The Cleveland Indians send the oft-injured and recent American League All-Star pitcher Bert Blyleven back to the team that drafted him in a five-player swap with the Minnesota Twins.
The Frying Dutchman spent parts of his first seven seasons as a Twin before he was dealt to the Texas Rangers. After playing in portions of two seasons there, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was dealt to the Tribe after three years in Pennsylvania.
He went 11-7 in the strike-shortened 1981 season with a 2.88 ERA in 20 starts. Injuries deprived him of much of his 1982 (2-2, 4.87 ERA in four starts) and 1983 (7-10, 3.91 ERA in 24 starts) seasons. He bounced back in 1984, finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting after a 19-7 season with a 2.87 ERA in 245 innings. He was 9-11 for Cleveland in 23 starts in ’85 before he was dealt to Minnesota for infielder Jay Bell, pitcher Curt Wardle, outfielder Jim Weaver, and a player to be named later. The Indians will receive pitcher Rich Yett on September 17 to complete the trade.
Bell and Yett were the most valuable of the pieces acquired. Bell played three seasons in Cleveland before being dealt to Pittsburgh. Yett pitched four seasons for the Indians before returning to Minnesota in 1990. Wardle pitched in 15 games over the rest of the 1985 season and never pitched in the Majors again. Weaver never played at the MLB level for Cleveland and was released by the club following the 1986 season.