The Gamer

Ten Really Lopsided Trades

 

Grady Sizemore with the Expos in 200

Grady Sizemore with the Expos in 2000

 

 

1. The Expos trade Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens to the Indians for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.

 

Omar Minaya paid dearly — beyond dearly — for roughly two months of Colon. Colon gave the Expos high-quality innings down the stretch, but they finished 12 games out of playoff position. In the service of making that run, the Expos gave up, most notably, Sizemore (one of the best young players in baseball and already a three-time All-Star), Lee (possibly the AL Cy Young winner this season), and Phillips (a 30-30 player last season as a 26-year-old), who’s now a Red. The state of Ohio remains grateful.

 

2. The Mets trade Scott Kazmir and Jose Diaz to the Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.

 

Zambrano was uniformly awful as a Met and is now out of the majors. Kazmir, in contrast, has evolved into one of the best young pitchers in baseball. This year, Kazmir may win the ERA title and last season he led the AL in strikeouts as a 23-year-old. The Mets will regret this one for the next decade or so.

 

3. The Mets trade Jason Isringhausen to the A’s for Billy Taylor.

 

Isringhausen, after leaving New York, became a dominating closer for the A’s and Cardinals, and now he’s working on 300 career saves. Taylor, though, logged a ghastly 8.10 ERA during his stay in Queens.

 

4. The Baltimore Orioles trade pitchers Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and outfielder Steve Finley to the Houston Astros for First Baseman Glenn Davis.

 

Despite his talent, the Orioles had found Schilling to bee too inconsistent and thus found it in their hearts to trade him.  Schilling live up to his potential by playing in three World Series (and winning two) and obtaining baseball immortality when pitching on a bad ankle in the “bloody sock.”  Harnisch would become a good middle of the rotation pitcher for the Astros.  Finley would become a solid centerfielder, having some nice seasons in Houston and San Diego before he became one of the cornerstones of that 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks team and hitting arguably the most damaging home run in the Giants-Dodgers rivalry history in 2004 in the 2nd to last game of the season, knocking the Giants out of contention and putting Los Angeles through.  As for Davis?  He would never be the same player for the Orioles as he was with the Astros.  A week after the trade, he would get his jaw broken in a bar room brawl.  After that, his numbers slowly dropped into obscurity.

 

5. The Seattle Mariners trade pitcher Derek Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek to the Boston Red Sox for closer Heathcliff Slocumb

 

What the hell were the Mariners’ thinking? 

 

Okay, Slocumb was a fairly good closer in his career.  Seattle, who was at the time dog fighting with the Anaheim Angels for control of the American League West, needed to shore up their bullpen if they were to make a run.  While the trade paid off in the short term, after 1997, Slocumb was terrible.  As for the other two, Lowe would switch from a good closer to a good starting pitcher and Varitek would evolve into one of the best catchers in baseball and captain of the Boston Red Sox.  More importantly, Seattle gave Boston the seeds that bloomed into their 2004 World Series title.

 

6. The Los Angeles Dodgers trade pitcher Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields. 

 

A trade brought on by necessity.  Because of second baseman Jody Reed rejecting the Dodgers’ offer of a contract extension to see what he could get on the open market (1 year, $750K, as compared to 3 years, $7.8 million.), the Dodgers were forced to bring in DeShields to patch up their infield.  Pedro would dominate the National League and was a part of that magical 1994 Expos team that would have won the World Series before he became a part of the Red Sox.  And the rest is history.

 

7. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays trade outfielder Bobby Abreu to the Philadelphia Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker.

 

After taking him from the Astros in the Expansion Draft, the D-Rays promptly traded Abreu to the Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker.  Abreu became one of the premier outfielders in baseball, while Stocker fell apart quickly for the Devil Rays and traded to the Angels in 2000.  Abreu has established himself as one of baseball’s toughest outs, averages more than 5 pitches seen per at bat. 

 

8. The New York Mets trade pitchers Nolan Ryan, Don Rose, catcher Frank Estrada, and outfielder Leroy Stanton to the California Angels for shortstop Jim Fregosi.

 

The Mets thought that Fregosi would be their answer to upgrade their infield.  And they probably thought that they got away with a steal, including Ryan, a wild, but talented player, and a bunch of busts in the deal.  Fregosi would do poorly in New York.  As for Ryan, his control issues cleared up in California, and he embarked on his journey down the path that would establish him as one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

 

9. The San Francisco Giants trade pitchers Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser to Twins for A.J. Pierzynski

 

Seeing Pierzynski as their last major piece needed for the championship, the Giants traded three pitching prospects for the catcher.  However, the Twins didn’t tell the Giants about how much of a jackass Pierzynski was.  Pierzynski did well for the Giants, but clashes with teammates and trainer Stan Conti’s nuts prompted the Giants to not bring him back.  Meanwhile, Joe Nathan has become one of the best closers in baseball, Francisco Liriano looks like the second coming of Johan Santana and Bonser is coming along nicely as a 4 or 5 starter, making Giants fans ape shit at GM Brian Sabean. 

 

10.  The Florida Marlins trade Derek Lee to the Chicago Cubs for Heesop Choi and a player to be named later. 

 

This trade is just hilarious.  Derek Lee turned into an All-Star first baseman with the Chicago Cubs.  This is where salary dumping and market correction just went bad. 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

Athletics trade Doug Mirabelli Red Sox for Justin Duchscherer

Files for Free Agency

Signs with San Diego Padres

Red Sox Trade Cla Mereditch and Josh Bard to the Padres for Doug Mirabelli

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August 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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