The 10 Most Influential Trades in Texas Rangers History
By Chris Giles
#4- Rafael Palmeiro acquired from Chicago Cubs (1988)
On December 5, 1988, the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs pulled off a blockbuster trade that involved nine players. Texas traded starting pitcher Paul Kilgus, infielder Curtis Wilkerson, reliever Mitch Williams, rookie pitcher Steve Wilson, and two minor leaguers for all-star outfielder Rafael Palmiero, reliever Drew Hall, and starting pitcher Jamie Moyer.
In 1989, Mitch Williams was an all-star relief pitcher for the Cubs and enjoyed eight additional years in MLB. Wilkerson played five more seasons for three different organizations. Kilgus pitched three seasons for three teams before retiring. Wilson split the next five seasons pitching for the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring.
The Rangers promptly moved Palmeiro to 1B, a position he held with the Rangers for five seasons. In 1990, Palmeiro led the AL with 191 hits. In 1991, Palmeiro represented Texas at the all-star game when he led the AL with 49 doubles. In 1993, Palmeiro hit 37 HR, added 105 RBI’s, and led the AL with 124 runs scored.
After the 1993 season, Palmeiro signed with Baltimore as a free agent. Palmeiro would return to the Rangers as a free agent in 1999 and play five more seasons with Texas. Palmeiro returned to Baltimore for the 2004 and 2005 seasons before retiring at the age of 40.
Drew Hall and Jamie Moyer had brief careers on the Rangers pitching staff. Hall retired after the 1990 season, after a brief stint in Montreal. After being released by Texas after the 1990 season, Moyer pitched 20 additional seasons in MLB. Moyer ended up winning 269 games over a 25 year MLB career.