendable veteran or two who don't figure into next year's plans to contenders.
One team that could be active is the Yankees. If Ivan Nova's shoulder problem persists, they've got to get a veteran starting pitcher. In the past few days, Milwaukee has released 36-year-old lefty Randy Wolf, Arizona has put lefty Joe Saunders on waivers and San Diego has done the same with Edinson Volquez.

At the start of the season I could see Detroit and Philadelphia in the World Series. Now after hitting reset, I'm starting to like Cincinnati and Tampa Bay.

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