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August 12, 1987: Doyle Alexander to Detroit…John Smoltz to Braves

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In the summer of 1987, the Tigers were in the AL East pennant race.    The Braves were going nowhere and looking for young arms to rebuild.   

So the teams traded the veteran Alexander for the youngster Smoltz!

So what happened?   Doyle Alexander went 9-0 and pitched the Tigers to the division title.   Alexander was exactly what the Tigers needed.  Smoltz was sent to the minors as expected.

Doyle Alexander was a very good major league pitcher:   194 wins with a 3.76 ERA.  He won 17 games with Toronto in 1984 and in 1978 with Texas.    He was not an ace but a very effective guy who ate up a lot of innings.   I recall that he pitched with the Orioles in the early 1970s.

John Smoltz became a Hall of Famer:  213 wins and a 3.33 ERA.    He was part of the Braves’ pitching rotations, one of the best in history.

Back to the trade.     It made a lot of sense in 1987 for both teams.    It also reminds us that those young players do indeed develop into Hall of Famers, as John Smoltz did.


Written by scantojr

August 12, 2016 at 11:00 am

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