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Deal for Pitcher Recalls Noteworthy Trades Between Oakland and Cincinnati

Updated on August 2, 2019

Jose Rijo Helped Sweep The Team That Had Traded Him The Year Before


Pitchers Have Been The Center Of Most Of The Deals

Cincinnati Trades With Oakland

When the Reds dealt Tanner Roark to Oakland at the trade deadline, it marked a rare transaction between the two clubs. The fact that it involved a pitcher, however, was somewhat less surprising, given that most of the trades have centered on arms.

The most famous of those deals is one that never actually happened, due to the infamous interference of the Commissioner's Office. When Oakland owner Charlie Finley intended to trade Cy Young Award lefthander Vida Blue to the Reds in 1978, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn negated the deal because he said it would make a powerful team even more powerful.

Cincinnati had just won back to back World Series championships the year before, and they could very well have snagged a third had the Blue deal been permitted. Instead, the Los Angeles Dodgers took the pennant, while Blue went to the San Francisco Giants.

Another noteworthy trade between the Queen City and Bay Area clubs involved a right handed pitcher, who would lead one team to a sweep of the other in the World Series. Oakland traded Jose Rijo to Cincinnati in 1989, when he soon became the ace of the staff.

He was so good that he led the Reds to the pennant in 1990, which matched them up against the Athletics. Having a powerful lineup featuring the likes of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, as well as the fact that they were the defending World Series Champions, Oakland was the heavy favorite to repeat.

Instead, Cincinnati surprised the Athletics by sweeping the Fall Classic, and Rijo was selected as the Most Valuable Player. Neither team has reached the World Series since then and, in spite of the trade of Roark, neither is likely to make it in 2019.

Still, it is worth looking back at the handful of deals made between the two clubs. The names would make a pretty good roster, only they would have to make do without any middle infielders.

Starting Pitcher, Moe Drabowsky
After getting just two wins with six losses in 1962, the Reds sent Drabowsky to the Athletics in a cash deal.

Starting Pitcher Aaron Harang
Harang became Cincinnati's most reliable starter after arriving from Oakland, who in the 2003 deal also sent two minor league hurlers.

Relief Pitcher, Marcus MacBeth
Had he been named for another famous Shakespeare play, the appropriate issue for the right hander would have been "To Be Or Not To Br Dealt."

Catcher, Scott Hatteburg
Immortalized years later because of the film Moneyball, Hatteburg joined Cincinnati in 2006 after Oakland let him go.

First Base, Dave Parker in 1988
Cobra was over a decade removed from his Most Valuable Player years with the Pittsburgh Pirates when Cincinnati, where he grew up, shipped him to the Athletics in the deal that brought Rijo to the Reds.

Third base, Adam Rosales
Fans in both cities found endearing the way Rosales sprinted to first after drawing a base on balls, reminiscent of Cincinnati legend Pete Rose.

Right Field, Jose Guillen
This slugger left the Reds and headed to the Athletics in 2003, the main component in the trade for Harang.

Center Field, Chris Denorfia
Like Rosales, the versatile left handed hitter, who was traded in 2007, was a fan favorite in both cities.

Left Field, Willy Taveras
He was packaged with Rosales in the 2010 deal that brought to the Reds pitcher Aaron Miles.


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