The Cardinals traded to beef up their pitching staff on this date 15 years ago, a move that would help turn the club from an also ran in the 1980s and 90s to one that missed the World Series by one game in 1996.
Todd Stottlemyre came to St. Louis from Oakland in exchange for Allen Battle, Carl Dale, Jay Witasak and Bret Wagner. He would put together a 35-29 record with a 3.77 ERA in two seasons with the Cardinals before being swapped to the Rangers with Royce Clayton for Fernando Tatis and Darren Oliver.
Stottlemyre, at 31 years old, anchored a young Cardinals pitching staff that appeared set to be a force for years to come. But Andy Benes, then 28, would be gone in two years thanks to a botched contract negotiation that saw him agree to-resign with St. Louis at the last minute only to have the contract voided when his agent sent it to the league office too late. Donovan Osborn won 13 games in 1996 but never again hit double digits. Alan Benes, Andy's 24 year old younger brother also won 13 decisions but suffered from shoulder troubles and also never won in double digits again.
Also on this date in 1996 the Cardinals signed Stottlemyre's former teammate Mike Gallego.
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