Jeff Kent: The One That Got Away

MLBJeff Kent exceeded all expectations. Drafted by the Blue Jays, I remember his debut on April 12th, 1992, against the Baltimore Orioles. I remember how he filled in for an injured Kelly Gruber, and then we used him as trade bait to land David Cone from the New York Mets.

That trade took place on August 29, ending Jeff Kent's career with the Jays at a measly five months. We won the next two World Series, but we completely gave up on a player who would debatably become the 3rd-best offensive third baseman in the history of the game, ahead of Ryne Sandberg and Robbie Alomar and just behind Rogers Hornsby and Joe Morgan.

Yes, he was that good. He's the career home-run leader among second basemen with 351, 74 more than Ryne Sandberg. A five-time All-Star and the 2000 NL MVP, Kent had a .290 career batting average, 377 homers, 1,518 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage.

Jeff Kent could have been ours, but we were living for he moment back in '92. Instead, we all had to watch his awesome 17 season career from afar. Today, he announced his retirement.

With Sandberg in the Hall of Fame, shouldn't Kent follow? I say yes.


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Comments (16 - click here to join in!)

Buffalo Boy Mike

Kent should go in but he won't be the next 2nd baseman in, that will be Robbie Alomar.
You could say that about a lot of former Jays, look at Cris Carpenter we could have had him in his prime, instead we thought we had better and let him go before he even had a chance.
Mike Timlin could have stayed and provided years of a quality set up man out of the pen.
Woody Williams had a few good years after leaving us.
KElvim Escobar is still a very strong starting pitcher.
Brandon Lyon is a quality reliever.
There were so many guys we just let go becuase we wanted to hang onto a lot of the guys that got us there after 93 that we didn't think of the future.

January 21, 2009 @ 4:02 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

Hell, Al Leiter we could have kept around after he left he was a solid lefty.
David Weathers....solid reliever still around

Derek Bell left and had some really solid seasons with the Astros i believe....
We had a few more runs had the right guys been kept and allowed to play.

January 21, 2009 @ 4:04 PM

Toronto Mike

BBM, those are some nice names you're tossing around, but name another Jay traded as a rookie with a shot at the Hall of Fame.

There's only one.

January 21, 2009 @ 4:08 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

Ill give you another, Casey Blake was drafted and signed in 1996 by the Jays and he got away. Imagine how set we would have been at 3rd base for the last 10 years with him?

January 21, 2009 @ 4:12 PM

Toronto Mike

And as far as Alomar is concerned, I agree he's the next Jay in the hall.

http://www.torontomike.com/2005/01/good_news_for_robbie.html

January 21, 2009 @ 5:53 PM

elvis

Kent was a nice player but he's also in the Jerk Hall of Fame.

January 21, 2009 @ 6:18 PM

Toronto Mike

That's okay, Barry Bonds will get in the Hall and he's the all-time best seller.

January 21, 2009 @ 6:21 PM

dale

Jerk HOF - both Barry Bonds & Rogers Clemens.
Kent was a player first couple of years that developed into 1 helluva BBall player. Great offence & good defence also.
IT's too bad Blue Jay scouts & GM's don't recognize players in their early years & wait until they developed.
The 1st 2 that they did this were with Dave Steib & John Olerud.

January 21, 2009 @ 6:33 PM

elvis

You sure about that? Both Clemens and Bonds get in but McGuire does not?

January 22, 2009 @ 9:11 AM

Toronto Mike

I think that's how this will play out. I think Bonds will get in, and Clemens too... but I think McGuire will be left on the outside looking in.

McGuire hit a lot of homers, but he was no Bonds or Rocket, and the steroids allegations should give voters the out they sorta want anyway.

January 22, 2009 @ 9:42 AM

Andrew

I don't think Alomar is a sure thing. Playing in Toronto may work against him. We shall see.

I wish Joe got in. Sure he doesn't have the numbers but he does have that dinger. I think Mike has that audio...

January 22, 2009 @ 12:22 PM


Andrew

I figured you would do that!

January 22, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

felix

Mike doesn't like to disappoint.

January 23, 2009 @ 12:02 AM

Dave

Worth it. By far.

January 24, 2009 @ 7:01 PM

Toronto Mike

We won the World Series in '92 and '93, so you really can't question any short term moves made by Pat Gillick.

It's all worth it when you win it all.

January 24, 2009 @ 8:19 PM

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