Montreal Expos

Pedro Martinez tweets his thanks for the trade that brought him to the Red Sox - 22 years ago today

Pedro Martinez tweets his thanks for the trade that brought him to the Red Sox - 22 years ago today

Twenty-two years ago, the Red Sox were coming off a disappointing season where they were an AL East also-ran and big offseason moves were being contemplated for the franchise.

Sound familiar?

Only general manager Dan Duquette, whose team had finished 78-84 and in fourth place in the division, wasn't looking to shed payroll, but add to either the bullpen or starting rotation.

They chose to target the rotation and specifically, to go after the Montreal Expos' Cy Young Award-winning, 26-year-old ace in a trade - rather than deal for Marlins closer Robb Nen, who had just helped that franchise win its first World Series. 

The result was a franchise-altering trade for Pedro Martinez, who tweeted his thanks for the move Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the deal - some would say "steal" - that brought him to Boston.

The Sox traded pitching prospect Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to the Expos for Martinez, then signed him to a six-year, $75 million contract. Duquette had traded for Martinez once before, four years earlier, when, as GM of the Expos, he acquired Martinez from the Dodgers.

Martinez, of course, would go on to go 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA in seven seasons in Boston, some of which were the most dominant ever for a pitcher. His final season culminated with the first Red Sox World Series title since 1918.

So, all new Red Sox baseball boss Chaim Bloom has to do is pull off a deal like that. Simple, right?

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How a MLB utility man changed the future of the NFL, Patriots and Tom Brady

How a MLB utility man changed the future of the NFL, Patriots and Tom Brady

F.P. Santangelo was a career .245 hitter who totaled 21 homers in his seven seasons playing mostly outfield and a little infield with four major league teams.

But he changed the fortunes of the NFL, the New England Patriots and a certain 18th-round Montreal Expos’ draft pick from Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., forever. 

Brady’s baseball days as a catcher at Serra are well-documented. MMQB takes another spin through it in a story that recalls Brady visiting both the Kingdome in Seattle and Candlestick Park in San Francisco for baseball workouts while he was being scouted. 

Santangelo, now a broadcaster for the Washington Nationals, was then a 27-year-old outfielder who was assigned to be the 17-year-old Brady’s chaperone for his day at Candlestick before the Expos played a game there. 

In the clubhouse, Santangelo and other Expos were talking to the catching prospect about the other sport he played.

“We were telling him. ‘Why would you make $800 a month in the minor leagues when you can be the quarterback at the University of Michigan?" Santangelo told MMQB. "You’re a good-looking guy, you can probably have a lot of fun off the field, too.’

“We told him: ‘Go play football at Michigan! Are you kidding me?’”

The rest, of course, is football history. Goodbye, 507th overall pick in the MLB draft. Hello, 199th pick in the NFL draft.

The last quote in the MMQB story is from Expos scout John Hughes, who recalled what he told his friends years later as he watched a Super Bowl.

“If I could’ve signed this guy, I would’ve changed the entire history of the NFL,” Hughes said. “The NFL would’ve never been the same. Who would’ve known?”