San Francisco Giants: 5 December Trades That Worked Out

By Gary Oversen
6 of 6

Jun 21, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A baseball and fielder

Giants send Kevin Mitchell and Mike Remlinger for Bill Swift, Dave Burba, and Mike Jackson

Kevin Mitchell had made his mark on the baseball world with his MVP season in 1989. But by the end of 1991, he was showing signs of fatigue on the field, as well as distractions off of it. The team figured that his value was at its peak, and thus included him in this trade.

Mike Remlinger was a left-handed pitcher who had appeared in just 8 games with the Giants up to that point. He never pitched for the Mariners’ big club, but did achieve some very good success for the Atlanta Braves in 1999 (going 10-1 out of the bullpen with a 2.37 ERA).

All three players received from the Mariners were quality contributors to the club immediately.

Mike Jackson was an everyday reliever sort of like the current reliever, George Kontos. He appeared in a league-high 81 games in 1993, with a 6-6 record and a 3.03 ERA. He saved that bullpen during a high-stress pennant chase.

Dave Burba was a quiet acquisition in the trade, but surprised everybody the following year when he went 10-3 in 1993, even spot starting 5 times. He was part of the trade, along with Darren Lewis and Mark Portugal, that brought in Deion Sanders in 1995.

(He was also the player traded later by the Cincinnati Reds to the Cleveland Indians for future Reds fan-favorite Sean Casey)

Bill Swift was one of those Giants that seemed to enjoy pitching in Candlestick. He had decent success in Seattle prior to the trade, but was working out of the bullpen in 1991. But in 1992, he was given 22 starts and ended the season with a league-leading 2.08 ERA. He then followed that up in 1993 by going 21-8 with a 2.82 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young race.

Next: Hot Stove Watch

Swift pitched one more season with the team finishing 8-7 in 17 starts in 1994, before going to Colorado as a free agent in 1995. Amazingly, he was never named to the All-Star team, but he made this trade look really good with his performance in 1993. He ended his three years 39.19 with a 2.70 ERA.