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The Padres traded a player for a treadmill 19 years ago

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Today marks the 19-year anniversary of one of the more bizarre trades in major league history. On January 22, 1997, the Padres traded catcher Sean Mulligan to the Cleveland Indians for $75,000 and a treadmill. A used treadmill, at that.

As was related in the post linked above, the Padres' general manager at the time, Kevin Towers, had already met his budget for the 1997 season. The club was so strapped for cash that Towers had to get inventive just to be able to afford new workout equipment. That's right; that's the entire reason the deal was made. In addition to getting a new-to-them treadmill, the team spent all $75,000 on weights.

Mulligan, whose entire major league action consisted of being called back from the on-deck circle in one game, and grounding out on the first pitch in another the year before, lasted just two games in the Cleveland organization, going 3-for-7 with AA Akron before losing his season to injury. From there he played in Mexico and a couple of independent leagues in the United States before returning to affiliated ball for 13 games split between AA and AAA in the Baltimore chain in 2001, then wrapping up his career in Italy in 2002.

The treadmill didn't last that long; Towers later stated that it was "hexed".