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Padres traded Garry Templeton 25 years ago today

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A quarter-century has passed since the Padres cut ties with longtime shortstop and eventual team Hall-of-Famer Garry Templeton, trading him to the Mets for another struggling infielder. Templeton was in his tenth season with the club and sixteenth overall, and adjusting poorly to a bench role after losing his starting job to the newly acquired Tony Fernandez. Through 49 team games, Templeton had appeared in 32, starting only eight - all at the unfamiliar position of third base. He was hitting a paltry .193 in 59 plate appearances, with an even more appalling .203 on base percentage and a scant .298 slugging percentage while the team was treading water with a 24-25 record despite an active offseason that had raised hopes.

At the same time, in Flushing, Queens, the Mets had a veteran infielder of their own who was performing poorly in an extremely reduced role. Tim Teufel, who had been New York's right-handed-hitting half of a second base platoon since their championship season of 1986, was in a similar situation as Templeton after the Mets acquired former All-Star second baseman Tommy Herr in the offseason to share time with one-time top prospect Gregg Jefferies. Herr became the backup after Jefferies won the job outright in Spring Training, and Teufel was left to pick up what scraps of playing time he could find late in games at first and third bases. He was hitting even more poorly than Templeton, with a .118/ .167/ .206 line in a mere 36 trips to the plate.

With the Mets in need of a backup shortstop - the only infield position Teufel didn't play - and the Padres needing someone more versatile who could step in for Bip Roberts at second base and Scott Coolbaugh at third, the two were logical trade partners. Templeton waived his 10-5 veto rights, allowing the trade to go through. In the offseason he had declined a trade to Texas, but after seeing his new role and clashing with manager Greg Riddoch, he was ready to go.

Both players performed better with a change of scenery and more generous roles. Templeton hit .228/ .257/ .306 with nine doubles, a triple, and a pair of homers in 234 plate appearances in the final 80 games of his career, then retired after the season. Teufel went to the plate 363 times in 97 games the rest of the season, hitting .228/ .334/ .388 - much closer to his career line of .254/ .336/ .404 - with 16 doubles and 11 home runs. He stuck around San Diego for two more seasons, performing well as the primary backup at three positions before retiring following the 1993 season. He returned to the Mets after his playing career, first as a scout, then spending nearly a decade managing in the minors prior to securing his current position as their third base coach.