May 12th, 2000
Tampa Bay Devil Rays acquire LHP Mark Guthrie from the Chicago Cubs for OF Dave Martinez
Just a month into the 2000 season, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays kicked off the trading season as they sent veteran slap-hitting outfielder Dave Martinez to the Chicago Cubs for left-handed pitcher Mark Guthrie.
Martinez had come to the Devil Rays originally as a free agent prior to their inaugural season in 1998, after having already spent 12 years in the majors with a myriad of teams. He achieved the honor of Tampa’s first hit, with a soft ground ball single that caromed off the first base bag and into the outfield.
He mainly served as the team’s starting right fielder, barely performing at an above-replacement level until the team decided to trade him.
Mark Guthrie, a former starting pitcher who had been converted to relief following his sophomore season, had been in the majors for awhile as well. He had a few fantastic years as well as a few...not quite so fantastic years. The Cubs had just acquired him the past August from the Boston Red Sox.
These two journeyman players, who had both been in the majors for over a decade played with so many different organizations, both spent very little time with their new organizations.
Guthrie immediately joined the Rays bullpen and pitched in 34 games for them. This was rather impressive, considering he’d only spend 71 games with the organization. The Devil Rays trade Guthrie at the deadline, along with starting pitcher Steve Trachsel, to the Toronto Blue Jays for prospect Brent Abernathy.
Guthrie managed to spend the rest of the season with Toronto, putting up mediocre middle relief numbers out of their pen before moving on to the Oakland Athletics for the 2001 season. After a decent showing, Guthrie would be traded again, this time to the New York Mets to acquire first baseman David Justice. Guthrie would put up a solid showing, then retired following a 2003 reunion with the Chicago Cubs.
Martinez spent less than a month with the Cubs, playing in 18 lackluster games for the north siders before being flipped to the Texas Rangers for outfielder, Brant Brown, whom the Rangers had just acquired earlier that day from the Florida Marlins.
With the Rangers, Martinez again enjoyed a short stay. This time, he enjoyed slightly more success, but would still be traded after 38 games, as the Rangers dealt him back to the American League East on August 3rd, with the Toronto Blue Jays acquiring him for Peter Munro. Martinez played with his fourth team of the season as he joined Toronto, and he went on to put up his best performance of the season down the stretch, as he slashed .311/.393/.411 over his final 47 games of 2000.
He would leave as a free agent following the season, and he signed with the Atlanta Braves. After a decent showing in 2001, Martinez suffered a knee injury that would take away his 2002 campaign, and he would ultimately retire following the season.