Pittsburgh Pirates Backed Out of Trade To Send Bonds To Braves

Published on April 2nd, 2024 5:48 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The ultimate what-if trade.  Barry Bonds to Atlanta Braves. In 1992, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves agreed on a trade to send Barry Bonds to the Braves.

In return, the Pirates would have received Alejandro Pena and prospect Keith Mitchell.

After initially agreeing to the trade, the Pirates backed out and the deal fell apart.


The Atlanta Braves of the 1990s were an EXTREMELY good baseball team that underperformed in the World Series.

The question naturally becomes - how many more titles would they have won with Barry Bonds in their lineup?

At the time, Barry Bonds was just 28 years old and entering his prime.

In fact, after the trade fell apart, Bonds would go on to win the NL MVP award a staggering six more times after initially winning it in 1990.

What would have a consistently great player like Barry Bonds, who was regularly hitting 30-40+ home runs a year and 100+ RBIs, have done to an already great Atlanta lineup?

In short - the team would have been nearly unbeatable.

Consider their 1992 lineup, which already featured the likes of David Justice, Deion Sanders, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

The line-ups after 1992 would have been even better, as the pitching staff included Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.

Teams would have had absolute fits dealing with a powerful Atlanta lineup of sluggers, which would have included a 27 year-old David Justice (who hit 40 home runs and 120 RBIs in 1993), Ron Gant (36 home runs and 117 RBIs), Terry Pendleton (17 home runs, 84 RBIs) and Fred McGriff (19 home runs, 55 RBIs in 68 games).

On top of all of that, you are going to add a likely 40 home runs and 100-120 RBIs from Barry Bonds, along with his gold glove defense?

That would have been one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball. After all, the Braves were already a 104 win team in 1993 without Barry Bonds in the lineup.

The core of this team would have all been in their late 20s, setting up for an absolutely epic run throughout the rest of the 1990s.


The 1990s Atlanta Braves were ridiculously good, but the addition of Barry Bonds to their lineup would have almost been unfair.

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