Padres trade Gossage to Cubs
The Chicago Cubs traded future Hall of Fame closer Lee Smith to the Red Sox on Dec. 8, 1987.
Two months later, the Cubs filled their bullpen void by acquiring another future Hall of Fame reliever: Goose Gossage.
The Padres traded the 36-year-old Gossage to the Cubs on Feb. 12, 1988, along with Ray Hayward in return for Mike Brumley and Keith Moreland.
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Gossage came to San Diego following the 1983 season, signing a five-year deal as a free agent.
In 1984, Gossage’s 10 wins and 25 saves helped the Padres secure their first National League pennant.
“It’s tough to part with a pitcher like Goose, who has done an enormous amount for the Padres,” San Diego general manager Chub Feeney told the Associated Press.
At the time of the trade, Gossage ranked second on the all-time saves list with 289 and was second on the Padres career list with 83 saves, trailing only future Hall of Fame teammate Rollie Fingers on both lists.
“He can still do the job as a short man,” Cubs general manager Jim Frey told the AP following the Gossage trade. “He can help our young people who we want to bring around.”
Gossage debuted in the big leagues with the White Sox in 1972. By 1975, the fastballing right-hander was one of the early breed of dominant closers, leading the American League that year with 26 saves.
After a one-season stop in Pittsburgh in 1977 – where he struck out 151 batters in 133 innings over 72 appearances – Gossage became a free agent and signed with the Yankees.
He helped New York win the World Series in 1978 and advance to the postseason in both 1980 and 1981 before joining the Padres.
Gossage saved 13 games for the Cubs in 1988 before finishing his career with stints with the Giants, the Yankees again, the Rangers, the Athletics and the Mariners.
When he retired following the 1994 season, Gossage had totaled 124 wins and 301 saves in 1,002 appearances, earning nine All-Star game selections.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum