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Today In Brewer History: A Four-Team Trade

The Brewers were involved in a convoluted mess of a deal 28 years ago today, and you can make a solid case they came out ahead.

Jim Sundberg at a Rangers playoff game in 2010.
Jim Sundberg at a Rangers playoff game in 2010.

Three-team trades aren't that unusual around baseball, happening a couple of times annually. Every now and then, though, someone makes all the moving pieces fit into place and a four-team deal goes down. That's what happened on this day in 1985.

Here are the specifics of a four-way deal involving the Brewers, Rangers, Royals and Mets:

Brewers Get Mets Get Rangers Get Royals Get
P Danny Darwin (from TEX) P Frank Wills (from KC) C Don Slaught (from KC) C Jim Sundberg (from MIL)
P Tim Leary (from NYM)
C Bill Nance (from TEX)

Sundberg was an All Star in his only season in Milwaukee, hitting .261/.332/.399 over 110 games but never again produced at that level. You can make a case that Darwin was the best player in this deal, as he posted a 3.70 ERA over 348 innings as a Brewer in 1985 and '86 before being traded to the Astros. Leary also pitched two seasons as a Brewer before being dealt to the Dodgers.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • Brett Lawrie, the 16th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He turns 23.
  • 1975-76 Brewer Bill Sharp, who turns 63.
  • Baraboo, Wisconsin native Len Koenecke, who would have turned 109. Koenecke played three major league seasons between 1932-35 as a member of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers.

Today is also the 27th anniversary of reliever Pete Ladd signing with the Mariners as a free agent, putting a punctuation mark on his Brewer career. We covered that event in this space last year.