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Any reader of Alternate History fiction will tell you that even the smallest changed detail can result in, say, the Confederacy winning the U.S. Civil War or U.S. President John F. Kennedy's second term ending in a humiliating withdrawal from Vietnam in 1967. Whatever. In fact, we've found the following several paragraphs from the December 6, 1990 Toronto Alternate Planet and want to share it so Bauxites everywhere can fill in the blanks ... what happened in the ensuing 15 years?

Jays Back Out of Blockbuster Deal With Padres
December 5, 1990 (Reuters): Baseball's Annual Winter Meetings almost got a shot of adrenalin last night, but a rumoured deal between the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres collapsed at the last minute.

The Padres apparently offered the Blue Jays young second baseman Roberto Alomar, 22, who hit .287 and stole 60 bases last season, and 30-year-old outfielder Joe Carter, coming off back-to-back 100-RBI seasons, to the Jays in exchange for 1989 AL home run champ Fred McGriff, 26, a first baseman, and All-Star shortstop Tony Fernandez, who at the age of 28 already has four Gold Gloves and led the AL in triples last season.

It would have been one of the biggest trades in recent memory, but before all the papers were signed, the Blue Jays decided they were unwilling to part with their cleanup hitter McGriff and fan favourite Fernandez.

Toronto manager Clarence Gaston said, "I'd love to have Robbie Alomar on my team, any time. I know his dad. But we like our young second baseman, Manny Lee -- and we have both Glenallen Hill and Mark Whiten, who will both be remembered in Toronto long after Joe Carter is gone from the game."

So, baseball fans ... in "The-Trade"-Never-Happened Alternate Reality ... what happened next?
Alternate History: Touch 'em All ... Fred? | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Greg - Friday, January 28 2005 @ 08:02 PM EST (#2260) #
I used to like reading Bill James' take on the trade in my 1991 Baseball Book

I think he saw the Padres as the winners in the long run

Looking at it now...maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like Olerud was what made it work
If he doesn't step up at 1B I don't think Alomar and Carter really make a big enough impact to make up for McGriff being gone and Tony's D

I say the Jays take the World Series for the first time in 1993
with Olerud and McGriff at 1B/DH
a composed Jeff Kent still on the team at 2B
Gruber and Fernandez holding up the other side of the infield

and Devon White flanked by one of the young guys and some veteran we signed instead of Molitor (McGriff has roughly the same OPS+ as Molitor in 93, so if they even out there and sign some free agent to bring in Carter's production)

I guess the only issue there is by 1993 Gruber was out...

But other than that, I can see a Championship without the trade

And I don't know, does having Fernandez at SS rather than Lee make up for having Kent at 2B rather than Alomar?

Maybe that's a stupid question
_Greg - Friday, January 28 2005 @ 08:03 PM EST (#2261) #
By the way
is there a way to find out who was a FA before the 93 season, to put a name on this shadow-Carter in my vision?
_RhyZa - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 08:45 AM EST (#2262) #
It's just really, really hard to imagine having won it without Robbie.
_Thomas M - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 09:46 AM EST (#2263) #
Wow, the Oriols trade for Sosa. Comn.
_Thomas M - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 09:48 AM EST (#2264) #
That should say: the Oriols agreed on a trade Sosa for Jerry Hairston plus two minor leaguers. Sammy agreed to void his contract in 2006. Are the O's fans happy now?
_Chuck Van Den C - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 10:24 AM EST (#2265) #
If Sosa leaves, I count zero front-line corner outfielders in Chicago. Am I missing someone obvious?

Going from Sosa/Alou to Hairston/Hollandsworth wouldn't inspire a ton of confidence if I were a Cubs' fan, even if the latter pair were not bad in their minimal playing time in 2004.

Is that Magglio Ordonez's phone I hear ringing? Is he healthy enough to hobble over and answer it?
Pistol - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 11:18 AM EST (#2266) #
Well, it looks like Magglio might be heading to Detroit....for at least 5 years.

The Tigers and Scott Boras, agent for free-agent outfielder Magglio Ordonez, continued their dialogue Friday in an attempt to complete a contract. It's believed the sides are close on dollars -- about $11 million to $12 million a season -- but the Tigers are offering five years while Boras is seeking a seven-year deal.
_Tassle - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 12:30 PM EST (#2267) #
Wow. 11-12 million a year for Magglio is almost double what I expected him to get. Detroit could really regret this one.
_David Wang - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 01:10 PM EST (#2268) #
I'm not 100% sure of his injury status, but we all forget that he's a career .307/364/525 hitter and had 5 straight 30 HR years and well over 34 doubles every year previous to this one. He looks as good if not better than a Carlos Delgado, I felt he was going to get around a 4 year/40 million deal but looks like Boras did it again.
_Tassle - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 02:30 PM EST (#2269) #
I'm not 100% sure of his injury status

From what I've heard, there's a chance his knee has permanent structural damage and he needed to go to Austria to find a treatment that would help. That suggests to me a ridiculously high degree of risk. I wouldn't be too averse to giving him 7 or 8 million for one year based on his past excellence, but guaranteeing $55 million to guy you know could be done in with 1 knee injury seems insane to me.
_Magpie - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 05:10 PM EST (#2270) #
Alternate History

Suppose that, on 22 May 1991, Dave Stieb does not fall awkwardly at first base, hurting his shoulder, and going on the DL for the first time in his career. Which led first to Willie Fraser making an emergency start on June 1 and getting shelled...

The Stieb injury led directly to:

a) Juan Guzman being called up to make his ML debut on June 7;

b) Glenallen Hill and Mark Whiten being traded on June 27 for Tom Candiotti

If the Jays don't trade for Joe Carter in December of 1990, would they have been able to trade two outfielders to Cleveland to get Candiotti? Probably not; they would have had to deal fom their excess of first basemen...
_joeblow - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 06:50 PM EST (#2271) #
Great question today. I like to consider extraordinary events which occur at a single point in time and are unlikely to happen had anything at all been different.
- 1992 ALCS Game 4. Alomar homers off Eckersley to tie it 6-6. Arguably the turning point in this series (in my opinion the turning point in Blue Jays history). Jays don't win without this one.
- 1993 WS Game 6: The ducks were on the pond for Joe or whoever was at bat but what happens if there is no homer at that point? There's a significant probability that the Jays lose the series (maybe less than 30%, but not zero).
- 1993 in general: The other issue in my mind is what happens to Olerud with McGriff on the team. And then does Molitor still play some first in the WS? I have to think that McGriff would have been gone anyway by 1993 without that Padres deal.
_Rob - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 07:08 PM EST (#2272) #
Okay, so The Trade never happens. Jeff Kent takes over second base in 1992 and looks to be the favourite for Rookie Of The Year, then he breaks his hand washing his 1990 Gremlin. Domingo Cedeno is called up from Knoxville in desperation and doesn't hit well. The Jays fall in the 1992 ALCS to Oakland, who acquired Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar for Mark McGwire and Walt Weiss in January 1991. Cedeno never plays in the majors again.

So the Jays need a second baseman. The Houston Astros, who for some reason played Juan Guerrero over Craig Biggio, trade Biggio to Toronto in the 1992 offseason in exchange for Derek Bell. Kent is mad over this trade and tells reporters that he doesn't want to compete for the job. "If it is (a competition), then I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown.' Tell them exactly what I said. I haven't competed for a job since 1981." Kent never plays in the majors again.
_Mick - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 07:08 PM EST (#2273) #
The great thing about alternate history is that it opens up all kinds of possibilities. Let's say that deal never happend, but by the end of 1993, the Dodgers -- unhappy with 2B Jody Reed -- turn down the chance to acquire Delino DeShields and instead package Reed and powerful yyoung 1B Eric Karros to the Psdres for Alomar ... then turn around and deal for McGriff by offering the Jays a lanky righty who will never be durable enough to be a starter, so sez Tommy LaSorda of Pedro Martinez ...
_Jesse - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 09:32 PM EST (#2274) #
Are you kidding me. I just read on here that LHP James Pidutti was released. That is a surprise to me. Sure he is 23 now and just held his own in Rookie Ball but did the Jays give him enough time? He had probably the best natural movement in the Appy League. But thats an organizational move. Not to many Canadians left in the Jays system any more.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, January 29 2005 @ 10:15 PM EST (#2275) #
I've heard that the Cubs are going to turn the prospects from the Sosa deal for Aburey Huff. He stinks with the glove but he will help fill the void of Sosa's bat. Also, the Cubs are close to signing Jeremy Bernitz. I think he and Huff together fill 4/5 the offence that Alou/Sosa put up last year for the Cubs. Factor in a healthy Jerry Hairston Jr. I think Chicago is fine with out Sosa.
_Ace - Sunday, January 30 2005 @ 08:05 PM EST (#2276) #

Considering the Jays got Tony Fernandez back for the 93 run for peanuts, I think that the trade was an important part of the post seasons that the jays had.

Joe Carter's home run?? Robbie's outstanding D - I still remember the catch that he made in foul territory. Tony negates himself seeing as they got him back. Trading Johnny O for Fred Mcgriff is what it comes down to. McGriff was good - His memories are very early in my childhood so I don't remember him that well - but Johnny O had outstanding D - and still does - and led the A.L. in average batting .363 with twenty-something homeruns.

Alternate History: Touch 'em All ... Fred? | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.