Most teams wouldn’t even think about trading a young, ball-bashing MVP at the peak of his powers.
Except maybe the always penny-pinching Miami Marlins.
Even with new ownership in Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter (non-controlling) — who took over from cheapskate owner Jeffrey Loria — the Marlins shopped 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and dealt him to the New York Yankees on Saturday.
The Marlins had the 28-year-old slugger under control until he’s near 40 in 2028, but he had veto power over prospective deals to San Francisco and St. Louis and used them. This forced a swap with the Yankees after Stanton’s other preferred team, the Dodgers, backed out.
The Marlins got 2B Starlin Castro in return, as well as prospects P Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers.
Many teams have gone where the Marlins might be going, making knee jerk trades involving contractual matters, player fit and myriad other reasons, that ultimately turned out to be just terrible in hindsight.
Here is a list of each MLB team’s worst ever trade.
Arizona Diamondbacks – OF Carlos Quinten to the Chicago White Sox (2007)
The D-Backs were coming off their first playoff appearance in five years in 2007, when they decided that prospect outfielder Carlos Quentin didn’t fit their long-term plans anymore. He had hit just .214 with five homers in a season split between the big club and the minors, so it was easy enough to flip him to the White Sox on Dec. 3, 2007 for then ‘A’ ball 1B/OF Chris Carter. Quentin quickly figured out AL pitching, going on to hit .288 with 36 HR and 100 RBI during an All-Star 2008 season. In four years with the White Sox, he had 107 homers and 320 RBI, with a .505 slugging percentage and .857 OPS. As for Carter, he never did don Arizona colors, getting flipped just days after the Quentin deal to Oakland for pitcher Dan Haren.
Atlanta Braves – P Adam Wainwright To St. Louis (2003)
Since Adam Wainwright first toed the rubber for the Cardinals in 2005, St. Louis has won two World Series titles, lost another and played in eight post-seasons. The Atlanta Braves, who traded then minor leaguer Wainwright along with two other prospects (pitchers Jason Marquis and Ray King) in 2003 for RF J.D. Drew and C Eli Marrero, have been to the post-season just three times winning two out of nine games. Wainwright is still with the Cards and has been an All-Star four times, a Cy Young runner-up twice and an inning eater who has led the NL in innings pitched twice. His overall record in 12 seasons (he missed the 2011 campaign) is 146-81 with a 3.29 ERA. The Braves did make the post-season with Drew (.305, 31 HR, 93 RBI) and Marrero in their line-up in 2004, losing to Houston in five in the NLDS, only to see both players gone by 2005.
Baltimore Orioles – P Curt Schilling to Houston (1991)
The deal the Orioles made with Houston in early 1991 made sense, at the time. They needed an upgrade at first base and the Astros were dangling slugger Glenn Davis, who had smoked 164 homers and drove in 510 runs between 1985 and 1990. However, he sat out 69 games of the 1990 season with a rib injury, which should have been a bit of a red flag. Baltimore parted with a trio of minor leaguers to get Davis, including pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch as well as CF Steve Finley. It turned out to be a disaster for Baltimore. Davis hurt himself in spring training and played just 49 games that season. In all, he appeared in 185 games with the O’s over three seasons, hitting 24 homers and 85 RBI and then packing it in after the 1993 season. Schilling, as we all know, became one of the greatest pitchers of his generation. Finley, a fleet centerfielder, played until 2007, winning five Gold Gloves and earning two All-Star nominations. Harnisch was an All-Star his first season with Houston and would win 45 games in four seasons for the ‘Stros.
Boston Red Sox – P/OF Babe Ruth To The New York Yankees (1919)
It took them 86 years, but the Red Sox finally put the “Curse of the Bambino” to bed in 2004 with a long-awaited World Series title. The curse originated for one of the most short-sighted — and greedy — trades ever made in the history of the game. George Herman “Babe” Ruth was a good pitcher and decent hitting outfielder who helped the Sox win three World Series titles between 1915 and 1918. In ’18, Ruth was looking for a raise and penny-pinching owner Harry Frazee was looking to fund a musical called “No, No, Nanette.” Something had to give and Frazee ended up dealing Ruth to the hated New York Yankees, for $100,000. He did receive and offer of Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 from the Chicago White Sox, but took the 100 large instead. As for Ruth’s career in New York, we shouldn’t have to elaborate (659 homers in pinstripes alone).
Chicago Cubs – LF Lou Brock To St. Louis (1964)
Like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs made many missteps in the many years they didn’t win a World Series either. In 1964, the Cubs, who were on 58 years and counting since winning it all in 1908, flipped fleet young outfielder Lou Brock and two pitching prospects in a mid-season deal to St. Louis for star (but old) pitchers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and OF Doug Clemens. Brock, whose only sin was that he struck out too much for a lead-off hitter, went on to become one of the all-time great base stealers, leading the National League in that category eight times and finishing with 938 for his Hall-of-Fame career. Broglio, who finished third in Cy Young voting in 1960, lasted two and a half sub-par seasons with the Cubs before calling it a career in 1966. Shantz, who was 38 and the 1952 AL MVP, was in his last season in the majors.
Chicago White Sox – Sell Off Trade To San Francisco (1997)
At the end of July, 1997, the Chicago White Sox were just 3.5 games back of the AL Central lead, but had some expensive players on their roster that they wanted to deal at the deadline, instead of gunning for the post-season. The south-siders hadn’t won a World Series in 80 years (and wouldn’t win until 2005) and this trade left a bad taste in the fans’ mouths. They traded ace starter Wilson Alvarez, veteran starter Danny Darwin and elite closer Roberto Hernandez to the San Francisco Giants for a sextet of youngsters including pitchers Bob Howry and Keith Foulke. It would be forever known as the infamous “White Flag” trade. The Giants would make a successful run to the playoffs with their newly acquired trio of hurlers, but lost in three straight to the Florida Marlins. The White Sox finished 80-81 that year and six game out of a playoff spot. Of the Chisox new acquisitions, Foulke and Howry were solid middle relievers for a few seasons but weren’t around for the ’05 championship.
Cincinnati Reds – Josh Hamilton To Texas (2007)
Josh Hamilton made a triumphant debut in ’07 with the Reds, after many years of substance abuse issues that kept him out of the game. In 90 games with the Reds, Hamilton hit a solid .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBI. But, the Reds were looking for pitching and shipped Hamilton to the Texas Rangers in December of 2007 for young arms Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera. Hamilton would go on to have five straight All-Star seasons with the Rangers, copping AL MVP honors in 2010. He hit 142 homers and drove in 506 runs between 2008 and 2012 before signing with the LA Angels in 2013. Volquez had one good year in four and was gone by 2012, while Herrera, a middle reliever, lasted 131 games with the Reds.
Cleveland Indians – Rocky Colavito To Detroit (1960)
Much like the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, the Indians have paid the price for knee jerk trades, having not won a World Series title going on 70 years now. In early 1960, they still had young and beloved rightfielder Rocky Colavito in the line-up. He had just topped the AL in home runs in 1959 with 42 and was one of game’s great young sluggers at 26. However, GM “Trader” Frank Lane was looking for more consistency at the plate and dealt Colavito to rival Detroit for 1959 batting champion Harvey Kuenn, who was 29 at the time and had hit .353. Colavito played four solid seasons in Detroit, stroking 139 homers and chipping in 430 RBI. He would later re-join the Tribe, but fans never forgave Lane for trading a great player in his prime. Kuenn played one good year in Cleveland, before Lane shipped him out to San Francisco in 1961.
Colorado Rockies – Andy Ashby And Brad Ausmus To San Diego (1993)
The Rockies were an expansion club in 1993 and thus in search of an identity. Unfortunately for their fans, management at the time wanted an older identity for a team that would finish its first season 67-95 and 37 games out of first place in the NL West. So, when San Diego dangled veteran starting pitchers Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris, the Rockies bit, sending young starter Andy Ashby and catcher Brad Ausmus, as well as relief pitcher Doug Bochtler the other way. Hurst, who was 35 at the time of the deadline deal and a former All-Star with Boston, started just two games and sported a 12.46 ERA and was gone to Texas in 1994. Harris went 4-20 with a 6.60 ERA in 32 starts. Ashby, who was no great shakes in the thin air of Colorado, cut his ERA down three points in San Diego and put in seven good seasons with the Padres, going 70-62 with a 3.59 ERA and two All-Star nominations. Ausmus, now manager of the Detroit Tigers, turned into one of the game’s best defensive catchers.
Detroit Tigers – Doug Fister To Washington (2013)
Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski has a reputation for being a shrewd evaluator of talent and good wheeler-dealer. But even the best have a hiccup or two and the Doug Fister to Washington swap in December 2013 was one of them. Fister, who won 32 games in three seasons in Detroit, was coming off a 14-9 campaign in 2013 when Dombrowski decided to cash him in. Coming the Tigers way were young lefty reliever Ian Krol and starting hurler Robbie Ray, along with utility man Steve Lombardozzi. Fister would be a Cy Young candidate with the playoff bound Nationals in 2014, recording a career best 16-6 record, with a 2.41 ERA. Krol was rather ineffective in 78 appearances with the Tigers, logging an overall 5.34 ERA, while Ray was 1-4 in nine games (six starts) with a 8.16 ERA before going to Arizona, where he still pitches (and was 15-5 in 2017). Lombardozzi was traded before ever playing an inning in Detroit.
Houston Astros – Joe Morgan To Cincinnati (1971)
The Big Red Machine in Cincinnati had many great moving parts. The trade in November of 1971 that brought speedster and great lead-off hitter Joe Morgan to town completed the engine. The Reds had missed the playoffs in ’71 after going to the World Series in 1970 and were looking to shake things up. So, they packaged slugger 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms and utility man Jimmy Stewart to Houston for two-time All-Star 2B Morgan, SP Jack Billingham, outfielders Cesar Geronimo and Ed Armbrister and 3B Denis Menke. Morgan’s batting and base-stealing skills went to the next level in Cincy, while Geronimo and Billingham also played big roles in two future championships. As for the players the ‘Stros received, May would still be a valuable slugger, but would eventually go to Baltimore in 1975, while Houston floundered in the NL standings.
Kansas City Royals – David Cone To The New York Mets (1987)
Success can go to management’s heads, just ask the Kansas City Royals. The team was just one season removed from a World Series title in 1985, when they sent hard-throwing then reliever David Cone to the New York Mets before the start of the 1987 season. Cone didn’t distinguish himself in 11 games with the Royals in 1986, sporting a 5.56 ERA in 11 games. However, after one so-so year in Brooklyn, Cone went 20-3 in 1988 to finish third in NL Cy Young voting. He also led the senior circuit twice in strikeouts over his five seasons there. The players K.C. got in the trade did little for the team’s fortunes. Pitcher Rick Anderson went 2-3 in 13 games and retired after the 1987 season and pitcher Mauro Gozzo never made the big club. The silver lining to this deal was the fact the well-traveled Cone came back in the mid-90s to win a Cy Young with the Royals.
Los Angeles Angels – Devon White To Toronto (1990)
The Toronto Blue Jays have actually stung the Angels twice in trades and we had to chose between the 1990 deal that brought Devon White in from La-la Land or the 2011 swap that saw Vernon Wells go to the Halos. The White trade, though, takes the cake. The Angels were looking for a second baseman in 1990 and they targeted Toronto’s Luis Sojo. In the end, they dealt All-Star and two-time Gold Glover White, along with relief pitchers Willie Fraser and Marcus Moore to the Jays for Sojo, OF Junior Felix and C Ken Rivers. White, who wasn’t a great hitter in L.A. despite his All-Star nom in 1989, immediately upped his game in Canada, upping his .247 batting average in California to .270 in Toronto, while winning two World Series titles and five more Gold Gloves. Sojo played two years with the Halos and hit .265, while Felix also played two seasons and was gone by 1993.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Pedro Martinez To Montreal (1993)
There seemed to have been a dearth of second basemen in southern California in the early 90s. The Dodgers, like the Angels three years previous, had a need for a second sacker in 1993 and dangled hard-throwing young pitcher Martinez. The Expos bit, parting with 2B Delino DeShields. It wasn’t a totally bad trade for L.A., as DeShields would swipe 114 bases in three seasons. But, Martinez became a superstar in Montreal over the course of four seasons. He went 55-33 for the Expos from 1994 to 1997, with an aggregate 3.06 ERA and 843 strikeouts in 797.1 innings pitched. Pedro was an All-Star his last two seasons and won his first of three career Cy Young awards in 1997 with Montreal, leading the NL in ERA (1.90), complete games (13) and striking out 305 in 241.1 innings.
Miami Marlins – Miguel Cabrera To Detroit (2007)
It will be wait and see whether the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the Yankees becomes Miami’s worst ever deal — though we think it was lopsided in New York’s favor. So for now the trade that sent slugging, but expensive, first baseman Miguel Cabrera to Detroit in 2007 goes down as the worst in Marlins’ history. Little wonder the penny-wise, pound foolish Marlins haven’t been to the playoffs since 2003 (they won a second title that year and sold off everyone after). Cabrera, like Stanton after him, was an established hitting force in Miami for five seasons, hitting .313 overall, with 138 homers and 523 RBI. He garnered four All-Star nominations, too. After the trade, which also netted Detroit starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis, Cabrera has become a super-duper star in Michigan, winning four batting titles (a triple crown in 2012) and two AL MVP awards. The players Florida received in trade, including Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin, didn’t stick around long enough to make a true impact, either.
Milwaukee Brewers – Nelson Cruz and Carlos Lee To Texas (2006)
The key to the trade between the Brewers and Rangers at the trade deadline in 2006 was veteran basher Carlos Lee. But, the Brewers would solidify their worst ever deal by including up-and-coming power hitter Nelson Cruz, for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, as well as relief pitchers Francisco Cordero and Julian Cordero. Lee was a good rental for Texas, hitting .322 with nine homers and 35 RBI in 59 games before leaving in free agency after the ’06 season. Cruz, on the other hand, would blossom into a great everyday OF/DH in Texas, smacking 157 homers and driving in 489 runs in eight years with the Rangers. He was also and All-Star twice before moving on to Baltimore in 2014. Mench didn’t distinguish himself in a Brewers uniform and was gone after a season and a half. Francisco Cordero had 60 saves in a season and a bit, but he too was gone by the end of 2007. Nix and the other Cordero had no impact at all.
Minnesota Twins – Johan Santana To The New York Mets (2008)
Some would say that the best and worst trades ever made by the Twins both involved Johan Santana. The lefty starter was brought in during a Rule 5 draft deal with the Florida Marlins (there they are, again) in 1999. He would win two Cy Young awards with Minnesota, with a combined 93-44 mark over eight seasons and 1,381 strikeouts (he led the AL three years in a row in Ks) in 1,308.2 innings. An All-Star for the third year in a row in 2007 and fifth in Cy Young voting, Santana was inexplicably deemed expendable at the end of that campaign. The Twins moved him to the Mets in early 2008 for a quartet of promising young players that included CF Carlos Gomez. Santana would have another outstanding year with the Mets in 2008, leading the NL in ERA (2.53), innings pitched (234.2) and would finish third in Cy Young voting. He was 46-34 in four years with New York (retiring in 2012). Gomez wasn’t bad in two seasons with Minnesota and wouldn’t become a key contributor until moving to Milwaukee and later Texas.
New York Mets – Tom Seaver To Cincinnati (1977)
There was no rhyme or reason to the trade that would become known as the “Midnight Massacre.” In a swap that still causes long-time Mets fans to spit in disgust, three-time Cy Young award and five-time strikeout king Tom Seaver was dealt to Cincinnati in June of 1977 for four players who would not have Hall of Fame careers. Seaver won 198 games in a Mets uniform and was an All-Star in 10 of his 12 seasons before the infamous trade. He would win another 75 games in Reds threads and two more All-Star nods before returning to New York in 1983. The Mets got 2B Doug Flynn (a light hitter, he won a Gold Glove with the Mets in 1980), starter Pat Zachry (41-46 in six seasons), LF Steve Henderson (started for four seasons but was nothing more than a reserve OF later in his career) and OF Dan Norman (a back-up outfielder for four years). Not exactly memorable players in return for a future Hall of Famer.
New York Yankees – Fred McGriff To Toronto (1982)
Pat Gillick was known as a wheeler dealer with few peers during his 16 years in the Toronto Blue Jays front office. His astute trades while GM and VP of Baseball Operations with the Jays made the team into a contender, with five AL East division titles and two World Series championships. One of his first trades of significance that got Toronto on the road to a World Series title was the fleecing of the Yankees for prospect McGriff, as well as starter Mike Morgan and Of Dave Collins in 1982 for veteran reliever Dale Murray and 3B Tom Dodd. McGriff would become a regular in Toronto by 1987 and would lead the AL in homers with 36 in 1989. His greatest contribution, though, would be as part of a mammoth trade with San Diego in late 1990 that netted Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, who would be heroes during the 1992 and 1993 championship runs. The Yankees got next to nothing out of the McGriff trade, as former workhorse reliever Murray scuffled in parts of three seasons in New York and retired in 1985, while Dodd never played one game with the Bombers.
Oakland Athletics – Tim Hudson To Atlanta (2004)
Athletics’ GM Billy Beane, the “Moneyball” executive, has often been hailed as a genius when it comes to making good personnel gains on the cheap. But, even the giants of wheeling and dealing have a hiccup or two along the way. Beane’s greatest blunder was surrendering star pitcher Tim Hudson to the Atlanta Braves in December 2004 for three young players who would amount to squat in A’s uniforms. Hudson, a two-time All-Star and Cy Young candidate in 2000 (20-6 record), went on to pitch nine season with the Braves, winning another 113 games and posting a sterling 3.56 ERA in 243 starts. The players that came to the A’s included OF Charles Thomas (.109 batting average in 30 total games with Oakland), RP Juan Cruz (28 games with Oakland in 2005, 7.44 ERA) and SP/RP Dan Meyer (0-6 record in 17 games, 7.98 ERA). Not Billy Beane’s finest hour.
Philadelphia Phillies – Ryne Sandberg To The Chicago Cubs (1982)
At first blush, the 1982 trade that included then unknown infielder Ryne Sandberg wasn’t a bad one for the Phillies. They dealt aging shortstop Larry Bowa to Chicago for solid SS Ivan de Jesus. Bowa, who was already 35 at the time of the early 1982 deal, would be a solidly unspectacular contributor in Chicago for three and a half years and would retire in 1985. Philadelphia got three pretty good seasons out of de Jesus, who also played with the club during their ill-fated drive to a championship in 1983. However, the throw-in to the deal, Sandberg, would haunt the Phillies for years to come. He had all of six at bats as a third baseman with Philly and the Cubs turned him into their everyday second baseman in 1982. By 1984, the five-tool Sandberg was NL MVP and over the course of 15 seasons in a Cubs uniform he would be an All-Star 10 times, a Gold Glover nine times and a Silver Slugger winner six times.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Aramis Ramirez To The Chicago Cubs (2003)
The Philadelphia Phillies aren’t the only team in the National League over the years to get fleeced by the Chicago Cubs. Two decades after the Cubbies stole Ryne Sandberg from Philly, they engineered a one-sided trade that netted them slugging 3B Aramis Ramirez. Just prior to the deadline during the 2003 season, Chicago sent veteran SS Jose Hernandez and prospects, 2B Bobby Hill and SP Matt Bruback, to Pittsburgh in exchange for Ramirez and OF Kenny Lofton. Ramirez was already established as the Bucs everyday third baseman and would only improve his game greatly in a Cubs uniform. Over nine seasons, he was an All-Star twice and MVP candidate four times, while ripping 239 homers and driving in 806 runs in 1,124 games. The well traveled Lofton hit .327 in 56 games for Chicago before leaving in free agency. Hernandez hit just .223 for Pittsburgh in 58 games and left at the end of the season. Hill played 185 games in a Pirates uniform and was out of the bigs by 2005. Bruback never made it.
San Diego Padres – David Freese To St. Louis (2007)
On paper, the trade that brought All-Star centerfielder and World Series champion Jim Edmonds to San Diego for minor league prospect third baseman David Freese in late 2007 looked like a win. The Padres, who had missed the playoffs in 2007 after going to the NLDS in 2006, figured Edmonds could be a stabilizing veteran presence. However, he played just 26 games for the Padres in 2008 and hit a paltry .178, forcing the team to release him. Edmonds would ultimately retire in 2010. Freese, on the other hand, would be the Cardinals starting third baseman by the 2011 playoffs, ultimately winning World Series MVP, hitting .348 against Texas, with five extra base hits and seven RBI in seven games. Freese was also an All-Star for St. Louis in 2012 and is still in the National League as Pittsburgh’s everyday third baseman.
San Francisco Giants – Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano To Minnesota (2003)
In the end, the San Francisco Giants got one whole year out of former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski in this infamous November 2003 trade. The controversial catcher lasted one season in San Fran, hitting .272 and grounding into a league high 27 double plays. The Giants non-tendered him and he left in free agency to the Chicago White Sox. Going the other way were young pitchers Nathan, Liriano and first round pick Boof Bonser. Nathan, a four-time All-Star in a Twins uniform, would turn out to be a premier closer for the team, saving 260 games in 460 appearances, with a 2.16 ERA and 561 Ks in 463.1 innings. Liriano stayed with the Twins for seven seasons, earning an All-Star nod in 2006, when he went 12-3 in 28 games (16 starts) and logged a 2.16 ERA. His best year was 2010, when he sported a 14-10 mark and 3.62 ERA, with 201 strikeouts in 191.2 innings.
Seattle Mariners – Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe To Boston (1997)
The price, unfortunately for Seattle, for one-time premier closer Heathcliff Slocumb was very steep. In need of a closer at the 1997 trade deadline, the M’s sent young catcher Jason Varitek and fellow youthful starting pitcher Derek Lowe to the Boston Red Sox for Slocumb. The seven-year, well-traveled veteran reliever was an All-Star with Philadelphia in 1995, saving 32 games with a 2.89 ERA, but wasn’t near as effective with Boston that year, recording 17 saves and a 5.79 ERA in 49 appearances before the trade. He would log 13 saves and a 4.97 ERA for the Mariners in two seasons before ending up in Baltimore in 1999. Meanwhile, Lowe and Varitek would be cornerstone pieces to the 2004 Red Sox championship run. Varitek, who would play 15 season in Boston, was the everyday catcher by 1999 and was captain of the team for the ’04 and ’07 championship squads. He hit 193 homers and drove in 757 runs in 1,546 games. Lowe was a great closer early on, leading the AL in saves during the 2000 season with 42, then became and All-Star starter, recording a 21-8 record in 2002.
St. Louis Cardinals – Steve Carlton To Philadelphia (1972)
In early 1972, the St. Louis Cardinals decided that 1971 20-game winner Steve Carlton, who also lost 19 games in 1970, could be traded to the highest bidder. That bidder would be Philadelphia, who offered fellow in-his-prime lefthander Rick Wise, who was 75-76 in seven seasons and just 26 at the time of the deal. St. Louis would end up ruing the day the sent “Lefty” away, as he really blossomed in Philly, winning 241 games in 15 seasons, as well as four Cy Young awards, seven All-Star nominations, a World Series title (his second) and even a Triple Crown. Wise, none to shabby himself — but no Steve Carlton — lasted two seasons in St. Louis, winning 32 and losing 28, with a combined ERA of 3.24. He was an All-Star in his second season with the Cards, but again, he was no “Lefty.”
Tampa Bay Rays – David Price To Detroit (2014)
We think that the Tampa Bay Rays recent inability to reach the post-season has much to do with the 2014 three-team trade that saw David Price go to Detroit. Yet another penny-pinching Florida team, Tampa surrendered 2012 Cy Young winner Price to the Tigers, getting infielder Nick Franklin from Seattle and SS Willy Adames and SP Drew Smyly from Detroit in the swap. Price, who was 11-8 with the Rays and already had 189 Ks at the time of the trade deadline deal, would go 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 11 games for Detroit before pitching well for them in the ALDS. He was an All-Star again in 2015 and is now with Boston, where he remains a key inning eater and top drawer starter. Of the players Tampa got in return, Smyly had fair to middling results, registering a 15-15 record and 3.95 ERA in three seasons. Nick Franklin was strictly spare parts (.227 batting average in 115 games), while Adames is still in the minors.
Texas Rangers – Ron Darling To The New York Mets (1982)
Just prior to the start of the 1982 season, the Texas Rangers made a deal with the Mets that they would come to regret greatly. The Mets had former All-Star Lee Mazzilli as trade bait in 1981, as he was coming off a horrid season (.228 batting average) but was still just 27 at the time of the trade and a valuable commodity to a team like Texas. So, the Rangers offered up former first round (9th overall) pick Ron Darling, along with fellow young hurler Walt Terrell. Mazzilli would be pretty much a bust for the Rangers, hitting .241 in 58 games before being shopped to the New York Yankees during the ’82 season. Darling would turn out to be a cornerstone workhorse in New York, winning 99 games with a 3.50 ERA in 257 games, while also helping the Mets beat Boston in the 1986 World Series. Terrell wasn’t bad either, going 19-23 in three seasons with the Mets, logging a 3.53 ERA.
Toronto Blue Jays – Michael Young To Texas (2000)
The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t had a great second baseman since Robbie Alomar last laced up his cleats with the team in 1995. How good, then, would future seven-time All-Star Michael Young looked in Toronto double blue? The Jays drafted Young in 1997 and he was percolating well in their minor league system, hitting for high average and good gap power. But, Toronto wanted a reliable starter and the cost for Texas veteran Esteban Loaiza was Young and pitcher Darwin Cubillan at the 2000 deadline. Loaiza was strictly middle-of-the-rotation fodder, registering a 25-28 record in 75 games for Toronto, with a 4.96 ERA. Young, though, would hit .301 in 13 years with Texas, including 647 extra base hits and 984 RBI in 1,823 games. He was an All-Star seven times and a batting champion in 2005.
Washington Nationals – Randy Johnson To Seattle (1989)
Technically, this bad swap was on the Montreal Expos. But, the ‘Spos history is very much a part of the Nationals lore and the Randy Johnson trade in early 1989 sticks out like a sore thumb. Now, at the time, the lanky “Big Unit” was still raw, having pitched in 11 games with the Expos and fashioning a 3-4 record, with 4.69 ERA. Deemed expendable, he was packaged up with pitchers Brian Holman and Gene Harris to Seattle, with big-time starter Mark Langston (and lesser known Mike Campbell) coming to Montreal. It would not be Montreal/Washington’s finest moment, as Johnson went on to dominate for Seattle, winning a Cy Young in 1995 and leading the AL in strikeouts four seasons in a row from 1992 to 1995. Langston, also a southpaw and strikeout king who topped the AL in Ks three times, pitched with Montreal for the remainder of the 1989 season, posting a 12-9 record, 2.39 ERA and 175 strikeouts before leaving in free agency to the Angels.