On July 31, 1989, the Minnesota Twins did something unprecedented at the trade deadline – they traded Frank Viola, the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League. Viola went to the Mets, in exchange for Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, and David West, along with a player to be named later, Jack Savage.
While Drummond and Savage ultimately amounted to little at the Major League level – both were out of the Majors for good by 1990 – Augilera, Tapani, and West were all part of the Twins’ 1991 World Series team, with Aguilera earning his second World Series ring and the first of three All-Star selections that year, while Tapani earned some Cy Young consideration of his own as a starter, finishing seventh in voting for the AL Cy Young in ’91. Aguilera was a fixture in the Twins bullpen for 11 years; Tapani stayed for seven years before being traded to the Dodgers in 1995, later moving on to the White Sox and Cubs; West stayed for four years before moving to Philadelphia via free agency in 1993, then joining the Red Sox in 1998 for his final season.
Mick Gillispie told the story of the trade during the sixth inning of Tennessee’s game with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Thursday.