Top 3 Noteworthy Trades: Mariners and Red Sox
Trades have arguably haunted the Seattle Mariners’ franchise more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Each week we’ll compile the three most-noteworthy trades that have happened between the Mariners and their current opponent.
See our growing list here: Notable Trades
The Boston Red Sox have been the most-successful franchise in Major League Baseball in the past decade — and there are three World Series trophies to prove it. Two of those championship teams (2004, 2007) had a former Mariners prospect who blossomed into one of the league’s better catchers of the past 25 years: Jason Varitek.
Here are the three most significant trades the Mariners have made with the Red Sox:
3. 1999: Mariners trade Butch Huskey to the Red Sox for Robert Ramsay
How it panned out:
This trade didn’t do anything for either franchise, it simply gave us an excuse to incorporate one of the best bloopers of all-time (which occurred during Butch Huskey’s short tenure with Seattle):
2. 1997: Mariners trade Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb
How it panned out:
If there is one trade in the recent history of Major League Baseball that demonstrates a “selling” team capitalizing on a “buying” team’s mistake, it is this one.
At the trade deadline of the 1997, Seattle stood at 60-47, leading the American League West by just a half-game with a team built to be a contender down the stretch. On the other hand, Boston’s playoff aspirations had disintegrated as the team was 17 and a half games out of first place in the AL East. To bolster its bullpen, Seattle sent minor league catcher Jason Varitek and minor league pitcher Derek Lowe to the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb.
The Mariners indeed made it to the playoffs in ’97, but Slocumb had little to do with it. In his first month with the team, Slocumb went 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA out of the ‘pen. In his only appearance in the postseason, he saw two innings on the mound in which he surrendered one run on three hits. Seattle was knocked out of the American League Divisional Series and a season later Slocumb departed for free agency.
Varitek would spend his entire big league career in a Red Sox uniform and would serve as the team’s captain for several of those seasons. He played on two World Series champion teams and was a three-time All-Star who was a serious contender for the AL MVP Award in 2005.
Lowe, also an All-Star on multiple occasions, serviced Boston well with a 100-inning season in relief, a 42-save season and a 21-win campaign.
Boston. The Mariners got a veteran to help the bullpen during a playoff run while the Red Sox got two players that helped shape the most competitive MLB franchise of the past decade.
1. 1996: Mariners trade Darren Bragg to Red Sox for Jamie Moyer
How it panned out:
Mariners fans probably weren’t very receptive to the Darren Bragg-for-Jamie Moyer deal when it happened — they probably were apathetic, actually.
Bragg had .272/.376/.451 line at the time of being dealt, but wasn’t getting enough playing time in a relatively crowded outfield (Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Rich Amaral and Brian Hunter).
Moyer, a journeyman starter, was having a decent season in Boston in 1996, recording seven wins in 10 starts on top of a 4.50 ERA. But in the big picture, Seattle would be Moyer’s seventh organization since being drafted in 1984.
It came as no surprise that Bragg’s bat didn’t catch fire in Boston, and much like in Seattle, he ended up platooning an outfield spot for the better part of two years with the Red Sox.
What was not expected was that Moyer ended up spending eleven seasons in Seattle and logged 145 of his 269 (54%) of his wins in a Mariners uniform. The lefty became the winningest pitcher in the franchise’s history from mid-1996 to mid-2006.
Seattle. Moyer gave the Mariners 2,093 innings of work, 20 complete games, six shutouts — and was Seattle’s beast weapon in the 2001 postseason. As a 38-year-old workhorse, Moyer won all three starts, allowing only four earned runs in 19 innings on the hill.
Moyer’s accomplishments off the field is something to be noted as well. The Moyer Foundation, started by Jamie and his wife Karen, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in severe distress.
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