Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trade Gauge: Pedro Guerrero for John Tudor

August 16, 1988: The St. Louis Cardinals trade John Tudor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero

Cardinals fallout: The Cardinals spent much of the first half of 1988 yearning for the power bat missing since Jack Clark bolted for the Bronx in the 1987/1988. The found the antidote in Big Pete, an aging slugger but a slugger nevertheless on a team devoid of power. Guerrero did OK for the remainder of ’88 and then put together a big ’89, driving in 117 runs while playing an unspectacular first base. He went back to being OK in ’90 and ’91 before wrapping things up with a release in ’92. For whatever reason, Cardinals’ management just never tried to stock the team with any pop during their era. The team’s first 20 home run hitter didn’t emerge until 1992 when Ray Lankford nailed 20 in his sophomore season. And they didn’t have a 30 home run man in the Nineties until 1996 when the bulbous Ron Gant popped 30. Ironic that only a few years later, the team would employ two of the most severe sluggers of the modern era: Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols

Dodgers fallout: This deal was a bit of a WTF for the ’88 Dodgers. The team was already deep in pitching, anchored by a historical season by Orel Hershiser, a solid rookie campaign by Tim Belcher, a surprisingly solid effort by Tim Leary (not to be confused… or associated with Timothy Leary) and a strong bullpen led by Jay Howell, Jesse Orosco and Alejandro Pena. Not sure why they felt they needed another arm in Tudor but whatever the case, he pitched well down the stretch but then did little of note in the post season, was a gimp in ’89 and ended up back in St Louis for ’90 where he suited up alongside Guerrero and put together a fine 12-4 season to end his career. The Dodgers used spare parts like Franklin Stubbs and Mickey Hatcher to replace Guerrero’s clout in ’88 before importing Eddie Murray for ’89 and beyond. Again, an odd move but they did win the World Series in 1988 so hard to fault them.

The winner: Cardinals. Guerrero wasn’t spectacular during his Cardinals reign but he did put up some decent RBI numbers and besides, Tudor was back in St Louis a season and a half later. Pretty easy to do the math there.

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