Today in Tribe History: March 30, 1978
Fresh off of his first career All-Star season and a no-hitter on May 30, 1977 (the 200th in MLB history), the Cleveland Indians trade pitcher Dennis Eckersley and catcher Fred Kendall to the Boston Red Sox for pitchers Rick Wise and Mike Paxton, catcher Bo Diaz, and utility player Ted Cox.
The trade between the two clubs had been rumored throughout the offseason and came to fruition in the days before the start of the season. The 23-year-old Eckersley will develop into a solid starter for the Sox, winning 20 games in 1978 and making another All-Star trip in 1982. He will eventually make his way into relief work and become one of the best closers in the game, making four All-Star teams with Oakland between 1988 and 1992. Kendall, after just one season in Cleveland, will play just 20 games with the Red Sox. He will wrap up his Major League career with a pair of seasons with the Padres in his return to San Diego.
Paxton will spend parts of three seasons on the mound for the Tribe, posting a 20-19 record with a 4.97 ERA, primarily as a starter. Wise, a two-time All-Star in the National League and 32 years old at the time of the deal, will lose a league-high 19 games in his first of two seasons in Cleveland before spending parts of three seasons in San Diego to conclude his career. The inexperienced Diaz will work sparingly in four seasons as the Indians backstop, making an All-Star trip in 1981, and later a second with the Cincinnati Reds in 1987. Cox plays two seasons in Cleveland as a utility guy, working in 160 games there before spending a season in Seattle and another in Toronto, never developing into the .300 hitter that the club hoped to have gotten in the swap.