Nine who got away: #8, Brook Jacoby

He’s the other guy in one of the worst trades in Braves history. Brett Butler, who won’t be included on this list because he no longer qualified as a rookie when he left Atlanta, gets all the attention, but Brook Jacoby was a solid third sacker with the Indians ¬†for much of the 1980s, a period when the Braves had Ken Oberkfell stationed at the hot corner.

Jacoby was a two-time All-Star who averaged 15 homers, 67 RBI and a .739 OPS over a 11-year career. Obie had 15 homers for the Braves in five years.

We know the Braves would’ve been better with Jacoby and Butler, but imagine how bad the Indians would’ve been without them? In 1985, for instance, Jacoby finished second on the Tribe with 20 HR and 87 RBI while Butler hit .311 with an .808 OPS and 47 SB. Cleveland’s record: 60-102 — six games worse than the Braves.

Interestingly that ’85 Cleveland team, managed by longtime Braves coach Pat Corrales, was full of players with Atlanta connections. Jacoby and Butler’s teammates included Jerry Willard, Julio Franco, Otis Nixon, Jamie Easterly and another player yet to appear on our countdown of nine who got away.

More on him later.