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Jim Fregosi has died at age 71

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Former MLB player and manager Jim Fregosi has died at the age of 71

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Fregosi has died:  Former MLB player and manager Jim Fregosi has died at the age of 71.

Fregosi, played for the Texas Rangers from 1973-77, and is primarily known by modern fans for being the player the Mets acquired in the deal that sent Nolan Ryan to the California Angels.  Fregosi, however, was an elite shortstop in his 20s...he was the path towards a Hall of Fame caliber career (he had 45.2 bWAR through age 28, including a 7.7 bWAR season and a 7.9 bWAR season) before injuries turned him into a bench player.

Jay Jaffe's JAWS system on the B-R website has Fregosi as the 21st best shortstop of all time, ahead of, among others, Luis Aparicio, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, and Phil Rizzuto.

Fregosi managed the California Angels, the Chicago White Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Toronto Blue Jays, amassing a 1028-1094 record and taking the Phillies to the 1993 World Series.