What if the Dodgers never traded Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields?
On Nov. 19, 1993, 25-year-old Expos second baseman Delino DeShields was traded for 22-year-old Dodgers starting pitcher Pedro Martinez. It was lauded as a "dazzling deal" -- involving such young, untapped potential in a single one-for-one swap. DeShields went on to slash at a .241/.326/.327 rate with 114 steals for LA and have a solid career for the Cardinals, Orioles and Cubs. Martinez won 53 games and a Cy Young Award with Montreal, won two more Cy Youngs and a World Series with the Red Sox, was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year and is considered one of the best pitchers of his era.
But what if this trade NEVER happened? What if Expos GM Dan Duquette, who thought about backing out, actually did? How would their careers have changed? Would the world be different? Let's take a look ...
- The Dodgers were swept in the NLDS in back-to-back years in 1995-'96. Could a young Pedro have won at least one of the those games and maybe ptiched on short rest in another? Perhaps he could've come out of the bullpen to preserve that 2-1 lead in Game 2 against the Braves. He's good at that kind of stuff:
- Could DeShields have played for the Expos for his entire career? Would he have been the franchise leader in steals instead of Tim Raines? Maybe he never would've gone to the Orioles and been the last out of Hideo Nomo's 2001 no-hitter. Does that mean Nomo wouldn't have had a second no-hitter?
- If Pedro pitched well in the postseason for the Dodgers, they'd be hard-pressed to let him leave for the Red Sox in free agency. So would Boston have ever won a World Series in 2004? Maybe Casey Fossum or John Burkett could've carried the load? Maybe not.
- Wanting to be an Expos lifer, would DeShields refuse to move from Montreal to Washington, D.C. at the end of the 2004 season? Would he stand in Olympic Stadium in full uniform every night waiting for people to show up?
What about the rest of the world? Would there be internet? Would Ben Affleck have made "Gigli"? Would Boyz II Men really have lost out to Ace of Base for the Biilboard Song of the Year in '94?
We'll never know.