On this date in 1993, the Los Angeles Dodgers trade Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expos in exchange for second baseman Delino Deshields.
Martinez was signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1988. His brother Ramon quickly became a star in the Dodgers' rotation and would also be the first one to say that Pedro was an even better starting pitcher than he was. Manager Tommy Lasorda used the younger Martinez as a relief pitcher, claiming that he was too small to be able to handle the workload of a starter. Martinez was even threatened with a $500 dollar fine if he was caught running in the minor leagues. Pedro would go 10-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 115 innings pitched for the Dodgers in 1992 and 1993, starting just three of the 67 games he pitched in and was used predominantly as a setup man.
With the Dodgers in desperate need of a second baseman, they would send Martinez to Montreal in return for Delino Deshields. Deshields would steal 114 bases for the Dodgers in his three seasons at Chavez Ravine while hitting (.241/.326/.327) and an OPS+ of just 79.
Martinez would be given the nickname Señor Plunk by the Montreal media for his tendency to pitch batters high and inside. During the 1994 season, Martinez hit 11 batters and was thrown out of 12 games while getting into three benches-clearing brawls.
On the pitching side of things, Martinez would work with Felipe Alou and change the grip on his primary fastball from a two-seamer to a four-seamer. It worked wonders as he would flourish in Montreal as a starter, being named to the all-star team twice and winning the National League's Cy Young award for best pitcher in 1997 after going 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts over 241 innings pitched. That season would also include Martinez completing 13 of the games he started, something that is unthinkable in the 2019 baseball world we live in. He is the only member of the Montreal Expos to win the Cy Young award. - 2 hours ago