This Date In Transactions History: Graig Nettles

There are a number of reasons why a club might trade a former All-Star.  Most of the time, it has more to do with production than a player's literary work.

On this date in 1984, the Yankees completed their trade of third baseman Graig Nettles to the Padres when they chose minor leaguer Darin Cloninger as the player to be named later to go with left-hander Dennis Rasmussen.  Reportedly, George Steinbrenner secured a sneak preview of Nettles' book, "Balls", which was highly critical of the Yankees owner.  While Steinbrenner was happy to jettison the third baseman across the country, Nettles was also quite satisfied with the deal.  The veteran pushed for a trade to the Padres in the past but had his request denied.

While Nettles' book was largely responsible for the timing of the trade, the deal also made sense from a baseball standpoint.  The 39-year-old signed a two-year, $1.8MM deal in '83 but was already being moved into a timeshare at his position.  The Yankees traded for the Indians' Toby Harrah and shifted Roy Smalley from shortstop back to third base, moves that Nettles admitted made him uneasy.

Even at his advanced age, Nettles had plenty of quality baseball left.  The veteran hit .228/.329/.413 in his first year in San Diego and earned his sixth career All-Star selection in 1985.  Nettles would wrap up things up with the Montreal Expos in 1988 after 22 major league seasons.  The San Diego native hit .248/.329/.421 with 390 homers over his career.

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3 Comments on "This Date In Transactions History: Graig Nettles"

Trout Almonte
3 years 4 months ago

“When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join a circus. With the Yankees I’ve accomplished both.”
Way to tell’em Graig!

3 years 4 months ago

Nettles to me will always be the man responsible for destroying Bill Lee’s career by picking him up and throwing him down onto his pitching shoulder during a brawl when Lee wasn’t even involved in the thing at Yankee Stadium in ’76. Lee threatened to retaliate during the months he missed with his shoulder virtually destroyed.. He had won 17 games 3 straight seasons and never was the same, but never did against him.

3 years 4 months ago

Bill Lee destroyed his career himself, being always high on drugs and conducting himself like a brat, always whining and insulting everybody from taxi drivers to umpires, even his manager at the time Don Zimmer was threatened by Lee.