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Today In Brewer History: Before Doug, There Was Dean

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On this day in 1951, Dean Taylor was born in Brawley, California. After four years as a minor league general manager and holding various front office jobs with the Royals, Braves and Major League Baseball, Taylor was hired to replace Sal Bando as the Brewers' GM on September 21, 1999.

After the Bando era, the Brewer organization was pretty bereft of talent. With that said, things didn't get significantly better under Taylor as the Brewers went 197-289 during his tenure and set a franchise record with 106 losses in 2002. 

Here are some of the lowlights of Taylor's run:

  • In December of 1999 he traded Jeff Cirillo and Scott Karl to the Rockies for pitchers Jimmy Haynes and Jamey Wright and catcher Henry Blanco, who combined to post 3.5 WAR over seven seasons as Brewers. Cirillo was worth 5.2 wins to the Rockies by himself in 2000-01.
  • Later in the month he traded Fernando Vina to the Cardinals for reliever Juan Acevedo (0.8 rWAR in one season as a Brewer) and two minor leaguers who never appeared in a game as Brewers.
  • The next month, he traded Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin to the White Sox for Jaime Navarro and John Snyder. I covered the outcome of that deal here.
  • The following December, he signed Jeffrey Hammonds to one of the worst free agent contracts in Brewer history.
  • In 2002, he traded Mark Loretta (who would go on to play seven more seasons, make two All Star teams and win a Silver Slugger Award) to the Astros for Wayne Franklin and Keith Ginter.
Obviously, not all of Taylor's moves were bad (he also pulled off the trade that brought Richie Sexson to Milwaukee). But most of them were, bringing about the dark days that led to Taylor's firing in 2002 and the hiring of Doug Melvin to take his place.

Since leaving the Brewers, Taylor has returned to the Royals front office as their Assistant GM and VP of Baseball Operations.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to Seattle Pilot and 1970-71 Brewer Gus Gil, who turns 72.