McGwire was almost a Padre
It’s true. Seriously.
While talking to general manager Kevin Towers about his contract extension through 2010, we got to talking about his first big trade: Picking up Wally Joyner from the Royals for Bip Roberts.
Good stuff, until Towers mentioned that, less than two months on the job in 1995, he and Alderson nearly agreed to a deal that would have sent McGwire, then 31, to the Padres for five players.
The deal might have happened Towers said but Alderson insisted on a sixth player and the trade fell through. "Talks broke off," Towers said.
In 1997, McGwire was finally traded to the Cardinals, where he proceeded to hit balls to the moon, and all points beyond, including that 70 home run season in 1998.
Granted, the Padres would have had to part with several key players to land McGwire — Towers was not sure of the names Wednesday — and it could be argued that some of those players likely helped the Padres to the World Series in 1998.
It’s safe to say the deal wasn’t McGwire for Ray Holbert, Scott Sanders and Melvin Nieves deal. Towers is good, but …
Still, it’s fun to think what McGwire hitting in the middle of the lineup would have meant to that team that lost to the Yankees.