Thursday, July 27, 2006

What Could Have Been

I had never heard about this until today:

In 1993, with four hours before the deadline and unable to acquire a starter, the offensive-minded Jays decided to improve by adding a bat. They sent former No. 1 pick Steve Karsay to the Oakland A’s for leadoff man Rickey Henderson. Henderson had to waive his no-trade clause.

An hour later Woody Woodward, GM of the Seattle Mariners, agreed to send lefty Randy Johnson to the Jays for Todd Stottlemyre and Mike Timlin — if the Henderson deal fell through.

Henderson had until 11:30 p.m. to waive his no-trade clause, which he eventually did, once the A’s gave him cash.

Imagine how differently things would have shaken down if Henderson had backed out of that trade and Johnson had been sent to the Jays instead. If the Jays don't repeat, maybe Mitch Williams' career doesn't go down the toilet if the Phils pull out the series win instead. Would Johnson have stayed in Toronto (meaning the Jays probably don't sign Roger Clemens in 1997), or would he have been traded/signed elsewhere? Would he have ended up in Arizona anyways? Who knows.

Also, without Randy Johnson in Seattle, we certainly don't get the thrilling 1995 AL West pennant race and Mariners-Yankees ALDS matchup, without which, as Rob Neyer pointed out, the Yanks might never have pushed Buck Showalter out in favor of Joe Torre.

Speculating on this won't lead to any results, but it sure can be fun.


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