7. Kirk Rueter becomes a rotation stalwart
Date: July 30, 1996
To Giants: LHP Kirk Rueter, RHP Tim Scott
To Expos: RHP Mark Leiter
The Giants lost 94 games during the 1996 MLB season, so the deal to acquire Kirk Rueter was made from the seller’s seat.
Veteran Mark Leiter joined the then-Montreal Expos rotation for the stretch run and went 4-2 with a 4.39 ERA in 12 starts. They missed the postseason, though, finishing 88-74 and second in the NL East.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Rueter posted a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings after the trade before becoming a rotation staple for the next decade. The crafty left-hander went a combined 105-80 with a 4.32 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, while topping 180 innings seven different times and posting 12.3 WAR during his 10 seasons in San Francisco.
While he was a steady presence year-in and year-out, his best season came in 2002 when he went 14-8 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, while tossing a career-high 203.2 innings en route to 2.9 WAR.
Aside from his strong regular season numbers, Rueter also posted a solid 3.79 ERA in 40.1 postseason innings, including a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings of work in the 2001 World Series.