The Mariners selected Moore first overall in the 1981 draft, ahead of Tony Gwynn, Joe Carter, Frank Viola, and Kevin McReynolds. In 1985 Moore was 17-10 (setting the Mariners’ season record for winning percentage, .630) with a 3.46 ERA in a hitter’s park without much support. He showed flashes of brilliance in 1987 and 1988, although he went 9-19 and 9-15. On August 21, 1988 Moore struck out 16 Yankees to tie Mark Langston‘s club record for strikeouts in a game.
The defending AL champion A’s signed Moore as a free agent before the 1989 season, and he led the rotation with a 2.61 ERA while going 19-11. That July, he made the only All-Star appearance of his career. He continued to excel in the postseason, winning all three of his starts and hitting a two-run double in Game Four.
Moore took his time on the mound, but it didn’t hinder his pitching. Overshadowed by teammates Dave Stewart and Bob Welch, he averaged more than 15 wins in his next three seasons with Oakland. The club’s leader with 17 victories in 1992, Moore was tagged for six runs in less than three innings in Game Six of that season’s ALCS as the Toronto Blue Jays routed Oakland 9-2 to advance to the World Series.
That appearance proved to be Moore’s last in an A’s uniform. The veteran hurler signed with Detroit that December and posted two solid seasons in the Motor City, but collapsed in 1995. Allowing more than seven runs per nine innings, he was released in August but still tied Jason Bere and Kevin Gross for the AL lead with 15 losses at the end of the season.