In December 1990, the San Diego Padres traded away both Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter only to see them go onto have Hall of Fame careers.
The San Diego Padres seem to have an extensive history of giving up on players too soon. It seemed like every time a player was traded from the Friars; he was seen making history on another team. And it was no different for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.
Alomar signed with the Padres before the 1985 season at the age of 17 and made his major league debut in April 1988. He logged a major league-leading 702 plate appearances during the 1989 season and earned his first All-Star selection the following year.
He was flashy, defensively, at second base but was traded along with Carter to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. Carter was selected with the second overall pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 1981 MLB Draft.
He made his major league debut in 1983 but was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Carter emerged as a superstar over the next six seasons, slashing a combined .269/.309/.475 with 151 home runs and 530 runs driven in.
Before the 1990 season, the Padres acquired him, and he slashed .232/.290/.391 with 24 home runs and 115 RBI while playing in all 162 games. As noted, he was dealt to the Blue Jays after the season, which began a string of four-of-five All-Star selections.
Carter was immortalized in Blue Jays history, smacking series-ending three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth of the 1993 World Series. It was the Blue Jays – and Carter’s – second straight Fall Classic title, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Including his one year in San Diego, Alomar earned 12 straight All-Star selections while playing for the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Indians. He won ten Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards, and his number 12 jersey was retired by the Blue Jays. Alomar was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 with a 90.0% vote.
As far as the return, Fred McGriff spent just two and half seasons in San Diego, but he earned his first All-Star selection in 1992, which saw him slash .286/.394/.556 with a major league-leading 35 home runs and driving in 104 runs.
During the 1993 season, he was a casualty to a rebuilding Padres team and was traded to the Atlanta Braves, winning the World Series with them in 1995. McGriff would go onto play with the Devil Rays, Cubs, Dodgers, and another stint in Tampa Bay before calling it a career.
Fernandez was the other piece acquired in the trade, but like McGriff, his stint in San Diego would be brief. He was in town for just the 1991 and 1992 seasons, earning an All-Star selection in the latter year. After that year, he would go onto play with a plethora of teams, while spending three stints with the Blue Jays.