On August 12, 1987, the Detroit Tigers were looking for some pitching help as they entered the stretch drive in a battle with the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL east crown. They got it. The Atlanta Braves shipped 36-year old Doyle Alexander to Detroit in exchange for 20-year old John Smoltz.
Alexander paid off to the tune of 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA as the Tigers won the division by two games over the Blue Jays. Unfortunately for Detroit, they fell 4-games-to-1 to the Twins in the ALCS. Alexander pitched two more years for the Tigers, going 14-11 and 6-18 with the team missing the playoffs both years.
Meanwhile, Smoltz was getting off to a career in Atlanta that would see him win a couple of hundred games, a Cy Young award and a World Series title.