MLB

The Best and Worst Trade in the History of Every MLB Team

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2014

The Best and Worst Trade in the History of Every MLB Team

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    As the 2014 MLB trade deadline draws ever closer, now seems like the perfect time to look back at some of the best and worst trades in the history of the game.

    Every team has some truly memorable deals that have been made in its franchise’s history, but while some give hope for a deadline jackpot, others serve as a cautionary tale.

    The game itself is so unpredictable; you never know who could turn a corner in his development and break out or fall off significantly and no longer produce as expected. That's what makes things like the trade deadline and the winter meetings such an exciting time, as you never quite know what you're going to get, even after a trade is made.

    With that said, what follows is a look at the best and the worst trades in the history of each MLB team. Obviously, we have the luxury of hindsight when assessing these moves, something the respective general managers involved were not afforded.

     

    *Note: This list covers each team's franchise history, not just team history, so deals for the Montreal Expos are included with the Washington Nationals, for example.

Arizona D'Backs (Best): Curt Schilling Acquired from Philadelphia Phillies

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Date: July 26, 2000


     
    Diamondbacks Received: SP Curt Schilling

    Curt Schilling was 5-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts following this trade, but the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to make the playoffs, finishing a distant third in the NL West.

    The deal paid off huge the following season, though, as he went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and teamed up with Randy Johnson to help lead the Diamondbacks to a World Series title.

    Schilling finished second in NL Cy Young voting to Johnson in 2001 and 2002 (23-7, 3.23 ERA) before dealing with injury in 2003. He was then traded to the Boston Red Sox prior to the 2004 season for a forgettable package of prospects.


     
    Phillies Received: SP Omar Daal, SP Nelson Figueroa, SP Vicente Padilla, 1B Travis Lee

    Travis Lee was the big piece of this deal, and he had a .775 OPS with 20 home runs and 90 RBI in his first season with the Philadelphia Phillies. He had solid numbers again the following season before leaving in free agency.

    Vicente Padilla went 49-49 with a 3.98 ERA in six seasons in Philadelphia, making the All-Star team in 2002. Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa were both out of Philly by the end of 2001.

Arizona D'Backs (Worst): Carlos Quentin Traded to Chicago White Sox

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Date: December 3, 2007

     

    Diamondbacks Received: 1B/OF Chris Carter

    A high-upside power prospect coming through the Chicago White Sox system, Chris Carter never suited up for the Diamondbacks. He was flipped again just 11 days later in the deal that would bring Dan Haren to Arizona, so his acquisition wasn't a complete loss.

     

    White Sox Received: OF Carlos Quentin

    Carlos Quentin never lived up to the hype that came with being selected with the No. 29 pick in the 2003 draft during his time in Arizona. He hit a combined .230/.316/.425 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 395 at-bats in 2006 and 2007.

    He quickly figured things out after joining the White Sox, though, posting a .965 OPS with 36 home runs and 100 RBI to finish fifth in AL MVP voting in 2008.

    He spent a total of four seasons on the South Side, posting an .857 OPS with 107 home runs and 320 RBI, before being traded to the San Diego Padres for a pair of prospects prior to the 2012 season.

Atlanta Braves (Best): John Smoltz Acquired from Detroit Tigers

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Date: August 12, 1987

     

    Braves Received: SP John Smoltz

    A 22nd-round pick in 1985, John Smoltz had done little to indicate he would turn into a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher during his time in the Detroit Tigers organization.

    At the time of the trade, he was 4-11 with a 5.73 ERA and a higher walk rate (5.7 BB/9) than strikeout rate (5.6 K/9) between Double-A and Triple-A.

    Things immediately clicked in Atlanta, and he was an NL All-Star for the first time in 1989. He spent a total of 20 seasons with the Braves, going 210-147 and adding 154 saves with a 3.26 ERA as one of the best pitchers of his generation.

     

    Tigers Received: SP Doyle Alexander

    The Tigers got exactly what they were looking for out of Doyle Alexander, as he went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 11 starts following the trade, helping Detroit reach the playoffs in the process.

    He was rocked in two postseason starts, though, and after two more subpar seasons in Detroit, he retired as a 194-game winner at the age of 38.

Atlanta Braves (Worst): Adam Wainwright Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

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    Fernando Medina/Getty Images

    Date: December 13, 2003

     

    Braves Received: RF J.D. Drew, C/OF Eli Marrero

    The Braves hit on this trade in the short term, as J.D. Drew turned in a career year, hitting .305/.436/.569 with 31 home runs and 93 RBI to finish sixth in NL MVP voting.

    Eli Marrero was also a solid pickup, hitting .320/.374/.520 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI in 250 at-bats as a bat off the bench.

    The team made the playoffs, but it was ousted in the NLDS by the Houston Astros, and both players were gone by the following season.

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Adam Wainwright, SP Jason Marquis, RP Ray King

    Jason Marquis spent three seasons as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals rotation following the trade, going 28-21 with a 3.92 ERA in his first two seasons before losing an NL-high 16 games and posting a 6.02 ERA in 2006 and leaving in free agency that offseason.

    Ray King was used early and often in his two years with the team, making 163 appearances and posting a 2.91 ERA as one of the better lefty specialists in the game.

    The real prize of this deal, though, was a local Georgia kid in Adam Wainwright, who was selected by the Braves in the first round of the 2000 draft.

    He debuted in 2005, served as the Cardinals' closer during their 2006 World Series run and has since emerged as one of the best starters in baseball with a 111-61 record and a 2.99 ERA over his nine-year big league career.

Baltimore Orioles (Best): Frank Robinson Acquired from Cincinnati Reds

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Date: December 9, 1965

     

    Orioles Received: RF Frank Robinson

    The Baltimore Orioles jumped at the chance to acquire Frank Robinson, who was still very much in the prime of his career, prior to the 1966 season, and he rewarded them with a phenomenal first season in Baltimore.

    The 30-year-old won the Triple Crown with a .316 average, 49 homers and 122 RBI, and he capped off his season with World Series MVP honors.

    He led the Orioles to three more AL pennants and another title in 1971 during his six seasons with the team, posting a .944 OPS with 179 home runs and 545 RBI to cement his place as one of the greatest hitters of all time.

     

    Reds Received: SP Milt Pappas, RP Jack Baldschun, OF Dick Simpson

    Milt Pappas went 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in his first season with the Cincinnati Reds and 30-29 with a 4.04 ERA overall in parts of three seasons with the team before he was traded to the Braves.

    Neither Jack Baldschun nor Dick Simpson did much of anything for the Reds, and they were out of Cincinnati by the end of the 1967 season.

Baltimore Orioles (Worst): Schilling/Finley/Harnisch Traded to Houston Astros

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Date: January 10, 1991

     

    Orioles Received: 1B Glenn Davis

    Looking for an upgrade at first base over Randy Milligan, who had taken over when Eddie Murray was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 1989 season, the Orioles shipped out a trio of prospects for slugger Glenn Davis.

    The 30-year-old had launched 164 home runs over the previous six seasons in Houston, tallying at least 20 long balls each year. His numbers were down a bit in 1990, but he was still productive overall, as he had an .880 OPS with 22 home runs and 64 RBI.

    The deal wound up being a disaster from the start. Davis suffered a neck injury during spring training and was limited to just 49 games during his first season in Baltimore.

    He was never the same dangerous slugger following the trade, and he retired after three seasons in Baltimore. He played a grand total of 185 games with the team, hitting .247/.312/.400 with 24 home runs and 85 RBI in 687 at-bats.

     

    Astros Received: SP Curt Schilling, CF Steve Finley, SP Pete Harnisch

    All three players that Houston received in the trade went on to be All-Stars later on in their career.

    Curt Schilling went on to be one of the best pitchers of his generation, winning 216 games and ranking 15th all time with 3,116 career strikeouts. He was also 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 career postseason starts.

    Pete Harnisch was 111-103 with a 3.89 ERA in 14 seasons, going 12-9 with a 2.70 ERA to make his lone All-Star appearance during his first season in Houston.

    Steve Finley racked up 2,548 hits, 304 home runs and five Gold Glove awards in 19 seasons. He later ended up being teammates with Schilling once again in helping the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title.

Boston Red Sox (Best): Pedro Martinez Acquired from Montreal Expos

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    David Seelig/Getty Images

    Date: November 18, 1997

     

    Red Sox Received: SP Pedro Martinez

    It was abundantly clear that the Montreal Expos were not going to be able to afford reigning Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez following the 1997 season, and the Boston Red Sox jumped at the chance to land one of the game's best arms.

    After going 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts in his final season with the Expos, Martinez went on to rattle off one of the most impressive six-year stretches in baseball history after joining the Red Sox.

    From 1998 to 2003, he went a combined 101-28 with a 2.26 ERA and 1,456 strikeouts. He won two more Cy Young awards, four ERA titles and three strikeouts titles, cementing his place as one of the all-time greats.

    He also helped the team finally break the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, his final year with the team, going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and throwing seven shutout innings in his lone World Series start.

     

    Expos Received: SP Carl Pavano, SP Tony Armas Jr.

    To be fair to the Expos, it looked like they were getting a decent return for Martinez at the time of the trade, as Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. were two of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

    Heading into the 1998 season, Pavano was ranked as the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball. Armas Jr. also cracked the top 100 at No. 90, according to Baseball America. However, neither would turn into the rotation staples they were expected to be.

    Pavano went 24-35 with a 4.83 ERA in parts of five seasons with Montreal before being shipped to the Florida Marlins in a 2002 deadline deal for outfielder Cliff Floyd. He finished his career 108-107 with a 4.39 ERA over 14 seasons.

    Armas Jr. was 48-60 with a 4.45 ERA in eight season with the Expos/Nationals, including a 12-win campaign in 2002. He finished his career 53-65 with a 4.65 ERA over 10 seasons.

Boston Red Sox (Worst): Babe Ruth Sold to New York Yankees

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 26, 1919

     

    Red Sox Received: $100,000

    Whether it was Babe Ruth asking for his salary to be doubled to $20,000 or the legendary tale of Red Sox owner Harry Frazee trying to fund the theatrical production of No, No, Nanette, for one reason or another, Ruth was put on the trade block following the 1919 season.

    The White Sox offered up $60,000 and starter "Shoeless" Joe Jackson for Ruth, but Frazee instead took the full $100,00 he was looking for and sold Ruth to the New York Yankees.

    Superstitious or not, the Red Sox would not win a title for 86 years following the trade, with the Curse of the Bambino earning its place in baseball lore.

     

    Yankees Received: RF Babe Ruth

    Not much needs to be said here.

    Ruth would go on to play 15 seasons with the Yankees, reaching uncharted territory offensively and leading the team to seven AL pennants and four World Series titles.

    He goes down as the greatest player to ever play the game, and this move was not only the worst in Red Sox history, it's also arguably the worst in the history of professional sports.

Chicago Cubs (Best): Ryne Sandberg Acquired from Philadelphia Phillies

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: January 27, 1982

     

    Cubs Received: 2B Ryne Sandberg, SS Larry Bowa

    Larry Bowa slid in to replace the departed DeJesus at shortstop, providing a veteran presence and hitting .247/.296/.308 in parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs. It was the addition of Ryne Sandberg as a throw-in piece that would make this trade legendary, though.

    The Cubs moved Sandberg off of third base, and he was the team's everyday second baseman by 1983. A year later, he was one of the best in the game and was claiming NL MVP honors while leading the Cubs to a rare postseason appearance.

    Sandberg spent a total of 15 seasons with the Cubs, hitting .284/.344/.452 with 2,386 hits, 282 home runs and 1,061 RBI while winning nine Gold Glove awards and making 10 All-Star appearances. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

     

    Phillies Received: SS Ivan DeJesus

    Originally acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rick Monday trade, Ivan DeJesus was a solid everyday guy for the Cubs in his first four years with the team, racking up a 9.4 WAR and leading the NL in runs scored in 1978 with 104.

    His final season with the team was a disaster, as he hit .194/.276/.233. The Phillies pulled the trigger on the deal anyway, viewing the 29-year-old DeJesus as a better option than extending the veteran Bowa.

    He went on to hit .249/.319/.319 with a 2.9 WAR in three seasons with the Phillies, serving as the starting shortstop on the team that won the NL pennant in 1983.

Chicago Cubs (Worst): Lou Brock Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Date: June 15, 1964

     

    Cubs Received: SP Ernie Broglio, RP Bobby Shantz, OF Doug Clemens

    Ernie Broglio was coming off of an 18-win season in 1963 and had finished third in NL Cy Young voting in 1960, when he went 21-9 with a 2.74 ERA, so there was reason to think he could be a solid pickup for the Cubs.

    However, his arm was more or less burnt out by the time this trade was made, and he was never the same pitcher in Chicago. In three seasons with the team, he went 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA before retiring at the age of 30.

    Bobby Shantz was a former All-Star and the 1952 NL MVP when he went 24-7 with a 2.48 ERA for the Philadelphia Athletics, but he was 38 years old and the 1964 season would be his last. Doug Clemens was a forgettable fourth outfielder who was traded again after just a year with the team.

     

    Cardinals Received: LF Lou Brock, SP Paul Toth, RP Jack Spring

    In two full seasons with the Cubs, Lou Brock flashed the terrific speed that would later make him a star, as he stole 40 bases and had 18 triples. However, he hit just .260/.309/.396, and that low on-base percentage coupled with a propensity to strike, out made him a less-than-ideal leadoff hitter.

    That would all change after he joined the Cardinals. He hit .348 with 12 homers, 44 RBI and 33 stolen bases in 103 games after the trade, and he only got better from there.

    He went on to spend 16 seasons in St. Louis, finishing his career with 3,023 hits and 938 steals on his way to a Hall of Fame induction.

Chicago White Sox (Best): Nellie Fox Acquired from Philadelphia Athletics

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    Associated Press

    Date: October 19, 1949

     

    White Sox Received: 2B Nellie Fox

    In three seasons with the Athletics, Nellie Fox played just 98 games and never really found a role before he was traded as a 22-year-old. 

    He was immediately plugged in as the everyday guy at second base in his first season with the White Sox, and his career took off from there.

    All told, Fox spent 14 seasons with the team, hitting .291/.349/.367 with 2,470 hits and a 46.9 WAR as one of the top second basemen of the 1950s. He was a 12-time All-Star, was the 1959 AL MVP and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997 by the Veteran's Committee.

     

    Athletics Received: C Joe Tipton

    Joe Tipton spent two-and-half seasons with the Athletics, hitting .243/.361/.363 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI over 464 at-bats.

    He was selected off of waivers by the Cleveland Indians midway through the 1952 season, where he would continue to serve as a backup. He retired after the 1954 season with 264 hits and a 4.3 WAR to his credit in seven big league seasons.

Chicago White Sox (Worst): The 'White Flag Trade' with San Francisco Giants

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: July 31, 1997

     

    White Sox Acquired: RP Keith Foulke, RP Bob Howry, SS Mike Caruso, SP Lorenzo Barcelo, RP Ken Vining, OF Brian Manning

    When a trade has its own Wikipedia page, you know it's a bad one, and this one certainly did not sit well with fans on the South Side.

    Keith Foulke and Bob Howry would go on to be solid bullpen pieces, and Mike Caruso spent two seasons as the team's starting shortstop, but that was hardly enough to justify the team's decision to sell.

    The White Sox were just 3.5 games back in the AL Central at the time of the trade, but Chicago decided to cash in its chips rather than making a push for the playoffs, and that was hard for fans to swallow.

     

    Giants Acquired: SP Wilson Alvarez, SP Danny Darwin, RP Roberto Hernandez

    Wilson Alvarez was 27 years old and the White Sox's ace at the time of the trade. Danny Darwin was in his 20th big league season but was still a viable middle-of-the-rotation arm.

    Roberto Hernandez was one of the best closers in baseball, having racked up 149 saves over the previous five seasons. He was 27-of-31 with a 2.44 ERA at the time of the trade.

    The Giants made the playoffs but were knocked out by the Florida Marlins in the NLDS. Alvarez and Hernandez both departed in free agency, while Darwin spent one more season with the team before retiring.

Cincinnati Reds (Best): Joe Morgan Acquired from Houston Astros

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Date: November 29, 1971

     

    Reds Received: 2B Joe Morgan, SP Jack Billingham, CF Cesar Geronimo, OF Ed Armbrister, 3B Denis Menke

    A solid player with the Astros, Joe Morgan took his game to the next level in Cincinnati, as he emerged as one of the best players in the game.

    He was an All-Star in all eight of his seasons in Cincinnati, serving as the catalyst of the Big Red Machine and earning back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1975 and 1976.

    Jack Billingham went 87-63 with a 3.85 ERA in six seasons with the team, serving as one of its top starting pitchers. Cesar Geronimo was Cincinnati's fourth outfielder and a solid contributor in nine seasons with the team.

     

    Astros Received: 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms, UT Jimmy Stewart

    One of the better sluggers of his era, Lee May was coming off of three straight 30-plus-home run seasons and was still in the prime of his career at the time of the deal. He spent three seasons in Houston, averaging 27 home runs and 96 RBI, before being traded again to the Orioles.

    Tommy Helms replaced Morgan at second base, where he was known more for his glove than his bat as a two-time Gold Glove winner. He spent three seasons as a solid starter before tailing off.

    Jimmy Stewart was a useful utility player throughout his career, but he hit just .207/.273/.262 over 164 at-bats in his two seasons with the Astros before retiring.

Cincinnati Reds (Worst): Frank Robinson Traded to Baltimore Orioles

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 9, 1965

     

    Reds Received: SP Milt Pappas, RP Jack Baldschun, OF Dick Simpson

    Looking to bolster the team's pitching rotation, Reds GM Bill DeWitt made the controversial decision to deal superstar Frank Robinson to the Orioles for Milt Pappas prior to the 1966 season.

    DeWitt called Robinson "an old 30" in an effort to justify the move, but the slugger would make him eat his words almost immediately.

    Milt Pappas went 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in his first season with the Reds and 30-29 with a 4.04 ERA overall in parts of three seasons with the team before he was traded to the Braves.

    Neither Jack Baldschun nor Dick Simpson did much of anything for the Reds, and they were out of Cincinnati by the end of the 1967 season.

     

    Orioles Received: RF Frank Robinson

    The "old" Frank Robinson kicked off his Orioles career by winning the Triple Crown with a .316 BA/49 HR/122 RBI line and capping off his season with World Series MVP honors.

    He would lead the Orioles to three more AL pennants and another title in 1971 during his six seasons with the team, posting a .944 OPS with 179 home runs and 545 RBI to cement his place as one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Cleveland Indians (Best): Tris Speaker Acquired from Boston Red Sox

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    Wikimedia Commons

    Date: April 12, 1916

     

    Indians Received: CF Tris Speaker

    When Tris Speaker refused to take a pay cut from $15,000 to $9,000 after a down season in 1915, Red Sox team president Joseph Lannin opted to deal him to the the Cleveland Indians.

    He would hit .354/.444/.520 and rack up a 74.2 WAR in his 11 seasons with the Indians, going down as one of the best all-around players the game has ever seen.

     

    Red Sox Received: SP Sad Sam Jones, 3B Fred Thomas, $55,000

    It took Sad Sam Jones some time to establish himself, but he was solid once he finally joined the starting rotation. In his four seasons as a starter, he went 64-57 with a 3.37 ERA before being traded again to the New York Yankees in a six-player deal prior to the 1922 season.

    Fred Thomas hit .257/.331/.306 in one season with the Red Sox before being sold to the Philadelphia Athletics for $1,500.

Cleveland Indians (Worst): Rocky Colavito Traded to Detroit Tigers

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    John Lindsay/Associated Press

    Date: April 17, 1960

     

    Indians Received: OF Harvey Kuenn

    Coming off of a batting title in 1959 when he hit .353, Harvey Kuenn was still just 29 at the time of this deal, and he looked more than capable of providing some solid production.

    He hit .308/.379/.416 and made the All-Star team in his lone season with the Indians, but the team traded him again the following offseason, shipping him to the San Francisco Giants for Johnny Antonelli. The move earned Indians GM Frank Lane the nickname "Trader," and he would continue wheeling and dealing throughout his time at the helm in Cleveland.

     

    Tigers Received: RF Rocky Colavito

    As the face of the Indians franchise and one of the most beloved players in franchise history, the Indians' decision to trade Rocky Colavito did not sit well with fans and is still talked about to this day.

    Coming off of back-to-back 40-homer seasons and just entering the prime of his career at the age of 26, Colavito would hit .271/.364/.501 with 139 home runs and 430 RBI in his three seasons with the Tigers.

    He returned to the Indians later on in his career, but the team missed out on five prime seasons because of its decision to trade him for a lesser player.

Colorado Rockies (Best): Dante Bichette Acquired from Milwaukee Brewers

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Date: November 17, 1992

     

    Rockies Received: OF Dante Bichette

    Dante Bichette showed some potential during his time with the Brewers, turning in a pair of 15-homer seasons, but his career really took off when he joined the Rockies.

    In seven seasons with the team, he hit .316/.352/.540 and averaged 29 home runs and 118 RBI. He was a four-time All-Star and led the NL in home runs (40) and RBI (128) in 1995.

    His numbers were certainly inflated by the pre-humidor days of Coors Field, but that's impressive production nonetheless, and the Rockies essentially got him for nothing.

     

    Brewers Received: OF Kevin Reimer

    Kevin Reimer never actually played for the Rockies. He was selected with the ninth pick in the expansion draft and subsequently flipped for Bichette the same day.

    He spent one season with the Brewers, hitting .249/.303/.394 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI, but it would be his final big league season.

Colorado Rockies (Worst): Andy Ashby/Brad Ausmus Traded to San Diego Padres

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    Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    Date: July 26, 1993

     

    Rockies Received:  SP Bruce Hurst, SP Greg Harris

    The Rockies' decision to trade Chone Figgins for Kimera Bartee got some serious consideration here, but in the end, it's this move to acquire a pair of washed-up pitchers that ranks as the worst in franchise history.

    Bruce Hurst had 143 wins under his belt at the time of the deal, but he was also a 35-year-old pitching to a 12.46 ERA in two starts in 1993. He made just three starts with the Rockies, going 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA, and he retired following the 1994 season.

    Greg Harris was 10-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 22 starts for the San Diego Padres when the trade was made, but he went just 1-8 with a 6.50 ERA in 13 starts the rest of the way. He followed that up by going 3-12 with a 6.65 ERA in 1994 before being released.

     

    Padres Received: SP Andy Ashby, C Brad Ausmus, RP Doug Bochtler

    For a young franchise looking to find its footing, the decision to trade a 25-year-old Andy Ashby was a puzzling one.

    He didn't show much in his one season with the Rockies, but he went 70-62 with a 3.59 ERA in eight seasons with the Padres, and the fact that he was putting up those numbers for a division rival only made the deal worse.

    Brad Ausmus spent four seasons as a backup with the Padres before being traded to the Tigers, and he would go on to be one of the better defensive backstops of his generation.

Detroit Tigers (Best): Miguel Cabrera Acquired from Florida Marlins

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Date: December 4, 2007

     

    Tigers Received: 3B Miguel Cabrera, SP Dontrelle Willis

    Miguel Cabrera was already one of the game's premier hitters at the time of this deal, having averaged a .318/.396/.551 line with 32 home runs and 115 RBI in his first four full seasons in the league.

    Entering his age-25 season, he could not have been a more attractive trade chip, and the Marlins pulled the trigger on moving him, knowing they would not be able to afford him long-term.

    Since joining the Tigers, Cabrera has become the consensus best hitter in all of baseball. He's had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI each year and is working on a streak of three straight AL batting titles and back-to-back AL MVP awards.

    Still just 31, he'll go down as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history before all is said and done.

    Dontrelle Willis, meanwhile, was a 22-game winner in 2005, but his control was gone by the time he came to the Tigers. He would make a grand total of 24 appearances with a 6.86 ERA in three seasons in Detroit before being traded to Arizona.

    That said, given what Cabrera has accomplished, Willis' struggles do little to take away from this trade.

     

    Marlins Received: CF Cameron Maybin, SP Andrew Miller, RP Burke Badenhop, RP Frankie De La Cruz, C Mike Rabelo, SP Dallas Trahern

    Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller were two of the top prospects in baseball, but they never panned out with the Marlins.

    Maybin found some success in San Diego before falling off the map, while Miller has resurrected his career in the bullpen and is one of the more sought-after trade chips at the deadline this year while pitching for Boston.

    Burke Badenhop ended up making the biggest impact in Florida, appearing in 151 games over four seasons and posting a 4.34 ERA. He too has found success elsewhere and is currently teammates with Miller in Boston.

Detroit Tigers (Worst): Billy Pierce Traded to Chicago White Sox

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: November 10, 1948

     

    Tigers Received: C Aaron Robinson

    In need of a starting catcher, the Tigers acquired 33-year-old former All-Star Aaron Robinson from the White Sox prior to the 1949 season.

    He put together a solid first season with Detroit, hitting .269/.402/.423 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI, but he fell off sharply after that and was out of the league by the end of the 1951 season.

     

    White Sox Received: SP Billy Pierce, $10,000

    Billy Pierce was a 21-year-old at the time of the trade, posting a 6.34 ERA in 22 games (nine starts) for the Tigers the previous season.

    He immediately jumped into the White Sox rotation following the trade and would go on to win 186 games and post a 3.19 ERA in 13 seasons with the team.

    His duels with New York Yankees ace Whitey Ford helped fuel a strong rivalry between the two teams during the 1950s.

     

    *Note: An argument for the John Smoltz-to-Atlanta trade being the worst in Tigers history can certainly be made, but in the end, the Tigers got exactly what they wanted out of Doyle Alexander. It's a trade every GM in baseball would make 10 times out of 10 given the same set of circumstances and with hindsight removed from the equation.

Houston Astros (Best): Jeff Bagwell Acquired from Boston Red Sox

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Date: August 30, 1990

     

    Astros Received: 1B Jeff Bagwell

    A fourth-round selection by the Red Sox in the 1989 draft, Jeff Bagwell hit .333/.422/.457 with 45 extra-base hits at the Double-A level in what was his first full pro season in 1990.

    He entered 1991 as the No. 32 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America, and the Houston Astros handed him the starting first base job to start the season.

    An .824 OPS with 15 home runs and 82 RBI was enough to win him NL Rookie of the Year honors, and he would quickly emerge as one of the most dangerous hitters in the game over the next few years.

    When the dust settled on his terrific 15-year career, Bagwell had a line of .297/.408/.540 with 449 home runs and 1,529 RBI.

    His .948 career OPS is 21st all time, ahead of guys like Willie Mays (.941), Hank Aaron (.929) and Frank Robinson (.926). The fact that he is not in the Hall of Fame yet after four years on the ballot is ridiculous, but he should earn enshrinement before his time is up.

     

    Red Sox Received: RP Larry Andersen

    With a 6.5-game lead in the division, the Red Sox made a move to shore up their bullpen down the stretch, picking up veteran Larry Andersen, who had a 1.95 ERA over 73.2 innings of work for the Astros at the time of the trade.

    He was even better after heading to Boston, posting a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings, and the team did manage to secure a playoff spot. The Red Sox were swept in the first round by the A's, though, and Anderson left in free agency that offseason.

Houston Astros (Worst): Joe Morgan Traded to Cincinnati Reds

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Date: November 29, 1971

     

    Astros Received: 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms, UT Jimmy Stewart

    Lee May spent three seasons in Houston, averaging 27 home runs and 96 RBI, but his production declined each season. He was then traded again, this time to the Baltimore Orioles for Enos Cabell and Rob Andrews.

    Tommy Helms replaced Morgan at second base, where he was known more for his glove than his bat after winning back-to-back Gold Glove awards. He hit .260/.306/.348 in four seasons with the Astros, posting a 4.2 WAR over that span.

    It was not a wonderful life for Jimmy Stewart in Houston, as he hit just .207/.273/.262 over 164 at-bats in two seasons with the team before retiring.

     

    Reds Received: 2B Joe Morgan, SP Jack Billingham, CF Cesar Geronimo, OF Ed Armbrister, 3B Denis Menke

    Joe Morgan was a two-time All-Star during his nine seasons in Houston, and the terrific on-base skills were always there, but the 28-year-old took his game to another level in Cincinnati.

    Perhaps just as big a blow to the Astros was the loss of Jack Billingham, who went 87-63 with a 3.85 ERA in six seasons with the Reds. He would have been a welcomed addition to the Astros rotation during that span.

    Morgan, Billingham and Cesar Geronimo all played significant roles in the success of the Big Red Machine, as this deal went beyond just losing Morgan.

Kansas City Royals (Best): Amos Otis Acquired from New York Mets

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 3, 1969

     

    Royals Received: CF Amos Otis, SP Bob Johnson

    Amos Otis was just 23 at the time of the trade, and he had seen limited playing time with the New York Mets, hitting .178/.238/.224 in 152 total big league at-bats. He stepped right into the Kansas City Royals' everyday lineup nonetheless, and he would make the first of four straight All-Star appearances during his first season with the team.

    The speedy center fielder spent a total of 14 seasons in Kansas City, hitting .280/.347/.433 with 340 steals and a 44.6 WAR.

    Bob Johnson also contributed for the Royals, though on a much smaller scale; he was 8-13 with a 3.07 ERA in 40 games (26 starts) during his lone season with the team. He was then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the deal that brought Freddie Patek to Kansas City, so that was a win as well.

     

    Mets Received: UT Joe Foy

    One of the most versatile players in the game at the time, Joe Foy played everywhere but pitcher and catcher for the Royals in 1969, hitting .262/.354/.370 with 11 home runs, 71 RBI and 37 steals in the process.

    He served as the Mets' primary third baseman in 1970, but that would be his only season with the team, as he was chosen by the Washington Senators in the expansion draft the following season. He lasted a total of one season there as well before his big league career came to an end.

Kansas City Royals (Worst): David Cone Traded to New York Mets

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Date: March 27, 1987

     

    Royals Received: SP Rick Anderson, SP Mauro Gozzo, C Ed Hearn

    Royals owner Ewing Kauffman would later call this the "worst trade in Royals history," so it's fair to say that this one earned its place on this list.

    Rick Anderson has become one of the more highly regarded pitching coaches in baseball, but he went all of 2-3 with a 6.89 ERA in 13 games (five starts) with the Royals before retiring.

    Ed Hearn hit .257/.333/.371 in 35 at-bats as a backup catcher, while Mauro Gozzo never saw the big leagues for the Royals.

     

    Mets Received: SP David Cone, OF Chris Jelic

    Cone had just one big league season to his credit when he was traded, posting a 5.56 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen in 1987.

    After a so-so first season with the Mets, he broke out in a big way in 1989, going 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 213 strikeouts to finish third in NL Cy Young voting.

    He was well-traveled during his 17-year career, but Cone finished 194-126 with a 3.46 ERA and 2,668 strikeouts.

    The right-hander eventually ended up back in Kansas City in 1993, and he won 1994 AL Cy Young honors with the Royals before being traded again to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995 in what was another lopsided deal.

Los Angeles Angels (Best): Nolan Ryan Acquired from New York Mets

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    Paul Shane/Associated Press

    Date: December 10, 1971

     

    Angels Received: SP Nolan Ryan, OF Leroy Stanton, C Frank Estrada, P Don Rose

    Stuff was never a question for Nolan Ryan, but he was far from a superstar during his time with the Mets. In five seasons with the team, he was 29-38 with a 3.58 ERA and an alarming 6.1 BB/9 mark.

    New York opted to move him while his potential still carried value, and it blew up in the team's face almost immediately. He was 19-16 with a 2.28 ERA and an AL-best 329 strikeouts in his first season with the Angels, and in eight years with the team, he went 138-121 with a 3.07 ERA while winning seven strikeout titles.

    Ryan would go on to play 27 seasons, retiring with 324 wins and MLB records of 5,714 strikeouts and 2,795 walks.

    Leroy Stanton was a nice pickup as well, spending time as the team's everyday right fielder during his five years with the Angels and peaking in 1975 when he had a .761 OPS with 14 home runs, 82 RBI and 18 steals.

     

    Mets Received: SS Jim Fregosi

    In 11 seasons with the Angels, Jim Fregosi was one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball. He was a six-time All-star and racked up a 45.9 WAR during his time with the team.

    An injury-plagued 1971 season in which he played just 107 games and hit .233/.317/.326 proved to be a sign of things to come, though, and the Angels sold on him at just the right time.

    He would never play more than 101 games in a season again, and after a year and a half with the Mets, he was sold to the Texas Rangers.

Los Angeles Angels (Worst): Devon White Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 2, 1990

     

    Angels Received: 2B Luis Sojo, CF Junior Felix, C Ken Rivers

    The perplexing decision to take on the Vernon Wells contract received some serious consideration here, but the team managed to unload him on the Yankees and save that from being the worst trade in team history. Instead, we'll go with the decision to trade a young Devon White for a trio of players who would make little impact on the Angels.

    The target in this trade was Luis Sojo, as the Angels had a hole to fill at second base.

    "In all honesty, our second-base situation last year was less than adequate," Angels manager Doug Rader told Murray Chass of The New York Times. "If you want to be a topflight ball club, you have to be stronger up the middle than we were. That's where Sojo fits in."

    Sojo would hit .265/.297/.352 with a 2.4 WAR in two seasons with the Angels before being traded back to the Blue Jays for Kelly Gruber.

    Junior Felix spent two seasons as a fourth outfielder, while Ken Rivers never reached the majors.

     

    Blue Jays Received: CF Devon White, RP Willie Fraser, RP Marcus Moore

    Devon White had made an All-Star team and won two Gold Glove awards in four seasons as a starter for the Angels, but he hit just .248/.294/.390 in the process.

    He would immediately step his offensive game up in Toronto, though, hitting .282/.342/.455 in his first season with the team. He ended up playing a significant role in the team's back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, and he won Gold Glove honors in each of his five seasons in Toronto.

    White also took home a ring with the 1997 Florida Marlins and was the first All-Star in Diamondbacks franchise history in 1998. He played until 2001, racking up 1,934 hits, 346 steals and a 46.0 WAR.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Best): Pee Wee Reese Acquired from Boston Red Sox

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    Associated Press

    Date: July 18, 1939

     

    Dodgers Received: SS Pee Wee Reese

    Originally signed by the Pirates, then acquired by the Red Sox, it was not until he joined the Dodgers as a 21-year-old that Pee Wee Reese saw the majors. He was a solid contributor immediately and went on to be the heart and soul of those great Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

    His prime was interrupted with three years of military service, but he still managed to pile up 2,170 career hits and 10 All-Star appearances on his way to Hall of Fame induction.

     

    Red Sox Received: SP Red Evans, $35,000

    The $35,000 wound up being the only real takeaway from this deal for the Red Sox.

    Red Evans was just 1-11 with a 6.21 ERA over 111.2 big league innings at the time of the trade, and the 32-year-old would never pitch in the majors after the 1939 season.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Worst): Pedro Martinez Traded to Montreal Expos

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Date: November 19, 1993

     

    Dodgers Received: 2B Delino DeShields

    With the departure of Jody Reed, the Dodgers had a hole at second base heading into the 1994 season, and picking up 25-year-old Delino DeShields gave them a dynamic, young speed threat to fill the void.

    DeShields hit .277/.367/.373 and averaged 47 steals in his four seasons with the Expos, but those numbers slipped to .241/.326/.327 and 38 steals during his three seasons with the Dodgers.

    He left in free agency prior to the 1997 season, just as the man he was traded for was about to break out and establish himself as a bona fide superstar.

     

    Expos Received: SP Pedro Martinez

    Pedro Martinez was arguably the best middle reliever in baseball in 1993, going 10-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 107 innings. However, control problems and his small stature led the Dodgers organization to believe he would never be a starter, and the team decided to sell high on him.

    Oops.

    Martinez joined the Expos rotation immediately, going 11-5 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.106 WHIP in 1994, and he would only get better from there.

    He capped off his Expos career by going 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA to win the 1997 NL Cy Young before rattling off one of the best primes in baseball history during his time with the Red Sox.

    A shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, Martinez finished his career 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827.1 innings.

Miami Marlins (Best): Mike Lowell Acquired from New York Yankees

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: February 1, 1999

     

    Marlins Received: 3B Mike Lowell

    One of the top prospects in baseball in 1998 and 1999, the Yankees simply had no spot for Mike Lowell at the big league level with Scott Brosius entrenched at third, and they opted to move him for more young talent. After a solid first season in Florida, Lowell took over as the everyday starter the following season and went on to hit .272/.339/.462 with 143 home runs and 578 RBI in seven seasons with the Marlins.

    He was traded to the Red Sox prior to the 2006 season, along with Josh Beckett, in the deal that brought Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins.

     

    Yankees Received: SP Ed Yarnell, RP Mark Johnson, SP Todd Noel

    The package was built around left-hander Ed Yarnell, who went 13-5 with a 3.76 ERA in Triple-A the previous season and was expected to be a part of the Yankees rotation moving forward.

    He would make just seven appearances with the Yankees before being traded to the Reds in the Denny Neagle trade at the deadline in 2000. He never pitched in the majors again after the 2000 season.

    Mark Johnson had a 7.50 ERA in nine big league appearances for his career, while Todd Noel never reached the majors.

Miami Marlins (Worst): Miguel Cabrera Traded to Detroit Tigers

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Date: December 4, 2007

     

    Marlins Received: CF Cameron Maybin, SP Andrew Miller, RP Burke Badenhop, RP Frankie De La Cruz, C Mike Rabelo, SP Dallas Trahern

    Considering they had no choice but to deal Miguel Cabrera, as they were unable to afford him long term, the Marlins appeared to get a decent haul at the time of the trade.

    Cameron Maybin ranked as the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball entering 2008, Andrew Miller was a big 6'7" left-hander with front-of-the-rotation stuff and both Burke Badenhop and Frankie De La Cruz were capable of contributing immediately.

    Instead, things wound up being a disaster for that group, and when all was said and done, the Marlins got a combined 1.6 WAR out of the six players listed above.

     

    Tigers Received: 3B Miguel Cabrera, SP Dontrelle Willis

    While he was already a star at the time of the trade, Cabrera has turned himself into the best hitter on the planet. In his six full seasons with the Tigers, he has hit .327/.407/.588 with 227 home runs and 737 RBI, and he's having another terrific year this year.

    He's won three batting titles, two AL MVP awards and the Triple Crown in 2012 for good measure. He's still only 31 years old, and by the time he retires, he will likely go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time.

    Dontrelle Willis was essentially finished by the time this trade was made, but given Cabrera's contributions, that doesn't make this trade sting any less.

Milwaukee Brewers (Best): Rollie Fingers/Ted Simmons from St. Louis Cardinals

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    Pyle/Associated Press

    Date: December 12, 1980

     

    Brewers Received: RP Rollie Fingers, C Ted Simmons, SP Pete Vuckovich

    This trade went a long way toward helping the Milwaukee Brewers to a 1981 postseason trip, as all three players played a major role.

    Rollie Fingers saved 97 games with a 2.54 ERA in four seasons with the team, winning AL MVP and AL Cy Young honors in 1981. Ted Simmons hit .262/.311/.399 with 66 home runs and 394 RBI in five seasons, making a pair of All-Star Game appearances.

    Pete Vuckovich went 40-26 with a 3.88 ERA in five seasons, winning 1982 AL Cy Young honors when he went 18-6 with a 3.34 ERA. He'll forever be remembered for playing Clu Haywood in Major League.

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Larry Sorensen, RF Sixto Lezcano, SP Dave LaPoint, OF David Green

    Larry Sorensen was just 25 at the time of this trade and had already won 52 games with a 3.72 ERA in four big league seasons. He went just 41-57 with a 4.56 ERA the rest of his career, though, and only spent one year in St. Louis.

    Sixto Lezcano hit .266/.376/.393 in his lone season with the Cardinals before being traded to the San Diego Padres in another deal that cracks this list.

    David Green hit .273/.310/.407 with 26 home runs in four seasons in St. Louis, while Dave LaPoint was 35-23 with a 3.90 ERA in five seasons with the team.

Milwaukee Brewers (Worst): Carlos Lee/Nelson Cruz Traded to Texas Rangers

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Date: July 28, 2006

     

    Brewers Received: RF Kevin Mench, RP Francisco Cordero, OF Laynce Nix, RP Julian Cordero

    With Carlos Lee set to hit free agency at the end of the season and the Milwaukee Brewers unlikely to re-sign him, the team sent its star to the Texas Rangers for a package built around young outfielder Kevin Mench.

    Mench was hitting .284/.338/.459 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI at the time of the trade, but the 28-year-old would fail to match those numbers in Milwaukee. He spent just one full season with the team before leaving himself in free agency.

    Francisco Cordero served as the team's closer in 2007, making the All-Star team and converting 44 of his 51 save chances with a 2.98 ERA. He too left in free agency after the 2007 season, though, leaving the Brewers with little to show for Lee.

     

    Rangers Received: LF Carlos Lee, RF Nelson Cruz

    Lee proved to be a solid rental for the Rangers, hitting .322/.369/.525 with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 59 games. He signed a six-year, $100 million deal with the Astros the following offseason, where he continued to be one of the game's top run producers.

    The reason this trade makes the list is the inclusion of Nelson Cruz as a throw-in piece.

    Mench was brought in to replace Lee in the lineup, but Cruz was hitting .302/.378/.528 with 20 home runs and 73 RBI in 371 at-bats in Triple-A at the time of the trade. The team would have been better off just handing him the everyday job and letting the Rangers keep Mench.

    It took Cruz a couple of seasons to break into the everyday lineup in Texas, but once he did, he rattled off five straight 20-plus home runs seasons as one of the best power hitters in the American League.

    He's currently in the middle of a career year in his first season in Baltimore, as he has an .893 OPS with 28 home runs and 74 RBI already after signing a one-year, $8 million deal in the offseason.

Minnesota Twins (Best): Johan Santana Acquired from Florida Marlins

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Date: December 13, 1999

     

    Twins Received: SP Johan Santana

    Teams often select a player in the Rule 5 draft with the intent of trading him to another team, and that is exactly what the Marlins did when they selected Johan Santana from the Houston Astros and dealt him to the Minnesota Twins the same day.

    Regardless of what route he took getting there, Santana was a huge find for the Twins and would go on to be one of the best pitchers of the 2000s.

    After spending his first three seasons in Minnesota primarily as a reliever, Santana broke out with a 12-3 record as a swingman in 2003 when he made 45 appearances, 18 of which were starts.

    The next season, he was inserted in the rotation full time, and he responded by going 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts.

    In his eights seasons with the Twins, Santana went 93-44 with a 3.22 ERA and 1,381 strikeouts in 1,308.2 innings. He won AL Cy Young honors in 2004 and 2006, taking home the pitching Triple Crown in '06 when he was 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 245 strikeouts.

     

    Marlins Received: SP Jared Camp

    Jared Camp never saw the majors. In fact, he never saw the field in the Marlins organization. He wound up pitching for four different teams in 2000 alone and called it a career following the 2002 season.

    He wrapped up his pro career at 34-36 with a 4.50 ERA in 606.2 minor league innings.

Minnesota Twins (Worst): Tom Brunansky Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

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    Associated Press

    Date: April 22, 1988

     

    Twins Received: 2B Tom Herr

    Tom Herr would spend just the remainder of the 1988 season with the Twins, hitting .263/.349/.326 before being traded again for pitcher Shane Rawley.

    The 33-year-old Rawley went 5-12 with a 5.21 ERA in 1989, retiring at the end of the season and leaving the Twins with nothing to show for their young star, Tom Brunansky.

     

    Cardinals Received: RF Tom Brunansky

    In his first six seasons with the Twins, Tom Brunansky established himself as one of the best young outfielders in baseball and a fan favorite in Minnesota.

    He hit .251/.331/.455 and averaged 27 home runs and 77 RBI while making an All-Star appearance in 1985. Still just 27 years old when he was traded, this was a move that did not go over well with the Minnesota fanbase—and understandably so.

    It's not as though Brunansky turned into a superstar, but he continued producing at a similar level over the next four seasons. It's the fact that the Twins got essentially nothing for one of their most popular and productive players that makes this trade the worst in team history.

New York Mets (Best): Mike Piazza Acquired from Florida Marlins

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Date: May 14, 1998

     

    Mets Received: C Mike Piazza

    He was at his best during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Mike Piazza still had plenty left in the tank when he joined the Mets.

    Piazza immediately became the face of the franchise, and he went on to hit .296/.373/.542 with 220 home runs and 655 RBI in his eight seasons with the team, cementing his place as the greatest offensive catcher of all time.

    He led the Mets to the NLCS in 1999 and the World Series in 2000, and his game-winning home run in the first game back following the 9-11 terrorist attacks will go down as one of the greatest moments in Mets history.

     

    Marlins Received: CF Preston Wilson, SP Ed Yarnall, RP Geoff Goetz

    Preston Wilson was one of the brightest young players in the game at the time of this trade, and in his four full seasons with the Marlins, he posted a line of .265/.335/.477 while averaging 26 home runs, 82 RBI and 22 steals.

    He went on to hit .264/.329/.468 with 1,055 hits, 189 home runs, 668 RBI and 124 steals over 10 season, posting a 6.3 WAR due to his subpar defense.

    Ed Yarnell never pitched at the big league level for the Mets, and Geoff Goetz never reached the majors period.

     

    *Note: The Keith Hernandez trade was a very, very close second here, as this was one of the toughest decisions to make.

New York Mets (Worst): Tom Seaver Traded to Cincinnati Reds

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    Associated Press

    Date: June 15, 1977

     

    Mets Received: 2B Doug Flynn, SP Pat Zachary, LF Steve Henderson, OF Dan Norman

    In a trade that is known as the "Midnight Massacre," the Mets traded the greatest player in the history of their franchise for four guys who made little impact during their time in New York.

    Doug Flynn spent five seasons with the Mets, serving as their everyday second baseman and winning a Gold Glove in 1980.

    Pat Zachary had the unenviable job of replacing Seaver in the rotation. The 1976 NL Rookie of the Year was 7-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 19 starts following the trade, and he went a combined 41-46 with a 3.63 ERA in six seasons with the team.

    Steve Henderson finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1977, hitting .297/.372/.480 with 12 home runs and 65 RBI after joining the Mets. He never really improved from there, though, and settled in as a fourth outfielder.

    Dan Norman hit .230/.287/.365 in four seasons as a backup outfielder.

     

    Reds Received: SP Tom Seaver

    Certain guys belong to a franchise and should not be traded. Tom Seaver was one of those guys, and this trade is still one that does not sit well with Mets fans.

    At 32 years old, Seaver was far from washed up at the time of this deal. He proved that by going 14-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 20 starts for the Reds following the trade.

    All told, he would go 113-81 with a 3.37 ERA while pitching eight more full seasons following the trade.

New York Yankees (Best): Babe Ruth Purchased from Boston Red Sox

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 26, 1919

     

    Yankees Received: RF Babe Ruth

    This trade has been in the news again recently, with a piece of paperwork from the deal that sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees selling for $151,000 at auction. If you're keeping score at home, that's $51,000 more than it originally cost the Yankees to purchase the greatest player in baseball history.

    Ruth would go on to hit 659 of his 714 career home runs during his 15 seasons with the Yankees, becoming the game's biggest star and raising the sport itself to new heights.

    He led the team to seven AL pennants and four World Series titles during his time there and goes down as an absolute legend in the sporting world.

     

    Red Sox Received: $100,000

    Superstitious or not, the Red Sox would not win a title for 86 years following the trade, with the Curse of the Bambino earning its place in baseball lore.

    For those of you still scoring at home, the Yankees would win a grand total of 26 titles during that same 86-year stretch, making things that much tougher to swallow in Boston.

New York Yankees (Worst): Fred McGriff Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: December 9, 1982

     

    Yankees Received: RP Dale Murray, 3B Tom Dodd

    With first base set be occupied by superstar in the making Don Mattingly, the Yankees opted to trade power-hitting prospect Fred McGriff in an effort to bolster their bullpen.

    Dale Murray had a 3.16 ERA and 11 saves in 56 games for the Blue Jays in 1982, but he would not match that success for the Yankees. In parts of three seasons, he appeared in a total of 62 games and had a less-than-stellar 4.73 ERA.

    Third baseman Tom Dodd never reached the majors for the Yankees, and he was released following the 1983 season.

     

    Blue Jays Received: 1B Fred McGriff, SP Mike Morgan, OF Dave Collins

    McGriff was just 19 years old at the time of the trade, and he was hitting .272/.413/.456 with 11 doubles and nine home runs in 217 at-bats playing for the Yankees' rookie league affiliate. He would not become a regular in the majors until 1987, but his potential was abundantly clear as a rookie when he posted an .881 OPS with 20 home runs in 295 at-bats.

    McGriff would be traded several more times in his career, but he produced everywhere he went, finishing his 19 seasons with a .284/.377/.509 line that included 493 home runs and 1,550 RBI.

    Mike Morgan was also a poor giveaway by the Yankees. He didn't do much in Toronto, but he came on late in his career and wound up winning 141 games with a 4.23 ERA in 22 seasons.

Oakland Athletics (Best): Dennis Eckersley Acquired from Chicago Cubs

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Date: April 3, 1987

     

    Athletics Received: RP Dennis Eckersley, IF Dan Rohn

    After going 151-128 with a 3.67 ERA in 12 seasons as a starter with the Indians, Red Sox and Cubs, the A's moved Dennis Eckersley immediately upon acquiring him.

    He went on to rack up 320 saves in nine seasons with the team, making the All-Star team four times and winning AL MVP and Cy Young in 1992.

    Eck is one of just two pitchers with 150 wins and 150 saves in his career, joining John Smoltz, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 2004.

     

    Cubs Received: SS Brian Guinn, RP Mark Leonette, OF Dave Wilder

    None of these three players reached the majors for the Cubs or any other team. This may be the most lopsided trade that no one ever talks about.

Oakland Athletics (Worst): "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Traded to Cleveland Naps

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    Wikimedia Commons

    Date: July 30, 1910

     

    Athletics Received: OF Bris Lord

    In a deal that looked relatively insignificant at the time, the Athletics acquired a 26-year-old in Bris Lord who had never been much more than a fourth outfielder.

    He would actually turn in a breakout season in 1911, hitting .310/.355/.429 over a career-high 574 at-bats to finish 14th in MVP voting.

    He spent just one more season with the A's, though, and was out of baseball after the 1913 season at the age of 30.

     

    Naps Received: OF "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, 2B Morrie Rath

    A light-hitting second baseman named Morrie Rath was the original compensation for Lord, with the Athletics including a player to be named in the deal. That player turned out to be 22-year-old outfielder Joe Jackson.

    Jackson saw just 40 at-bats over two seasons with the Athletics, hitting .150/.171/.151 and giving little indication that he would be a future star. He quickly made a name for himself following the trade, though, hitting .387/.446/.587 in 75 at-bats, and he was inserted into the everyday lineup the following season.

    The 23-year-old would hit .408/.468/.590 with 233 hits and 45 doubles in his first full season, immediately becoming one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

    All told, he hit .356/.423/.517 with 1,772 hits over his 13 seasons in the majors before being banned for life for his involvement in the 1919 Black Sox scandal following the 1920 season.

Philadelphia Phillies (Best): Steve Carlton Acquired from St. Louis Cardinals

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Date: February 25, 1972

     

    Phillies Received: SP Steve Carlton

    This trade looked like talent-for-talent at the time, with the Cardinals selling high on Steve Carlton after a 20-win season and picking up a guy who was a year younger and who was coming off a strong year of his own in Rick Wise.

    Instead, that would be just the start for Carlton. He went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in his first season with the Phillies, winning the pitching Triple Crown and taking home the first of what would be four NL Cy Young awards.

    He played a grand total of 15 seasons in Philadelphia, going 241-161 with a 3.09 ERA and 3,031 strikeouts before being released in 1986 at the age of 41.

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Rick Wise

    Rick Wise was 75-76 with a 3.60 ERA in seven seasons with the Phillies at the time of the trade, and he was coming off a season in 1971 in which he went 17-14 with a 2.88 ERA.

    He would continue to pitch at a high level for five more seasons, though nowhere near the level Carlton was at. He finished his career a respectable 188-181 with a 3.69 ERA and two All-Star Game appearances.

Philadelphia Phillies (Worst): Ryne Sandberg Traded to Chicago Cubs

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Date: January 27, 1982

     

    Phillies Received: SS Ivan DeJesus

    Rather than re-sign veteran Larry Bowa, the Phillies opted to make a change at shortstop, acquiring Ivan DeJesus from the Chicago Cubs. The 29-year-old had hit just .194/.276/.233 the previous season, but he was good for a 9.4 WAR combined in the previous four years and had been one of the better offensive shortstops in the NL.

    He went on to hit .249/.319/.319 with a 2.9 WAR in three seasons with the Phillies, serving as the starting shortstop on the team that won the NL pennant in 1983.

     

    Cubs Received: 2B Ryne Sandberg, SS Larry Bowa

    The decision not to re-sign Bowa proved to be a good one, as he hit just .245/.295/.306 and posted a combined 1.2 WAR over his final four seasons before retiring at the age of 39.

    On the other hand, the decision to include a young third baseman named Ryne Sandberg proved to be an absolute disaster.

    The Cubs moved the 22-year-old Sandberg off of third base and plugged him in as the everyday second baseman in 1982. By 1984, he was one of the best in the game and was claiming NL MVP honors while leading the Cubs to a rare postseason appearance.

    He spent a total of 15 seasons with the Cubs, hitting .284/.344/.452 with 2,386 hits, 282 home runs, 1,061 RBI while winning nine Gold Glove awards and making 10 All-Star appearances. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Pittsburgh Pirates (Best): Burgess/Haddix/Hoak Acquired from Cincinnati Reds

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    Associated Press

    Date: January 30, 1959

     

    Pirates Received: C Smoky Burgess, SP Harvey Haddix, 3B Don Hoak

    This trade was similar to the one that earned "best trade" honors for the Milwaukee Brewers, as it played a huge role in the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the World Series in 1960.

    Smoky Burgess hit .296/.352/.445 and made four All-Star appearances during his six season with the Pirates.

    Left-hander Harvey Haddix went 45-38 with a 3.73 ERA in five seasons, including going 11-10 with a 3.97 ERA during the regular season in 1960 and 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA during the World Series.

    Don Hoak was the team's starting third baseman for four seasons, and he finished second in NL MVP voting in 1960 after he hit .282/.366/.445 with 16 home runs and 79 RBI.

     

    Reds Received: LF Frank Thomas, OF Jim Pendleton, OF John Powers, SP Whammy Douglas

    Frank Thomas was the big giveaway in this deal, as the Pirates decided to sell high on him after he posted an .863 OPS with 35 home runs and 109 RBI in 1958. He continued to put up decent numbers, with 123 home runs and 400 RBI in seven seasons following the trade, but he never again matched his 1958 output.

    The other three guys in the trade did little to nothing the rest of their careers and were nothing more than spare parts.

Pittsburgh Pirates (Worst): Aramis Ramirez Traded to Chicago Cubs

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Date: July 23, 2003

     

    Pirates Received: SS Jose Hernandez, 2B Bobby Hill, SP Matt Bruback

    It's understandable that the small-market Pirates were not going to be able to afford to keep Aramis Ramirez long term, but it's hard to believe they couldn't get more for him.

    Jose Hernandez was a 33-year-old with a career batting average under .260 and some middling power at the time of the trade, and he would be released at the end of the season.

    Bobby Hill was a former top prospect who still had some upside, but he had shown little to indicate he'd be anything more than a league-average second baseman. He hit .266/.353/.339 over 233 at-bats in 2004 but faded into obscurity from there.

    Matt Bruback never made it to the majors and actually didn't make it all the way through the 2003 season in Pittsburgh before being traded again to the Padres.

     

    Cubs Received: 3B Aramis Ramirez, CF Kenny Lofton

    Aramis Ramirez was a budding star in Pittsburgh, and he put up an .805 OPS with 15 home runs and 39 RBI in 63 games down the stretch in 2003 to help the Cubs reach the playoffs.

    All told, he would hit .294/.356/.531 with 239 home runs and 806 RBI in his nine seasons on the North Side. He's still going strong, earning the start at third base for the NL side in this year's All-Star Game as a member of the Brewers.

    The Cubs were just another pit stop for the well-traveled Kenny Lofton, but he made his mark, hitting .327/.381/.471 with 12 steals down the stretch.

San Diego Padres (Best): Caminiti/Finley Acquired from Houston Astros

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Date: December 28, 1994

     

    Padres Received: 3B Ken Caminiti, CF Steve Finley, SS Andujar Cedeno, 1B Roberto Petagine, SP Brian Williams, RP Sean Fesh

    It's not every day you see a 12-player trade in the MLB, although the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins pulled one off a couple of years ago.

    In this one, the Padres were the clear winners. Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley were the two best guys in the trade, and both played key roles in getting the Padres to the 1998 World Series.

    Caminiti hit .295/.384/.540 with 121 home runs in four seasons with the team, including winning the 1996 NL MVP when he hit .326/.408/.621 with 40 home runs and 130 RBI.

    Finley also spent four seasons with the team, hitting .276/.334/.458 with 82 home runs and 85 steals while winning a pair of Gold Glove awards.

     

    Astros Received: RF Derek Bell, SS Ricky Gutierrez, RP Doug Brocail, LF Phil Plantier, IF Craig Shipley, RP Pedro Martinez

    Derek Bell turned into a solid run producer during his five seasons in Houston, hitting .284/.341/.430 with 74 home runs and 444 RBI, including a pair of 100-RBI seasons.

    Ricky Gutierrez spent some time as a starting shortstop in Houston and Chicago, and Doug Brocail made 626 appearances over a 15-year career, but the rest of this package beyond Bell really didn't do much in the grand scheme of things.

San Diego Padres (Worst): Ozzie Smith Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Date: December 10, 1981

     

    Padres Received: SS Garry Templeton, OF Sixto Lezcano, RP Luis DeLeon

    Far from a fan favorite during his time in St. Louis, despite plus offensive numbers, Garry Templeton looked like a good pickup for the Padres at the time of the trade.

    His offensive production slipped following the trade, though, as he hit just .252/.293/.339 in his 10 seasons with the Padres after hitting .305/.325/.419 during his time with the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Ozzie Smith emerged as a star on the other end of the trade.

    Sixto Lezcano hit .289/.388/.472 with 16 home runs and 84 RBI in 1982, but he was traded again the following season.

    Luis DeLeon finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in his first season in San Diego and would spend four seasons in the Padres bullpen. He appeared in 185 games and recorded 31 saves with a 3.06 ERA and 1.067 WHIP.

     

    Cardinals Received: SS Ozzie Smith, SP Steve Mura, SP Al Olmsted

    Though he was a two-time Gold Glove winner, Ozzie Smith hit just .231/.295/.278 over his first four seasons as an everyday player, and the Cardinals no doubt thought they were downgrading to get rid of Garry Templeton.

    He never turned into a force offensively, but Smith instead turned into a once-in-a-lifetime defensive talent and the greatest shortstop the game has ever seen. He won 15 Gold Glove awards and finished his career with a 43.4 dWAR.

    To his credit, Smith did pick his game up offensively in St. Louis, hitting .272/.350/.344 and stealing 433 bases in his 15 seasons with the team. All of that was enough to make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

San Francisco Giants (Best): Christy Mathewson Acquired from Cincinnati Reds

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    Associated Press

    Date: December 15, 1900

     

    Giants Received: SP Christy Mathewson

    Still just 20 years old at the time of the trade, Christy Mathewson never actually played in a big league game for the Reds organization. He joined the rotation for the Giants in 1901 and went 20-17 with a 2.41 ERA, but he was just scratching the surface of what would be one of the greatest pitching careers of all time.

    Mathewson played a total of 17 seasons for the Giants and retired at 373-188 with a 2.13 ERA and a 95.3 WAR that ranks 12th all time among pitchers.

    The right-hander also turned in perhaps the most dominant World Series performance of all time in 1905, when he allowed just 13 hits and one walk while twirling three complete-game shutouts to almost single-handedly win it for the New York Giants.

     

    Reds Received: SP Amos Rusie

    To his credit, Amos Rusie had 246 career wins under his belt at the time of this trade, and he was entering his age-30 season. There was simply nothing left in his arm, though, as he had thrown 3,756.2 innings over his first nine seasons in the big leagues, including three seasons with 500-plus innings.

    Rusie would appear in just three games during the 1901 season, going 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA before retiring. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1977.

San Francisco Giants (Worst): Gaylord Perry Traded to Cleveland Indians

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    Robert H. Houston/Associated Press

    Date: November 29, 1971

     

    Giants Received: SP Sam McDowell

    Sam McDowell is one of the best pitchers no one ever talks about. He won five strikeout titles and made six All-Star teams during his 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

    Unfortunately for the San Francisco Giants, his arm was more or less finished when he joined the team as a 29-year-old in 1972. The right-hander was 10-8 with a 4.33 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 164.1 innings in his first year with the team, and he was sold to the Yankees in June of the following season.

     

    Indians Received: SP Gaylord Perry, SS Frank Duffy

    The trade made sense at the time. Trade a 33-year-old Gaylord Perry for a 29-year-old Sam McDowell in a swap of ace for ace. The only trouble is, McDowell went on to win a grand total of 19 games following the trade, while Perry would rack up another 180 over 12 seasons.

    The trade was immediately a bust, as Perry went 24-16 with a 1.92 ERA to win AL Cy Young honors in his first season with the Indians. He won another Cy Young in 1978 with the Padres and finished his career 314-265 with a 3.11 ERA and 3,534 strikeouts in 5,350 innings.

    Frank Duffy was also fairly productive, serving as the Indians' starting shortstop for six seasons and posting an 11.4 WAR during his time with the team.

Seattle Mariners (Best): Randy Johnson Acquired from Montreal Expos

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    DUANE BURLESON/Associated Press

    Date: May 25, 1989

     

    Mariners Received: SP Randy Johnson, SP Brian Holman, RP Gene Harris

    At the time of this trade, Randy Johnson was a 25-year-old starter who had electric stuff but had yet to harness it. He was 0-4 with a 6.67 ERA and 7.9 BB/9 over six starts.

    He would go on to lead the AL in walks in each of his first three full seasons with the Seattle Mariners, but by the fourth season (1993), he was 19-8 with a 3.24 ERA and 308 strikeouts to finish second in AL Cy Young voting.

    All told, Johnson was 130-74 with a 3.42 ERA and 2,162 strikeouts in 1,838.1 innings during his time in Seattle. He was traded to the Houston Astros at the deadline in 1998 for a prospect package that included Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen.

    Brian Holman also brought a decent return, going 32-35 with a 3.73 ERA in his two-and-a-half seasons with the Mariners. Gene Harris had a 5.48 ERA in 51 appearance out of the bullpen over parts of four seasons.

     

    Expos Received: SP Mark Langston, SP Mike Campbell

    Mark Langston burst onto the scene in 1984, going 17-10 with a 3.40 ERA while leading the AL in walks (118) and strikeouts (204) to finish second in AL Rookie of the Year. He would win two more strikeout titles during his time in Seattle, going 74-67 with a 4.01 ERA and 8.1 K/9 over parts of six seasons prior to being traded.

    Langston finished his career 179-158 with a 3.97 ERA. He later teamed up with Chuck Finley on the Angels to form a stellar one-two punch, but the emergence of Johnson made his success much easier to swallow.

    Mike Campbell never pitched for the Expos at the majors league level and was traded again in 1990 to the White Sox.

Seattle Mariners (Worst): Jason Varitek/Derek Lowe Traded to Boston Red Sox

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    Jeff Carlick/Getty Images

    Date: July 31, 1997

     

    Mariners Received: RP Heathcliff Slocumb

    With closer Norm Charlton pitching to a 7.85 ERA and converting just 14 of his 22 save chances up to the deadline, the contending Mariners were in desperate need of a late-inning upgrade, and they made a move for Heathcliff Slocumb.

    Slocumb was not exactly dominant himself, with a 5.79 ERA and 17-of-22 on save chances for the Red Sox at the time of the trade.

    He was better in Seattle, saving 10 of 11 games down the stretch, but the Mariners failed to advance beyond the ALDS and the price they paid for Slocumb was a big one.

     

    Red Sox Received: C Jason Varitek, SP Derek Lowe

    One of the game's top catching prospects, Jason Varitek split time with Scott Hatteberg in 1998 before taking over as the everyday catcher the following season. He would go on to play 15 seasons in Boston, hitting .256/.341/.435 with 193 home runs and 757 RBI while serving as captain during the Red Sox's 2004 and 2007 World Series title runs.

    Coincidentally, Derek Lowe turned into the closer that the Mariners were looking for when they made the deal. He saved 81 games in three seasons as the Red Sox stopper before moving to the rotation in 2002.

    He went 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA in his first year as a starter and was 70-55 overall with a 3.72 ERA in eight seasons in Boston. He spent a total of 17 seasons in the big leagues, going 176-157 with a 4.03 ERA.

St. Louis Cardinals (Best): Lou Brock Acquired from Chicago Cubs

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Date: June 15, 1964

     

    Cardinals Received: LF Lou Brock, SP Paul Toth, RP Jack Spring

    In two full seasons with the Cubs, Lou Brock flashed the terrific speed that would later make him a star, as he stole 40 bases and had 18 triples. However, he hit just .260/.309/.396, and that low on-base percentage, coupled with a propensity to strike out, made him a less-than-ideal leadoff hitter.

    That would all change after he joined the Cardinals, as he hit .348 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI and 33 stolen bases in 103 games after the trade—and he only got better from there.

    He would emerge as the premier leadoff hitter of the 1970s, leading the league in stolen bases eight different times, including a career-high 118 in 1974. He retired as the all-time leader in that category with 938 career thefts to go along with a .293/.343/.410 career line and 3,023 hits on his way to a Hall of Fame induction.

     

    Cubs Received: SP Ernie Broglio, RP Bobby Shantz, OF Doug Clemens

    Ernie Broglio was coming off of an 18-win season in 1963 and had finished third in NL Cy Young voting in 1960, when he went 21-9 with a 2.74 ERA. So there was reason to think he could be a solid pickup for the Cubs.

    However, his arm was more or less burnt out by the time this trade was made, and he was never the same pitcher in Chicago. In three seasons with the team, he went 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA before retiring at the age of 30.

    Bobby Shantz was a former All-Star and the 1952 NL MVP when he went 24-7 with a 2.48 ERA for the Athletics. But he was 38 years old, and the 1964 season would be his last. Doug Clemens was a forgettable fourth outfielder who was traded again after just a year with the team.

St. Louis Cardinals (Worst): Steve Carlton Traded to Philadelphia Phillies

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    Associated Press

    Date: February 25, 1972

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Rick Wise

    On the surface, this looked like a good move by the Cardinals at the time of the trade.

    When a 27-year-old Steve Carlton followed up a 19-loss season in 1970 with a 20-win season in 1971, the Cardinals decided to sell high on him and flip him for another talented left-hander who was seemingly just entering his prime in Rick Wise.

    Wise was 17-14 with a 2.88 ERA in his final season with the Phillies and was a year younger than Carlton at the time of the trade.

    He was 16-16 with a 3.11 ERA in 1972 and 16-12 with a 3.37 ERA in 1973 before being traded again to the Red Sox for outfielder Reggie Smith.

     

    Phillies Received: SP Steve Carlton

    As it would turn out, the Cardinals were not selling high on Carlton, as his 20-win campaign in 1971 was just the tip of the iceberg. He was 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in his first season with the Phillies, winning the pitching Triple Crown and taking home the first of what would be four NL Cy Young awards.

    Carlton wrapped up his 24-year career as one of the greatest left-handers of all time, going 329-244 with a 3.22 ERA and 4,136 strikeouts, despite playing for some bad Phillies teams.

Tampa Bay Rays (Best): 2B Ben Zobrist Acquired from Houston Astros

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    Mike Carlson/Getty Images

    Date: July 12, 2006

     

    Rays Received: 2B Ben Zobrist, RP Mitch Talbot

    A sixth-round pick in the 2004 draft, Ben Zobrist was hitting .327 with a .907 OPS as a 25-year-old in Double-A at the time of the trade. He was up and down the next few seasons before breaking out in 2009, hitting .297/.405/.543 with 27 home runs and 91 RBI while playing everywhere but pitcher and catcher.

    That versatility has made him one of the most valuable players in the game in recent years, and his 34.7 WAR since the start of the 2009 season ranks third in all of baseball behind Robinson Cano (38.0) and Miguel Cabrera (36.7).

    His days with the Tampa Bay Rays may be numbered, as he is one of the top trade targets on the market this July, but it's fair to say that the Rays have gotten their money's worth.

     

    Astros Received: 1B Aubrey Huff, cash

    Looking to add some pop at the deadline, the Astros picked up free-agent-to-be Aubrey Huff for the stretch run. The 29-year-old went on to post an .819 OPS with 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 68 games after joining the Astros, but the team fell short of the postseason, and Huff departed in free agency.

    He carved out a nice 13-year career, playing a key role in the Giants' run to the World Series in 2010, but this is a trade the Rays would make again every time.

Tampa Bay Rays (Worst): Bobby Abreu Traded to Philadelphia Phillies

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    David Seelig/Getty Images

    Date: November 18, 1997

     

    Rays Received: SS Kevin Stocker

    With the sixth pick in the 1998 expansion draft, the newly formed Devil Rays selected 23-year-old outfielder Bobby Abreu from the Astros. However, that same day, they flipped him to the Phillies for Stocker, who would serve as the team's starting shortstop in their inaugural season.

    He hit .250/.329/.347 and had a 2.7 WAR in three seasons with the Rays, and he was out of baseball by the end of the 2000 season.

     

    Phillies Received: RF Bobby Abreu

    Abreu immediately stepped into a starting role with the Phillies and hit .312 with 17 homers, 74 RBI and 19 stolen bases in his first season of full-time action. He emerged as one of the best power/speed guys in the game during his time with the Phillies, hitting .303/.416/.513 with 195 home runs, 814 RBI and 254 stolen bases.

    In his time with the Phillies from 1998-2006, Abreu posted a 48.9 WAR, good for the sixth-highest mark among position players over that span.

Texas Rangers (Best): Michael Young Acquired from Toronto Blue Jays

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Date: July 19, 2000

     

    Rangers Received: IF Michael Young, RP Darwin Cubillan

    Michael Young was the No. 4 prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system heading into the 2000 season, so moving him for a middling starter was a bad move from the get-go. Young took over as the Rangers' everyday second baseman in 2002 and would quietly develop into one of the best contact hitters of his era.

    By the time his 13 seasons with the Rangers were over, he was tops on the team record books in games (1,823), at-bats (7,399), hits (2,230), runs (1,085), total bases (3,286), doubles (415) and triples (55).

     

    Blue Jays Received: SP Esteban Loaiza

    Esteban Loaiza was a 28-year-old starter with a 44-45 record and 4.84 career ERA at the time of the trade, so the Rangers were not giving up much.

    He was 25-28 with a 4.96 ERA during his time with the Blue Jays before leaving in free agency prior to the 2003 season. He signed with the White Sox that offseason and promptly went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA to finish second in AL Cy Young voting.

Texas Rangers (Worst): Ron Darling Traded to New York Mets

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Date: April 1, 1982

     

    Rangers Received: OF Lee Mazzilli

    Lee Mazzilli looked like a budding star during his first three full seasons in the league, hitting .276/.364/.408 and averaging 12 home runs, 62 RBI and 25 steals for the Mets. He hit just .228/.324/.358 in 1981, though, and the Mets shipped him to the Rangers while he still had some value prior to the 1982 season.

    He lasted all of 58 games in Texas before the team traded him again to the Yankees for a 31-year-old Bucky Dent, who would play just two more seasons before retiring.

     

    Mets Received: SP Ron Darling, SP Walt Terrell

    It's not as though Ron Darling was an unknown commodity at the time of this trade. He was taken with the No. 9 pick in the 1981 draft and was one of the more highly regarded pitching prospects in baseball at the time of the deal.

    By 1984, the right-hander had settled into the Mets' starting rotation. He would go 99-70 with a 3.50 ERA in his nine seasons with the team. All told, he was 136-116 with a 3.87 ERA over 13 big league seasons.

    Walt Terrell spent two seasons in the Mets rotation and would go on to carve out a solid 11-year career in which he won 111 games and posted a 4.24 ERA.

Toronto Blue Jays (Best): Alomar/Carter Acquired from San Diego Padres

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    George Nikitin/Associated Press

    Date: December 5, 1990

     

    Blue Jays Received: 2B Roberto Alomar, RF Joe Carter

    Despite a solid pitching staff, the Blue Jays went just 86-76 in 1990, and that was reason enough to overhaul their lineup.

    On the heels of this trade, the team reached the ALCS in 1991 before winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

    Roberto Alomar spent five seasons with the Blue Jays, hitting .307/.382/.451 with 206 steals and five straight Gold Glove awards. It was in Toronto that he established himself as a future Hall of Famer.

    Joe Carter hit .257/.308/.473 with 203 home runs and 736 RBI in seven season with the Blue Jays, but he will forever be remembered for hitting the walk-off home run that won the 1993 World Series.

     

    Padres Received: 1B Fred McGriff, SS Tony Fernandez

    With top prospect John Olerud ready to contribute at the big league level, the Blue Jays were free to move slugger Fred McGriff. He continued to produce throughout his career, but Olerud was an immediate star in his own right.

    Tony Fernandez bounced around a good amount following the trade, including two more stops in Toronto. He finished a 17-year career with 2,276 hits and a 45.1 WAR, but flipping him for Alomar proved to be a fantastic decision.

Toronto Blue Jays (Worst): Cecil Fielder Sold to Hanshin Tigers

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    Ron Frehm/Associated Press

    Date: December 22, 1988

     

    Blue Jays Received: Cash

    After four seasons with the Blue Jays as a part-time player, Cecil Fielder had his rights sold to the Hanshin Tigers, who paid him a salary of $1.05 million for the 1989 season.

    Fielder never saw more than 175 at-bats in a season with the Blue Jays, but he still managed a .781 OPS with 31 home runs and 84 RBI over 506 total at-bats.

     

    Hanshin Tigers Received: 1B Cecil Fielder

    Fielder became an instant star in Japan, hitting .302/.403/.628 with 38 home runs in 384 at-bats during his lone season abroad. That got the attention of the Detroit Tigers, and he returned to the MLB with a modest raise to $1.25 million heading into the 1990 season.

    That proved to be an absolute bargain, as Fielder posted a .969 OPS with 51 home runs and 132 RBI in his first season in Detroit. He was the first player to top 50 home runs since George Foster did it for the Reds back in 1977. He would go on to hit 245 long balls in seven seasons with the Tigers and 319 total in his 13-year major league career.

    Granted, the Blue Jays had McGriff and Olerud manning first base during his prime, but Fielder would have looked awfully good penciled in at DH.

    The DH spot was a revolving door in Toronto from 1991-1993, with Rance Mulliniks, Dave Parker, Dave Winfield and Candy Maldonado all seeing time there before Paul Molitor was signed in 1993.

Washington Nationals (Best): Dennis Martinez Acquired from Baltimore Orioles

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    GEORGE WIDMAN/Associated Press

    Date: June 16, 1986

     

    Expos Received: SP Dennis Martinez, C John Stefero

    Most people would put the Delino DeShields-for-Pedro Martinez trade here, and there is certainly some merit to that argument. But as far as impact on the Expos organization, Dennis Martinez was the better pickup. Pedro Martinez was 55-33 with a 3.06 ERA in four seasons with the Expos, and he eventually brought them nothing when they shipped him to the Red Sox for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.

    Dennis Martinez was 100-72 with an identical 3.06 ERA in eight seasons with the Expos, and he ranks second only to Steve Rogers for the franchise lead in wins and WAR for pitchers, among other things.

     

    Orioles Received: IF Rene Gonzales

    Rene Gonzales spent 13 big league seasons as a useful utility player, though he never saw more than 335 at-bats in a season.

    He finished his career with a .239/.315/.320 line and a 4.3 WAR, as it's fair to say the Expos got the better end of this deal by a wide margin.

Washington Nationals (Worst): Randy Johnson Traded to Seattle Mariners

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    Associated Press

    Date: May 25, 1989

     

    Expos Received: SP Mark Langston, SP Mike Campbell

    One of the top strikeout pitchers in baseball during his time with the Mariners, Mark Langston went 12-9 with a 2.39 ERA in 24 starts with the Expos following the early-season trade in 1989. He left to sign with the Angels in free agency that coming offseason, though, where he would go 88-74 with a 3.97 ERA and 1,112 strikeouts in eight seasons.

    Mike Campbell never pitched for the Expos at the major league level, and he was traded again in 1990 to the White Sox.

     

    Mariners Received: SP Randy Johnson, SP Brian Holman, RP Gene Harris

    At the time of this trade, Randy Johnson was a 25-year-old starter who had terrific stuff but had yet to harness it. He was 0-4 with a 6.67 ERA and 7.9 BB/9 over six starts. He would go on to lead the AL in walks in each of his first three full seasons with the Mariners, but by the fourth season (1993), he was 19-8 with a 3.24 ERA and 308 strikeouts to finish second in AL Cy Young voting.

    The big left-hander would only get better, and he finished up his 22-year big league career as arguably the best southpaw the game has ever seen, going 303-166 with a 3.29 ERA and 4,875 strikeouts.

    Meanwhile, Brian Holman managed to go 32-35 with a 3.73 ERA in his two-and-a-half seasons following the trade, and Gene Harris was a passable reliever for seven seasons.

     

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.

     

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