Today’s Random Player From The Baseball Project That May Or May Not Amount To Anything is Doyle Alexander. Alexander was taken in the ninth round of the 1968 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After just one big league season he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles with Bob O’Brien, Sergio Robles, and Royle Stillman for Pete Reichert and Frank Robinson. To call Alexander a journeyman might be an understatement. In 18 seasons he pitched for eight different teams. In May 1983 he was released by the New York Yankees after just 28.1 innings and a 6.35 ERA. Toronto signed him in June and he promptly pitched decently (110 ERA+). In 1984 he went 17-6 and led the league in winning percentage as the Blue Jays posted their second straight winning season just eight years into existence. Then in 1985 he tossed 260 innings with a 123 ERA+ as the Jays won their first ever division title. His postseason was rough, posting an 8.71 ERA in his two starts as the Royals came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the ALCS and eventually their first World Series. After being traded to Atlanta he would once again be involved in a Blue Jays pennant race. On the morning of August 12, 1987 the Detroit Tigers were a game and a half back of the Blue Jays. The Tigers went out and acquired Alexander from the Braves. As I wrote on my old TalkBackFans blog:
Alexander pitched 11 starts for the Tigers in the last month and a half, and the Tigers won all 11 games. Alexander himself was 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA (his two no-decisions were his first start where he gave up four runs in six innings but was bailed out by the lineup, and an extra inning win over Toronto where he pitched into the 11th inning, allowing only 2 runs) and the Tigers won the division by two games. In the ALCS Alexander wasn’t as successful. In Game 1 he was touched for 6 runs in 7.1 innings, taking the loss. In the deciding Game 5 he didn’t get out of the second inning while giving up 4 runs as the Twins took the series 4-1.
That sounds fine. But like I said, the Tigers were an aging team. By 1989 they lost 103 games. They did not see the postseason again until 2006. And what they gave up for that last shot at the World Series was a young 20-year old right hander named John Smoltz. To put in a comparison on how the trade worked for the Tigers, John Smoltz accumulated 288 career Win Shares, virtually all of them with the Braves. The Tigers got 29 Win Shares in three seasons from Doyle Alexander. While not the most lopsided trade in history (Jeff Bagwell beat out Larry Andersen 387-3 for example), it was one of the Tigers worse moves. Yes, Alexander pitched well down the stretch in ’87, but Braves got the longer term success.


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