Astros History: The Summer Of '98

SEATTLE - APRIL 12: Former Mariners star Randy Johnson walks on to the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Mariners' home opener against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on April 12, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Athletics defeated the Mariners 4-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

With one trade in the books for the Houston Astros lets look at the results of one of the most exciting trades in Astros history. In advance of game 84 on the season we'll take a look at the 84.1 innings Randy Johnson pitched for the Astros.

I can remember hearing about the trade from my Grandfather who wasn't actually an Astros fan but knew I was. My Uncle lived in Houston for a time and we all enjoyed watch Charles Barkley (my Grandmother's favorite player) playing for the Rockets so when something big happened in Houston sports it spread quickly through the family tree.

This was a time before MLB.TV so I never got to actually see Randy Johnson pitch for the Astros during the regular season, due to me being in Minnesota at the time. Never the less I always had my eye on the box score in the daily newspaper and I vaguely remember watching, what would be a very disappointing playoff appearance.

On July 31, 1998, the Houston Astros traded Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and eventually John Halama to the Seattle Mariners for 84.1 innings of Randy Johnson. All three would spend at least nine years in the big leagues as an average to above average player.

The Astros got 11 starts, 116 strikeoutts, a 1.28 ERA, a 322 ERA+, and a 4.2 rWAR. Despite taking two loses, in the playoffs Johnson was not the reason the Astros lost the 1998 NLDS to the San Diego Padres. In two games he posted a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings, striking out 17 batters.

Resigning Johnson would of eased the blow of giving up three good Major League players. Johnson, at the age of 35, had other ideas and decided to check out Arizona before he retired.

The Astros did get compensation for losing Johnson in free agency, unfortunately, Mike Rosamond and Jay Perez aren't household names. Here's to be the 1998 Seattle Mariners.

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