Tomasik: Why the Cardinals traded Willie McGee to the A’s

From SABR member Mark Tomasik at RetroSimba on August 27, 2015:

Unwilling to reward him sufficiently for being one of their key players of the 1980s, the Cardinals were prepared to let Willie McGee depart as a free agent after the 1990 season. Then the Athletics unexpectedly found themselves in need of a center fielder and suddenly the Cardinals were in position to deal.

Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 29, 1990, the Cardinals traded McGee to the Athletics for outfielder Felix Jose, third baseman Stan Royer and minor-league pitcher Daryl Green.

The Cardinals had been resigned to receiving only a compensation pick in the amateur draft if, as expected, McGee had become a free agent and signed with another club.

General manager Dal Maxvill was delighted when his counterpart, Sandy Alderson of the Athletics, called and expressed interest in trading for McGee. Because McGee figured to become available as a free agent, Maxvill said he hadn’t been receiving attractive trade offers for him.

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Originally published: August 27, 2015. Last Updated: August 27, 2015.