Time for a new segment, where we analyze recent trade targets and compare them to their historical ancestors. First up: the recent Ubaldo Jimenez deal, and its historical twin: the trade of Ernie Broglio.
Consider that through his most recent start, Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched 864 innings with an ERA+ of 126. Broglio, from 1960 through getting traded during the 1964 season, pitched 942 2/3 innings with an ERA+ of 125. Broglio was 28 at the time of his deal; Jimenez was 27 when the Rockies traded him last month.
So why, exactly, do we fail to remember the "Ernie Broglio Trade" as clearly as we currently think of the "Ubaldo Jimenez Trade"? Let's take a closer look to find out.
The St. Louis Cardinals dealt Broglio on June 15, 1964. At the time, the Cardinals were 28-31, seven games out of first place, and obviously going nowhere. Why not deal Broglio for some young talent? The Cubs were eager to get Broglio, veteran hurler Bobby Shantz and backup outfielder Doug Clemens in exchange for pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth and a young outfielder named Lou Brock.
Ah, that's why it isn't called the Ernie Broglio Trade.
Spring, Toth, Clemens and even Shantz (once a very good pitcher himself) did little for their new teams. Broglio pitched moderately well for the 1964 Cubs, with a 4.04 ERA, before arm injuries ended his career by 1966. And Brock immediately became Hall of Famer Lou Brock, hitting .348/.387/.527 with 33 stolen bases following the trade. He'd go on to steal at least 51 each year until 1977, when he was 37. He stole 118, the single season record Rickey Henderson broke the next decade, as a 35-year-old.
To boot, the Cardinals team that had been underachieving so much that it felt it could trade one of its best pitchers and fire its general manager went on to win the 1964 World Series. And they had their arch rivals to thank for a trade that helped make it possible.
The question is, will any of the players Colorado received from Cleveland - Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joseph Gardner and Matt McBride – produce like Lou Brock? Drew Pomeranz looks like the best of the bunch, but he cannot even be officially traded to Colorado until August 15, nor is he expected to join the big league club when he makes the move. In other words, he could turn out to be the focal point of the deal, but he is unlikely to make Cleveland pay the same season the Indians traded him.
But is helpful to remember that history may not call this the "Ubaldo Jimenez Trade". Our children may think of it instead as "The Alex White Trade". After all, that's how it happened when the Jimenez-like trade target was… separated at birth.