5. Sexson to the Brewers
Like the Rincon deal, the Indians of the 1990s were loaded with talent, blocking the pathway to the majors for several players.
Wickman was a productive closer for the Tribe for three seasons, but the Brewers won the deal by acquiring Sexson. The Oregon native blasted 14 home runs after the trade, ending the season with 30 total homers.
He’d hit 45, 29 and 45 over the next three seasons, earning All-Star berths in 2002 and 2003. From Milwaukee, he moved on to Arizona, where injuries derailed his career. From there, he landed in Seattle where he got his career back on track, belting 94 homers between 1994-1997.
Giles and Sexson were part of the next wave of talent that would’ve transitioned the Indians into the early 2000s, but the front office had to make the moves to try and end the championship drought.
Sexson won’t ever be a Hall of Famer and the Tribe would’ve lost him eventually in free agency, but 306 homers and lifetime .851 OPS are great stats that Indians had to mortgage to aid bleeding bullpen.