Emmanuel Clase is an MLB All-Star but did you know that his arrival was made possible by Jerry Dybzinski.
A transaction tree is a connection of individual trades, across various years, that involve players that don’t directly link to one another, other than the former being traded for the latter. The Cleveland Guardians have one of the longest in known pro sports. The Guards transaction tree explains how Jerry Dybzinaki was eventually traded for Emmanuel Clase.
It started in 1983, when Cleveland Guardians prospect Jerry Dybzinski, a hometown who was born in Cleveland and played at Cleveland State, was traded to the Chicago White Sox’s Pat Tabler. Tabler, who had just finished a two-year stint with the Chicago Cubs, got dealt to the White Sox that January, and by April he was on his way to Cleveland. Dybzinski hung around the majors but never really improved. Tabler, on the other hand, was an All-Star for Cleveland in 1987.
Probably why he was traded to Kansas City in 1988 for Bud Black. Black, the current manager of the Colorado Rockies, was solid for Cleveland, throwing a sub-4.00 ERA in parts of three seasons for Cleveland. He was later traded to Toronto for Mauro Gozzo, Steve Cummings, and Alex Sanchez, though Cummings and Sanchez were players-to-be-named-later.
None of them did anything, but Sanchez was later traded for Willie Blaire, a suboptimal pitcher. I swear this is where it gets good. Blair was later traded to Houston for Kenny Lofton.
The Cleveland Guardians start paying dividends off the Jerry Dybzinski trade
Kenny Lofton is an MLB legend and a Guardians icon, he doesn’t need to be revisited, but you do need to know that in 1997, he was traded to Atlanta in exchange for David Justice. It was one of the greatest trades ever, as the Guardians got to keep Justice and fellow traded asset Marquis Grissom, but also then re-signed Lofton that offseason.
Justice would later be traded to the New York Yankees that would see Ricky Ledee, Zach Day and Jake Westbrook arrive in Cleveland. Westbrook would have a good run with the Guards, pitching for them for a decade before getting sent off to St. Louis, alongside Ryan Ludwick.
The Guardians got back little-known Nick Greenwood and some minor-leaguer named Corey Kluber in the deal. Kluber would go to three All-Star games while in Cleveland, while also winning two AL Cy Young awards. He probably should’ve won a third but that’s a debate for a different day. He’d finish just shy of 100 wins while in Cleveland.
Of course, by now we are all aware of the fact that Kluber was dealt to the Texas Rangers for Clase. Clase is now an All-Star and is arguably the Guardians’ best reliever. One day he may very well be dealt and hopefully, we can continue to grow this specific transaction tree.