Among the biggest deals to occur on Friday’s trade deadline festival of parts swappery, The Twins sent Jose Berrios to Toronto, in exchange for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson. But you knew that.
Do you know the rest of the story?
Well, its not a very long or detailed story. There is one big trade—which worked out great for the Twins—and a few smaller moves.
None of these moves happened though, until the Twins were old enough to vote, in 1979. That makes sense, of course, because the Blue Jays didn’t exist until 1977. Just two years into their baseballship, a very boring first transaction occurred. Part time DH and first baseman Craig Kusick’s contract was purchased from the Twins by Toronto. The end. Of course, it was very near the end of Kusick’s career as well.
The second transaction between the two was the infamous Hosken Powell trade of 1981. Okay, I literally might be only aware of Powell because of the old Hosken Powell Memorial Linkdumps that once ran on this site. Another part-time player for the Twins, he saw another good year in 1982, and then fell off the table. In return, the Twins got a player to be named later, which turned into Greg Wells. Wells was an even less productive player than Powell.
A year later, the Twins traded pitcher Don Cooper to the Blue Jays for third baseman David Baker. Baker never appeared in the majors again, while Cooper may as well not have, pitching a total of 15 innings for two different teams, and having a lousy ERA in both places.
After a hiatus, the Twins and Blue Jays finally danced the dance of a major trade in 1990. Veteran journeyman pitcher John Candelaria was sent to Toronto in the middle of his only season in Minnesota. In return the Twins got infielder Nathan Liriano, who was gone after the season, but has a name that will bring a smile to the face of any mid-00s Twins fan; and outfielder Pedro Munoz, who would play a bit part on the 1991 World Championship team, and spend a few years as a regular in the early 90s.
The next trade between the two teams was again only notable for breaking a ten-year trade drought. Both players from the 2000 trade failed to ever appear with their new club, or any club, in the majors afterward.
But this sets the stage for the big one. 2003. You know what is coming, probably. The young, fun, ascendant Gardy Twins sent Bobby Kielty, at the time in his third season, to Toronto, and got back Shannon Stewart. Stewart would become a key piece of the Twins success through the next few season, and his leadership cannot be overlooked. The Twins also got Dave Gassner, who started two games in the mound in 2005, as the player to be named later.
Finally, the Blue Jays purchased the contracts of pitchers Mike Venfro in 2007 and Nick Tepesch in 2017. That is the entire history of transactions between the two teams. It looks like this year’s blockbuster is already the biggest in history—and thats without seeing how the respective careers unfold.