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Mariners Traded: Mark Langston, Mike Campbell
Expos Traded: Randy Johnson, Gene Harris, Brian Holman
Date: May 25, 1989
The Expos jettisoned Pedro Martinez, Cliff Lee and Randy Johnson (three of the best pitchers of the modern era) in three separate short-sighted deals. However, it’s this deal that stings the most.
Johnson was very raw in 1989. He could throw as hard as anybody in the game, but his 1.00 SO/BB ratio in 1989 left something to be desired. Langston was everything the Expos thought Johnson could be, so Montreal pulled the trigger on essentially a swap of left-handed starters.
Langston was great in his brief time in Montreal (12-9, 2.39 ERA, 175 strikeouts), but that performance pales in comparison to what Johnson eventually did in Seattle.
130-74, 3.42 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 2,162 strikeouts, five All-Star selections, one Cy Young
Holman and Harris were two underachieving righties who contributed little, although Holman did win 32 games in three seasons. Add that to Johnson and this becomes a truly epic haul, one that just kept on getting better for Seattle.
After 10 years the Mariners turned Johnson into Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama, three more very productive major leaguers.
In fact, this second trade might be the most lopsided in Mariners history because the Big Unit spent just two months in Houston before signing as a free agent with the Diamondbacks.