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Trade Details

Date: August 12, 1987

Atlanta Braves acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher John Smoltz


Detroit Tigers acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher Doyle Alexander

RHP John Smoltz

Smoltz spent nearly his entire MLB career (1988-2008) with the Braves. He's the franchise's all-time leader with 3,011 strikeouts.

1991 NLCS Gm7: Braves Advance on Smoltz's Shutout

In only Smoltz's fourth major league season, we was trusted with leading in some of Atlanta's most critical games. His 1991 masterpiece against the Pittsburgh Pirates—after Alexander had already retired from baseball—clinched the franchise's first World Series berth since 1958.

1996 WS Gm5: John Smoltz Strikes Out 10

Smoltz came out on the losing end of this pitcher's duel, but did everything in his power to keep the score close against the New York Yankees.

Ely Sussman
My first memory of watching Smoltz pitch. The Yankees were very lucky to escape with a road win that night. He looked (almost) untouchable.

RHP Doyle Alexander

RHP Doyle Alexander

Alexander finished the 1987 season with Detroit and stayed there through the end of his playing career in 1989.

Trade's Legacy

The Tigers took a "win-now" approach by swapping Smoltz (at the time, still a minor league prospect) for the experienced Alexander. Although the trade helped them secure a 1987 playoff berth, they would wait nearly 20 years before getting there again, while the Smoltz-led Braves emerged as the National League's most consistent team.

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