Top 3 Noteworthy Trades: Mariners and White Sox
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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 Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners have not made a trade with each other since a deal in 2006 that swapped outfielder Joe Borchard for lefty Matt Thornton. Since that deal went down, both clubs have a combined one postseason win — and it belongs to Chicago (Game Three of the 2008 American League Division Series).
Here are the three most significant trades the Mariners have made with the White Sox:
3. 1981: Mariners trade Tom Paciorek to the White Sox for Rod Allen, Todd Cruz
How it panned out:
As I’ve mentioned in earlier editions of this feature, finding three significant trades between two different clubs can be difficult. The reason I think this trade is noteworthy is because it is only one of three trades between Seattle and Chicago that has occurred in the offseason (Tom Paciorek was dealt on December 11, 1981).
And, let’s be fair, the other two trades outside of the regular season took place in March, during Spring Training.
2. 1983: Mariners trade Julio Cruz to the White Sox for Tony Bernazard
How it panned out:
Mariners second baseman Julio Cruz was leading the Mariners in stolen bases (33) when he was dealt to the White Sox for Tony Bernazard…a second baseman. According to the Ellensburg Daily Record, the Mariners’ front office had “vowed to make at least one trade” by the trade deadline to “shore up” the team’s sagging offense. At the time, Seattle had the worst team batting average in Major League Baseball.
Cruz stole 24 more bases that season and put his total up to 57 — the second-most in a season for his 10-year career. The White Sox made it to the American League Championship Series, and many credit Cruz’s arrival as a shot in the arm for the team.
Bernazard also had a 10-year career in the Majors, but only 80 total games were spent in a Seattle uniform. The Puerto Rico native was traded to the Cleveland Indians less than six months after he’d arrived in Seattle.
Chicago. Cruz’s numbers began to decline after the 1983 series, but his presence on the base path proved to be vital for the White Sox in what would be their last playoff appearance for a decade.
1. 2004: Mariners trade Freddy Garcia, Ben Davis to the White Sox for Mike Morse, Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed
How it panned out:
The 2004 season is considered one of the most embarrassing season’s in Mariners’ history. The 63-99 disaster of a year began with former Mariners General Manager Bill Bavasi shipping Carlos Guillen to the Detroit Tigers for a pair of no-names. (Guillen’s replacement at shortstop, Rich Aurilla, would eventually be designated for assignment.) Seattle racked up five separate losing streaks of five or more games in 2004 — all after four consecutive seasons of 91 wins or more.
Bavasi’s mid-season panic would lead him to trade two-time All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia a month ahead of the trading deadline.
While Garcia never made a huge splash in Chicago, the returns on the trade for Seattle were more hurtful than helpful.
Mike Morse showed promise his rookie season in 2005, but injuries (and a PED suspension) kept him out of the lineup for the majority of his first four seasons in Seattle. (Morse would return for a second stint as a Mariner in 2013).
For the remainder of 2004, Miguel Olivo served as catcher Dan Wilson’s backup. In 2005, he was dealt to the San Diego Padres. (Like Morse, Olivo would return to Seattle later in his career).
Jeremy Reed, who had been the White Sox’s second round pick in the 2002 MLB Draft, was also injury-prone and never was able to develop.
Chicago. Garcia won all three of his starts during the White Sox’s postseason in 2005 — including seven innings of scoreless ball in Game 4, the clinching game, of the World Series.
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