I'm back on track after a one day absence with the next installment of Wednesday Bombers. As you may recall, I have been delving into the Rockies deadline deals from the 20th century and checking out the results of said deals. First, I looked at the Bret Saberhagen deal from 1995 and last week I wrote about the Bruce Hurst deal from the expansion 1993 team. Both of those deals were designed to improve the Rockies pitching staff which has been an ongoing project since the Rockies were born.
Today's deal will be involving offense and a big contributor to their short history at the time. Much like the Hurst deal with the Padres, this trade was also completed intradivisionally with the Giants.
Let's take a look and see if this deal was a tad more successful than that one.
July 31, 1998
Rockies receive Giants receive
OF - Darryl Hamilton OF - Ellis Burks
RP - Jim Stoops
SP - Jason Brester (as PTBNL August 18, 1998)
Darryl Hamilton was the key major league piece of this trade for the Rockies. He immediately took Burks' spot as the starting center fielder upon arrival from San Francisco. Hamilton wasn't bad for the Rockies. He hit .335 for the remainder of the 1998 season, but he did not have the power or speed of Burks. He was mainly a singles hitter, which is useful for a team. Hamilton would spend exactly one year on the Rockies roster, but I'll explore that more next week.
Jim Stoops was a high Class A relief pitcher in the Giants organization with an ERA under 1.00 at the time of the trade. The Rockies immediately promoted him to AAA. He barely missed a step with a 1.23 ERA in Colorado Springs which earned him a September call up to the big leagues. He pitched in 3 games and got a victory over the Giants in 1998. Unfortunately, he would never see the big leagues again. He spent the next two seasons in the Rockies minor leagues before moving on to the Yankees.
Jason Brester was potentially the jewel of this trade. He was the Giants 2nd round pick in 1995 out of high school and had already moved up to AA. AA proved to be Brester's peak as a pro ball player though. He stayed with the Rockies until mid-1999 before being sent to the Phillies.
Ellis Burks had spent 4 1/2 seasons with the Rockies after being signed to a five year free agent contract in the 1993 offseason. The Rockies believed they were going to lose him at the end of the year, so they decided to trade him. The Giants were trying to track down the Padres in the NL West, so they bit. Burks played well for the Giants in 1998, but not as well as he did in Colorado and the Giants faded to a 2nd place finish. He did re-sign with the Giants and spent two more years there where he proved he was no Coors Field fluke.
On the surface, it appears that the Giants won this trade by a large margin. However, a deadline deal involving a star for prospects usually means a team is loading up for a playoff run that year. The Giants fell short in this case, losing the wild card by 1 game to the Cubs. If Burks had not re-signed, this trade would have been a push. Since he did re-sign, Hamilton didn't match Burks's stats in Colorado, and the pitchers proved to be not much more than minor league filler, I'd have to say the Giants win this one. But not by as much as it you first think.
This is also the last trade completed between the Giants and Rockies. It is the longest current trade drought for the Rockies with any team in the majors.
The Rockies lose this trade as well to bring their deadline deal record to 1-2. There was one other deadline deal in the 20th century which I will explore next week. Will it bring the Rockies up to .500 or will it just drag the record down even further? Tune in next week to see.
Thanx for reading.