But let’s get the ugly out first: Sosa went on to earn 58.8 WAR with the Cubs, including an astounding 10.3 WAR season in 2001. He had seven top-10 MVP finishes — including winning the MVP in 1998 — and nine top-20 finishes overall. Now matter how we want to clown Sosa — and to be sure, he’s clownable — this was an atrocious trade.
In fact, by virtue of Bell being a negative-WAR player with the White Sox (yes, that’s right, two seasons totaling 38 homers and 176 RBIs don’t matter all that much when you’re a DH expected to do so, thus Bell’s career South Side WAR was -2.7, including a horrifying -2.5 in 1993), it would have been a bad trade if only Patterson (-0.6 WAR in his only Cubs season, 1992) was dealt for Bell.
In fact, part of the reason the White Sox had such sunny prospects for the ill-fated 1994 postseason was turning Bell’s -2.5 WAR at DH in 1993 into Julio Franco’s 3.0 WAR as DH in just 112 games in 1994.
But Bell had a solid pre-White Sox/Cubs career in Toronto, winning a gift MVP in 1987 (just 5.0 WAR, his best season, but ... 5.0 WAR MVP!) and had eight 20-homer seasons (including 1992 with the White Sox).
On this day in 1959, the man who cost the White Sox more than any other trade in their long history was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.