Great Moments in Padres Trade Deadline History: Fred McGriff Edition

Continuing the week’s Trade Deadline theme, I decided to go a slightly different route than Avenging Jack Murphy and Vocal Minority. They looked at completely useless Padres trade deadline acquisitions, but I want to look at what could be the worst trade deadline deal in Padres history. And — no surprise — it has to do with the 1993 “Quality for Quality” Fire Sale.

So let’s do some analysis of the trade that sent Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves for Melvin Nieves (not to be confused with Sacrifice Bunt Melvin), Vince Moore, and Donnie Elliot on July 18, 1993.

(That’s right people. It’s been 20 years. Don’t you feel old now?)

This trade happened nearly a month after the Gary Sheffield trade that was widely criticized at the time. But, once we all realized that the Padres actually scored Trevor Hoffman in that deal, most people forgot about the uproar that the 1993 Fire Sale caused. This one was much worse.

The Atlanta Braves got:


After the trade in 1993, McGriff outhit his Padres season home run total, hitting 19 with the Braves vs 18 for the Padres. He played another 11 seasons between Atlanta, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, finishing his career with 493 home runs.

The San Diego Padres got:


Nieves’ best season with the Padres was 1995. He hit 14 home runs in 98 games & 262 plate appearances. But only hit .205. He managed to somehow last 6 seasons between Atlanta, the Padres, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds.


Moore never managed to get above the AA level (Wichita in 1994 & Memphis in 1996*). He finished his career in 2004 playing for the Edinburg Roadrunners of the independent Central Baseball League.

*Memphis was a Padres affiliate? I don’t remember that at all.


Elliott pitched in 30 games in 1994, 29  in relief and 1 start. He pitched in 1 game in 1995 before he was released in October of that year. Baseball Reference list 1997 for some reason, but it says “Did Not Play.” I don’t remember if he tried to make a comeback in Spring Training that year or what.

I’m sure Geoff Young knows. That guy knows everything off the top of his head. I had to look up just about everything in this piece.


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  • I loved Fred. That’s all I’ve got.

  • Geoff Young

    I don’t know what happened in 1997, but I do know that Trevor Hoffman credits Elliott with teaching him how to throw a changeup.

  • deanna mcgriff

    That’s my cousin !!?