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12/7 Moves: Woodling; Jackson, Flowers, Bayless Deals & More; Bedard Inked; Cobra & Gott Go; AVS-GG; Mack to HoF

Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:01
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  • 1937 – Connie Mack was announced as a selection of the Centennial Commission to the Hall of Fame and was installed on June 12th, 1939, when the Hall officially opened. Mack’s last three seasons in the NL were as a player-manager with the Pirates from 1894 to 1896, compiling a .242 BA, close to his career average, and a 149–134 (.527) record as a field general. In 1901 he became manager, treasurer and part owner of the AL’s first-year Philadelphia Athletics franchise. He managed the A’s through the 1950 season, compiling a record of 3,582–3,814 (.484) before he retired at 87. 
Connie Mack 1905 (photo via Field of Dreams)
  • 1946 – The Indians sent OF Gene Woodling to Pittsburgh for veteran C Al Lopez. Lopez played just 61 games in 1947‚ and Woodling spent a season as a reserve, hitting .266 before the Pirates sent him to the minor league San Francisco Seals. Woodling joined the Yankees in 1949, and when he finally hung up his spikes in 1962, he had a 17 year career with three All-Star nods, five World Series rings and a lifetime .288 BA under his belt.
  • 1973 – RHP Bob Johnson was traded by the Pirates to the Cleveland Indians for OF Bill Flowers, who played prep ball in Cincinnati with Dave Parker and was drafted 13 rounds ahead of The Cobra. Johnson won three games before ending his career while Flowers never made it out of the minors. In one of those close but no cigar scenarios, it was reported that a handshake deal had been been made to get 24-year-old Cecil Cooper from the Tribe, but the deal between Boston and Cleveland that would have made that possible fell through at the last minute. 
  • 1976 – Pittsburgh traded shortstops Craig Reynolds and Jimmy Sexton to Seattle for LHP Grant Jackson. It was a win-win; the surrendered Pirates prospects had solid MLB careers while Buck was a key part of the bullpen for five years and pitched shutout ball during the 1979 postseason for the World Champion Bucs. Fun fact: this was the first trade ever made by the Pilots. 
Grant Jackson 1978 Topps
  • 1983 – After 11 years as a Pirate, OF Dave Parker ended his Pittsburgh era by signing a two year/$1.6M contract with the Reds. In Cincinnati, his hometown, he enjoyed his best season since he won the 1978 MVP with a .312 BA, 34 home runs, and 125 RBI. Parker finished second in 1985 MVP voting to Willie McGee. But the off season wasn’t all peaches and cream; he was a key witness the infamous coke trial held in Pittsburgh. The Cobra was originally suspended for a season as a regular user, but had the sentence reduced to community service and a 10% salary donation to drug treatment organizations. 
  • 1988 – CF Andy Van Slyke won his first Golden Glove from The Sporting News. He would go on to win four more in the next four years.
  • 1988 – The Twins sent pitching prospects Jeff Bumgarner, Steve Gasser and Toby Nivens to the Buccos for IF Wally Backman. It proved a quite minor deal – Wally had three seasons and 300 at-bats left to his career while none of the Minnesota gang progressed past AA ball. 
  • 1989 – RHP Jim Gott opted to fly the Bucco coop and sign with the LA Dodgers. Coming off elbow surgery, both clubs offered the reliever a base salary of $300K with incentives to hike the deal to $1M, but the Pirates bonus was based on performance (innings, saves, etc) while LA’s bonuses were tied to roster time. With an untried wing, “The Mayor” (Gott had been deeply involved with the community during his three-year stay) felt the Dodger incentives, coupled with Bill Landrum returning as the Buc closer, were more attainable. Jim needn’t have worried; he pitched five years in LA, making 272 outings before closing out his career in Pittsburgh in 1995. 
John Bayless 2007 Upper Deck
  • 2005 – The Pirates traded LHP Mark Redman to the Kansas City Royals for RHP Jonah Bayless and a minor league player, RHP Chad Blackwell. Redman had gone 5-5, 4.90 with the Bucs and was due $4.5M. He won 11 games for KC and an All-Star berth (tho he finished the year with a 5.71 ERA) and won four more games in 2007-08 to end his career. Reliever Bayless worked 50 games for the Bucs in 2006-07, going 5-4, 6.75, and never landed another MLB job. 
  • 2007 – The Pirates dealt reliever Salomon Torres to the Milwaukee Brewers for pitchers Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts. In 2006, Torres was the Pirate set-up man, appearing in a record 94 games, and was anointed closer after the year. But after blowing four saves, he was replaced by Matt Capps and dealt in the off season. Torres tossed a solid season as Milwaukee’s closer, saving 28 games, while Salas and Roberts floundered. 
  • 2011 – The Pirates signed free agent LHP Érik Bédard to a 1 year/$4.5M contract. After going 7-14/5.01, he was released in August after beginning the year as the Opening Day pitcher. 14 of his 24 starts lasted five or fewer innings. His peripherals weren’t bad, but the numbers didn’t translate into very many Bucco victories. After a quick start – he had a 3.12 ERA at the end of May – the team lost 10 of his next 14 starts. They also inked former CF’er Nate McLouth to a one-year/$1.75M deal. He lasted for 34 games, batted .175 and was released on May 31st to be claimed by Baltimore.


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