The Cubs' Ryne Sandberg, who at week's end led the National League in homers with 21, is one of the five best players in the game. He was acquired from Philadelphia on Jan. 27, 1982, along with shortstop Larry Bowa, for infielder Ivan DeJesus. The trade ranks as one of the most lopsided of the '80s. Here are five more of the most one-sided deals of that decade:
1) The Blue Jays received first baseman Fred McGriff, outfielder Dave Collins, pitcher Mike Morgan and $400,000 from the Yankees for pitcher Dale Murray and outfielder-catcher Tom Dodd on Dec. 9, 1982.
2) The A's got reliever Dennis Eckersley and infielder Dan Rohn from the Cubs for outfielder Dave Wilder, infielder Brian Guinn and pitcher Mark Leonette on April 3, 1987.
3) The Reds obtained reliever John Franco from the : Dodgers for infielder Rafael Landestoy on May 9, 1983.
4) Montreal picked up reliever Jeff Reardon from the Mets for outfielder Ellis Valentine on May 29, 1981.
5) The Mets acquired pitchers Ron Darling and Walt Terrell from the Rangers for outfielder Lee Mazzilli on April 1, 1982.
Three years ago veteran pitcher Mike Flanagan nicknamed Rangers outfielder Ruben Sierra "Ruben Scare-ya," because he's such a devastating offensive player. However, Sierra is barely adequate defensively, he doesn't go near walls, and he doesn't like to slide or dive. He's only 24, but Texas should consider trading him. He can be a free agent after the 1992 season. Other teams have shown interest in Sierra, and the Rangers have listened. He could bring Texas two or three first-rate players, which it needs more than one top hitter....
Giants third baseman Matt Williams has developed into one of the finest all-around performers in the league. Through April of this season, he was a .208 career hitter. As of Sunday, Williams was batting .306 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs for the season. "He's a new hitter this year," says one scout. "He could be pitched to easily last year, but not this year. He's improved faster than I ever thought possible."...