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Expansion Drafts

Posted by Sean Forman on April 12, 2010

This entry was posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 3:52 pm and is filed under Announcements, Draft, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Expansion Drafts”

  1. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Still one of my favorite trivia questions — name the only two players (both pitchers) to be chosen in two separate expansion drafts. Answer: Bobby Shantz and Al Fitzmorris.

    Fitzmorris is the only player drafted off the roster of the expansion team that chose him in the previous draft.

  2. Cool stuff. How come 1960 has no 61st pick? Did the Angels pass on their selection?

  3. I recall that first ever expansion pick Eli Grba was the answer to some trivia question regarding vowels and names.

  4. [...] the Baseball Reference blog, here’s a link to the 1992 expansion draft, when the Marlins and Rockies got their pick of [...]

  5. Are there any Hall of Famers on the lists? What about since-retired numbers?

  6. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Current Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm was drafted by the Royals from the White Sox and then traded to the Angels before the season began. Likely future HoFer Trevor Hoffman was drafted by the Marlins from the Reds. Hoffman appeared in 28 games for Florida in 1993. I suppose that Lou Piniella may eventually be elected to the Hall — he was drafted by the Seattle Pilots from Cleveland.

    Two players taken in the expansion draft have had their uniform numbers retired by their new clubs. Jim Umbricht (#32) was honored by the Astros in 1964, shortly after his death from cancer. The Astros also named their annual team MVP award after Umbricht. Jim Fregosi's #11 was retired by the Angels in 1998.

  7. DoubleDiamond Says:

    At least one future Hall-of-Famer was exposed to an expansion draft but not selected. The Orioles made Jim Palmer, then coming off a couple of injury-riddled years and still somewhat unproven, available for the Royals or the Pilots to pick in the 1968 expansion draft.

    I have also heard that Minnesota made Kirby Puckett and his large salary available for the Rockies and the Marlins in 1992, but I don't know this for sure.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    WOW. Never knew that about Palmer. I don't know what the protection rules were and am too lazy to check right now, but that's hard to believe.

    The Puckett item shouldn't be hard to find, if true. I certainly don't remember it (and it seems like something that would be well known). (Too lazy to check that one too, right now.)

  9. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    After each round of the 1968 expansion draft, the established teams could protect one additional player. Although there was a strict embargo on publicizing the protected lists, rumor has it that Jim Palmer was left unprotected for two rounds. Palmer's availability for part of the '68 expansion draft is one of those "common knowledge" things that will never be substantiated by written documents.

    According to this newspaper article, veterans left unprotected for the 1976 expansion draft included Paul Blair, Brooks Robinson, Dave Duncan, Ray Fosse, Lou Piniella, Bob Montgomery, and Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz, as a 10-and-5 man, could opt out of the draft by announcing he'd veto the assignment of his contract to an expansion team, so the Red Sox did not need to protect him.

    Strictly speaking, Puckett was available to the Rockies and Marlins in 1992. Puckett was granted free agency three weeks before the expansion draft. A Sporting News article written by Dave Nightingale spoke darkly of free agents' reaching tacit agreements to re-sign with their previous clubs so that the clubs could omit their names from the lists of protected players. That may have happened with Puckett, who signed a multi-year deal with Minnesota three weeks after the expansion draft. (The Twins' list of players protected from the expansion draft included only two outfielders — Shane Mack and Pedro Muñoz.) Other veterans exposed to the 1992 draft, but not selected, included Jack Morris, Kelly Gruber, George Bell, José Lind, Glenn Davis, Danny Tartabull, Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk, Charlie Leibrandt, Steve Farr, Vince Coleman, Lee Smith, Mike Lavalliere, Don Slaught, and Shawon Dunston.