The trade deadline still looms with several Rockies including Jeremy Guthrie, Ramon Hernandez, and Marco Scutaro among others rumored to be moving elsewhere. With the trade deadline in mind, last week I discussed one of the major deadline deals from the Blake Street Bombers era, that being the Bret Saberhagen trade of 1995. This week I am going to take a look at the major trade from the expansion year of 1993 involving the Rockies and their division rivals, the San Diego Padres.
The 1993 Rockies had a lot in common with this year's version of the team. Much like 2012, the 1993 Rockies needed a veteran presence in their youthful starting rotation. They had attempted to use former Expo Bryn Smith in that role, but he was largely ineffective and was released in June (much like this year's Rockies and Jamie Moyer). So throughout their first summer in the league, the Rockies had a young and inexperienced rotation that was susceptible to giving up a lot of runs (man, this sounds familiar).
Let's analyze the fallout from the Rockies' first big deadline deal.
July 26, 1993
Rockies receive Padres receive
P - Bruce Hurst C - Brad Ausmus
P - Greg Harris P - Doug Bochtler
P - Andy Ashby
Greg Harris was a great reliever with the Padres that had been converted into a starter a couple of years before. Harris did not do well with the Rockies by any stretch of the imagination. Harris had a combined record of 4-20 with a 6.60 ERA over the 1993 and 1994 seasons. He was released following the 1994 season and pitched one more year in Minnesota before his major league career ended.
Doug Bochtler was selected from the Expos with the 32nd pick in the 1992 Expansion Draft. Much like Ausmus, Bochtler had never joined the big league club in Colorado. Unlike Ausmus, it would take Bochtler two more seasons to make the majors. He joined the Padres bullpen in 1995 and pitched for three seasons with them. He was pretty good with the Padres posting a 3.78 ERA in 151 games before being traded to Oakland in the 1997 offseason.
Andy Ashby was selected from the Phillies with the 25th pick in the 1992 Expansion Draft. Ashby was originally a PTBNL in this deal, but he proved to be the crown jewel of the trade (at least for the two teams involved). Unlike the other two players in this deal, Ashby had already played with the big league club in Colorado going 0-4 with an 8.50 ERA. He did much better once he joined the Padres. He spent a total of 8 seasons in San Diego compiling a record of 70-62 with a 3.59 ERA. He retired after rejoining the Padres in 2005.
This judgment is absolutely simple, The Padres won this trade by a long shot. Each of the three players the Padres received in this deal proved to be more successful than both of the Rockies combined. The Rockies have never had a catcher the caliber of Ausmus in their history, so that would've helped the team immensely throughout the late 20th century. I still have no idea why the expansion Rockies traded prospects for older pitchers other than for leadership. It made little to no sense then and continues to this day. Even if the Padres players had not been successful, this trade was a major head scratcher.
The Rockies lose this deal to make their deadline deal record so far 1-1.
Thanx for reading.