The White Sox and GM Roland Hemond outfoxed the Cubs by hinting through the media that they might select pitcher Fergie Jenkins after the Cubs left him unprotected in the free agent draft. Jenkins, the future Hall-of-Famer, was getting close to the magical 300-win mark in his career, and the Sox were entitled to compensation after losing outfielder Steve Kemp to the Yankees.
The Cubs were forced to trade Scott Fletcher, Dick “Dirt” Tidrow, Randy Martz and Pat Tabler to the Sox for a promise not to take Jenkins, along with pitchers Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar. The Sox then flipped Tabler to Cleveland for Jerry Dybzinski. After it was all said and done, Cubs GM Dallas Green was quoted as saying, “To say I’m relieved probably would be an understatement.”
Fletcher would be a key part of Chicago’s 1983 division champions. But his bigger impact perhaps came during his second stint with the White Sox, in 1990, for the “Doin’ the Little Things” White Sox, who shocked baseball by winning 94 games. Fletcher was a defensive rock at second base and executed small things exceptionally well — bunting, hitting behind a runner and to the opposite field, and driving in key runs. Tidrow did just about everything a relief pitcher could do in 1983, and Dybzinski stabilized a shaky infield in the early part of that same season. (Unfortunately, Dybzinski’s baserunning error in Game 4 of the ALCS is what he is best remembered for.)
The White Sox starting staff was so deep in 1983, with seven pitchers on the roster who all won at least 10 games in a major league season, that Martz never really got a chance. He only made one emergency start that year, in a game at Detroit. The other pitchers besides Martz who won at least 10 games were LaMarr Hoyt, Richard Dotson, Floyd Bannister, Britt Burns, Jerry Koosman and Steve Mura.
In the end, Trout provided several strong starting years for the Cubs, offsetting the great value Fletcher brought with him to the White Sox. But there hasn’t been a weirder — or more panicked — trade between Chicago clubs than this one.
And one year later, Hemond successfully plucked an unprotected future Hall-of-Famer through the compensation draft: Tom Seaver.
One of many flash points of the coming Rick Hahn rebuild, Néctor Noesí, was born in Esperanza, Valverde in the Dominican Republic.
Noesí came to the pitching-poor White Sox off of waivers from the Texas on April 25, 2014 — already his third team of the young MLB season. Oddly, the White Sox had just seen him the previous April 20, crushing him for seven earned runs in the ninth inning of a blowout over the Rangers.
Nonetheless, the White Sox plugged him into the next night’s game, on April 26. His next appearance was a start, and he logged 26 more to finish the season as a relative standout, with 0.9 WAR, 4.39 ERA, and 85 ERA+. Perhaps the most impressive about his 2014 was that despite his 8-11 record, the 73-89 White Sox went 14-14 in games he pitched.
Here’s some crazy trivia. Noesí brought an 11-game losing streak to Chicago with him and added three more losses before snapping it with a win on June 3, 2014. To end his White Sox career, Noesí dropped his final three starts of 2014 and then went 0-4 during the 2015 season in Chicago; the White Sox lost all 10 of the games he appeared in, making the club 0-13 in all Noesí games to end his time with the team. In that stretch, Noesí carried an 0-7 record and 6.31 ERA in that losing stretch.
Noesí went to the KBO in South Korea from 2016-18 and turned his losing ways around, going 46-20 in that time. However, when he got a final look in the majors with Miami in 2019, naturally he went 0-3, with the Marlins going 2-10 in the games he pitched.
All in all, Noesí finished his major league career 0-10, with his teams going 2-23 in that time.