On November 5, 1976, Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley, apparently getting near the end of his arsenal of unconventional moves, reached deep down into his bag of tricks and made a trade for a veteran catcher. Finley got Manny Sanguillen from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Chuck Tanner.
Yes, the Chuck Tanner who MANAGED the A’s to a second-place (87-74) finish that year.
Finley also saw fit to throw in $100,000 in cash. A “player-for-manager” swap was another in a series of questionable moves that Finley made in the wake of his club’s dominance from 1971-1975. After winning five straight division titles with three straight World Series championships, Finley got serious about the old saying regarding dynasties, “Break up the A’s.” And this move was the capper after letting Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Sal Bando and many others move on to other clubs.
Sanguillen played 152 games for the A’s in 1977, batting .275 while Oakland went 63-98 and finished in seventh place. It was one-and-done for Manny in Oakland as he was shipped back to the Pirates in April of 1978.
Tanner got over being sent away after a winning season in Oakland. He guided the Pirates to two second place finishes before winning the 1979 World Series.
And he got some help in the Fall Classic from Sanguillen, who came off the bench in the ninth inning of Game 2 to deliver a game-winning RBI single.