Say what you want about J.P. Ricciardi, he certainly made some questionable moves during his tenure as the Jays’ general manager, but the fast-talking Massachusetts native wasn’t the author of the two worst trades in franchise history. He didn’t ship Michael Young and David Cone out of Toronto for Esteban Loaiza and the equivalent of a bag of balls. No, the man behind these dubious transactions was Canadian Gord Ash.
The Young deal, in my estimation, is the worst swap in Jays’ history. I wrote a blog entry about this transaction last week: http://is.gd/dTKAX.
But for an almost equally malodorous trade, Jays fans have to go back to July 28, 1995. Well out of contention in the American League East, the Jays dealt ace David Cone to the Yankees for three right-handed pitching prospects: Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon.
Over his next six seasons with the Yankees, Cone would be selected to two all-star teams, toss a perfect game and win four World Series titles. The Jays, on the other hand, were left to scratch their heads at the performances of the trio of mound “studs” they acquired for the all-star righty. I thought it would be interesting to trace what happened to these “prospects” after they were acquired by the Jays:
Janzen would pitch in parts of two seasons with the Jays in 1996 and 1997, compiling a 6-7 record and a bloated 6.39 ERA. The Diamondbacks would select Janzen in the 1997 expansion draft, but would trade him back to the Yankees in 1998. He would toil in the minors for the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Angels, before pitching in the independent Atlantic League for the Nashua Pride. He would return to Canada to pitch for the Quebec City Capitales of the Can-Am League for 13 games in 2005, before retiring. He now serves as the pitching coach for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League.
The Salt Lake City native would hurl in the Jays’ minor league system in 1996 and 1997, but would never rise past the Double-A level, before retiring. A Google search revealed a biotechnology student at Utah State University named Jason Jarvis. There’s also a Jason Jarvis coaching a 14-and-under boys baseball squad called the Utah Havoc. I expect that is him.
Born in Quincy, Fla., the right-handed reliever would toil in the Jays system for parts of four seasons. He also pitched in the minors for the Indians and Brewers. Like Jarvis, he never made it higher than Double-A. I tried to track Gordon down through a Google search, but entering “Mike Gordon” is a lot like entering “Joe Smith.” Thousands share the same name.