Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families from the staff at Baseball Magazine. As you celebrate this day – however you choose to do so – I thought I’d take a look at some transactions that have occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday, that have given fans a reason to be thankful over the past few seasons. (In no particular order)
Nov. 28, 2014: Josh Donaldson traded to Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays spent their Black Friday last year, stealing Donaldson from the Athletics. While it is still unknown if the A’s got a good return or not, the Blue Jays can point to Donaldson’s 2015 AL MVP trophy as proof that they got a good deal.
Nov. 27, 2003: Theo Epstein spends Thanksgiving with Curt Schilling
Whether you believe he’s a Hall of Famer or not, no one can deny that Curt Schilling was one of the main reasons why the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, snapping their 86-year title drought.
But before that could happen, Schilling would need to waive his no-trade clause with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein flew to Arizona and spent the Thanksgiving holiday with the Schilling family. The next day, Schilling had waived his no-trade clause and he was traded to Boston.
Nov. 25, 2005: Jim Thome leaves Philadelphia
On Black Friday in 2005, with Ryan Howard ready to take over full-time duties at first base for the Philadelphia Phillies, the team traded Jim Thome to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand. The White Sox would later send Gio Gonzalez to the Phillies to complete the trade.
The White Sox had just won the World Series that October, so Thome was probably pretty excited about his new digs. He hit 42 homers in his All-Star 2006 season, but alas, a World Series title eluded him.
Aaron Rowand on the other hand, would eventually sign as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants, and win the 2010 World Series. Sorry Jim.
With other examples such as the free agent signings of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in 2014, Victor Martinez in 2010, Mike Lowell in 2007 and Carlos Lee in 2006, it’s clear that baseball does not take the holiday week off.
So, who will it be this year? We’ve already had the Braves sign Bud Norris and the Astros trade Jed Lowrie to the Athletics. You may be full of stuffing and pumpkin pie, watching football, but don’t take your eyes off the Hot Stove.
Have a safe and happy holiday.