Watson: Talking trades: Royals acquire Lonnie Smith, win World Series

From SABR member Darin Watson at U.L.’s Toothpick on May 16, 2019:

St. Louis left fielder Lonnie Smith wasn’t struggling to the extent the three Royals players were, but he was not living up to expectations. Following his sterling 1982 season and a very good 1983 season (despite missing a month or so as he went to rehab for his drug addiction), Smith had struggled through a subpar 1984. Off-the-field issues such as family illnesses and deaths, plus the temptations every recovering addict must suffer in trying times, had affected him. The Cardinals had openly talked about trading him in the offseason, and they were ready to feature top prospect Vince Coleman next to star center fielder Willie McGee.

The week that followed may be the one that saved the Royals’ season. They scored a run in the ninth to beat the Yankees on May 12, then won five straight after that. They would have some hard times in July, but just staying in the race in mid-May kept hope alive. The same day the winning streak reached six, a trade became official: the Royals had acquired Smith for minor league outfielder John Morris.

Read the full article here: https://ulstoothpick.com/2019/05/16/talking-trades-royals-acquire-lonnie-smith-win-world-series/

Originally published: May 22, 2019. Last Updated: May 22, 2019.