Sports Throwback Thursday: The Jeff Bagwell Trade

The Jeff Bagwell trade is one of the most blessings in disguise trades and one of the most one-sided trades in MLB history. Boston Red Sox had no idea what the future would be like when they traded away their young prospect at the time, Jeff Bagwell.

Boston Red Sox, we’re looking to get more vital for the 1990 playoffs. They felt they need an arm to help bolster their bullpen. The club decided to trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston Astros for reliever 37-year-old Larry Andersen. 

Andersen was past his prime and heading towards the end of his career. He had an average fastball but a great slider, which gravitated toward the Red Sox about him. But the honeymoon was short-lived. The trade didn’t meet Red Sox expectations. Andersen would pitch just one month for the Red Sox. As for Bagwell, his career took off in ways the Red Sox management could’ve not imagined. 

Bagwell went on to play for 15 seasons with the Houston Astros. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991, the NL MVP in 1994, and became a 4-time All-Star. He hit 449 career home runs. Bagwell became part of a deadly Astros lineup with his longtime teammate, Craig Biggio, which they were known as the “Killer B’s.” Bagwell also played with Moises Alou, Ken Caminiti, Carlos Beltran, and Lance Berkman. Houston finished first or second in the NL Central division in eleven seasons from 1994 to 2005 – making the playoffs six times during those years. Bagwell made his only World Series appearance in 2005 but lost to the Chicago White Sox.

Bagwell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. We wonder, “what if” the Red Sox never traded away Jeff Bagwell? Houston was lucky to have him in the organization for 15 years. 

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