It is very rare to see in baseball, but sometimes we get a good old-fashioned stare-down challenge trade. A trade that doesn’t involve prospects, no clear seller, just two teams trading legitimate players to get over their proverbial hump… like we are proposing here for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.
Back in the spring of 1997, the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, two of the elite franchises of the 90’s, made one of those “challenge” trades. Just days before the start of the season, the Braves and Indians agreed to a trade that sent David Justice and Marquis Grissom to Cleveland in exchange for Kenny Lofton and Alan Embree.
The Braves, the defending NL champions, traded the majority of their outfield to Cleveland in exchange for the best leadoff hitter in the game at the time. Cleveland, knowing the dynamic Lofton was going to leave in free agency the following year, got back two really good players that had helped the 1995 Braves beat the Indians in the World Series.
The trade was extremely rare and controversial, but it worked. The Indians returned to the World Series that fall, and the Braves would make three more League Championship Series and another World Series in 1999. I think it is time we see another one of those challenge trades that could help both teams get to the postseason.
Tis the season for hopes and trades. Here at Sodo Mojo, we’re bringing you a trade proposal almost every day. There are times when Sodo Mojo will actually work through a trade with another FanSided site to come up with a deal, so it ends up being a FanSided mock trade proposal. Recently, I was able to strike a deal with the San Diego Padres, courtesy of Friars On Base. I’m sure this trade will go over smoothly with all of you!