A pair of interesting trades went down on August 25th in years past. One year ago, the Red Sox acquired reliever Billy Wagner from the Mets for a pair of players to be named later (Chris Carter and Eddie Lora). And two years ago today, the Blue Jays completed their earlier Jose Bautista trade by sending catcher Robinzon Diaz to the Pirates.
Last year Wagner was coming back from Tommy John surgery with the Mets; he'd tossed nine pro innings on the season before Boston made the deal. The Red Sox picked up the remainder of Wagner's $10.5MM salary, so the Mets saved more than $2.2MM. Wagner waived his no-trade clause, but only if the Red Sox agreed not to pick up his 2010 club option. They did, however, offer arbitration to the Type A free agent. The Sox drafted Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz with the #20 and 36 picks this year as compensation when Wagner signed with the Braves. Wagner pitched well in 13.6 regular season innings for the Red Sox. Beyond the cost savings with Wagner, the Mets have gotten some use out of Carter.
When the Jays acquired Bautista from the Pirates two years ago, it wasn't a deal of much consequence. He wasn't particularly good that year, and was widely considered a non-tender candidate after the '08 and '09 seasons. The Pirates seemingly were clearing third base for new acquisition Andy LaRoche. This year, Bautista posted one of the most surprising 40 home run seasons in recent memory and could hit 50 by year's end. There will be no non-tender rumors this winter. Diaz seemed like a decent return for Bautista at the time, but the Pirates cut him loose in November of last year. Former GM J.P. Ricciardi deserves credit; check out this passage from a CBC Sports article from September of 2008:
Following the Blue Jays' thrilling come-from-behind 8-7 win over Baltimore on Wednesday night, a fan phoned a Toronto sports radio station and criticized J.P. Ricciardi for dealing catching prospect Robinson Diaz to Pittsburgh. The general manager, who was taking calls, defended the move, saying there were players in the team's minor-league system who had developed quicker than Diaz. He also said infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista, the player Toronto received in the trade, would be a valuable part of the team in 2009 and 2010.