April’s opening sees a startlingly bold move by Dave Dombrowski, as the Detroit Tigers GM has traded Rick Porcello, Andy Dirks, and a player to be named later to the 1991 Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson and second-string shortstop Walt Weiss.
Porcello, 24, heads back to anchor an Athletics rotation comprised of Dave Stewart, Bob Welch, Mike Moore, and Ron Darling. Dirks will be playing left field next to Dave Henderson and Jose Canseco. The Player to be Named Later is suspected to be Double-A shortstop Dixon Machado, who is projected to crack the Oakland lineup in early 1995.
March 16, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics coach Rickey Henderson in the first inning during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
“Really, It’s a move designed to give us a every-day left fielder,” Dombrowski said. “Getting a player like Rickey really helps us to contend for a World Series this season, and having Weiss allows us a late-inning defensive replacement for Jhonny.”
In 1990, Henderson, 32, won the AL MVP when he led the league in runs, stolen bases, and on-base percentage. He also garnered an All-Star appearance and won a Silver Slugger.
“Look, this is unbelievable,” said Modern-day Henderson, “Rickey always thought Rickey could still play, and now Rickey gets to watch Rickey play every day, and probably win another MVP. Rickey likes this deal, and so does Rickey.”
For many, this seems like a win-now move for the Tigers, as they trade away several young players for the veteran outfielder. Henderson is expected to slide into leadoff in the Detroit lineup, shifting Austin Jackson into the second spot. Jim Leyland and Dombrowski had been discussing Jackson’s burgeoning power, and hope he can take advantage of an opportunity like this.
“Oh, man, just to be able to play with a player like 1991 Rickey Henderson is like a dream come true,” Jackson said. “I could care less where I bat, but now I won’t feel like I’m getting in his way on the base paths. In this lineup the dude’ll score at least 140 runs.”
Outspoken Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss caught wind of his younger self’s trade via twitter.
“Look, this is ridiculous,” Modern Weiss lamented. “How is this even possible? You can’t trade through time! I mean, yeah, I’d love to play for the Tigers, but this doesn’t make any sense.”
Sources say the paperwork is making its way around the commissioner’s office, being double-checked at every stop due to the magnitude of the trade.
“ You’ve got to be kidding me. This isn’t fantasy baseball!” former ESPN baseball announcer Joe Morgan said. “Did Billy Beane do this? Ever since he wrote ‘Moneyball’ he thinks he can do anything. I bet this is even mentioned in ‘Moneyball’! I still won’t read it, though, regardless of its views of manipulating the space/time continuum.”
Ostensibly, it’s rumored that Leyland is currently lobbying to acquire 2001 David Eckstein following this blockbuster.