Today in Tribe History: March 31, 1993

The Cleveland Indians acquire pitcher Mark Clark and minor league infielder Juan Andujar from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Mark Whiten.

The Indians were in a desperate place with a tragically depleted pitching staff after the deaths of relievers Steve Olin and Tim Crews and the injury to starter Bob Ojeda in a boating accident less than ten days earlier.

“We didn’t want to trade one of our outfielders,” Indians general manager John Hart was quoted in the April 1, 1993, edition of The Plain Dealer. “But our pitching is so thin that if we get another hangnail, we’d be in trouble.

“We had three or four scouts looking at him. We tried to get him over the winter, but the Cardinals wouldn’t trade him. I think he’ll fit well with our present and future.”

Clark, coming off of a 3-10 season in 20 games in his second season in the Majors with the Cards in 1992, will go 27-15 for the Indians in three seasons with the club. He will be traded to the New York Mets exactly three years to the date of his original acquisition by Cleveland. Andujar spends parts of two seasons in the minors for Cleveland, never advancing above Double-A.

“Hard Hitten'” Mark Whiten, expendable with a crowded Indians outfield already consisting of Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, Glenallen Hill, and Thomas Howard, with Wayne Kirby at Triple-A, will break out for the Cardinals despite not wanting to leave. After hitting .254 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 148 games in 1992, he hit 25 homers and drove in 99 in 152 games with St. Louis in his first season with the club. He will bounce around the league, eventually returning to Cleveland for three seasons from 1998 to 2000.

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