Listen Up, This Is a Robbery: The 12 Most Lopsided Trades of the 21st Century

FRANKCorrespondent IIFebruary 17, 2009

If you are a baseball buff, as I am, you probably had many debates discussing the most lopsided trades in baseball history.

Trades like Nolan Ryan (NYM) for Jim Fregosi (Cal), Doyle Alexander (Atl) for John Smoltz (Det), Jay Buhner (NYY) for Ken Phelps (Sea); and Glenn Davis (Hou) for Curt Shilling, Pete Harnisch, and Steve Finley (Balt) were probably four of many transactions discussed.

I've decided to continue the discussion and debate, by listing and commenting on the worst trades completed in the 21st century.

This list doesn't even include the Florida Marlins trading unknown lefty Johan Santana to the Minnesota Twins for Jared Camp (ouch). Though this transaction occurred prior the 2000 season it was completed on Dec. 13, 1999.

If your team is listed as being robbed, you have my sympathy and apologizes for having to relive these days all over again. As I put down my razor, my team (Mets) is listed twice and I can always wonder what could have been if they kept Nolan Ryan.

I do urge readers to comment and provide other transactions that were not listed.

12. (7/25/01) Jermaine Dye (Col) for Todd Belitz, Mario Encarnacion, and Jose Ortiz (Oak) - This trade occurred after Kansas City traded Dye to the Rockies for Neifi Perez on the same day.

11. (7/13/01) Almost two weeks prior to the Dye trade, Colorado traded Chone Figgins to the Angels for Kimera Bartee. Talk about having a bad month. 

10. (7/28/00) Mets sent Melvin Mora and three other players to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Bordick. I understand why the trade was made, they had to replace Rey Ordonez who was injured and need a shortstop to continue the playoff push.

But they sent a solid player in Mora, who was beginning to show some skills at third. To rub salt in the wound, Bordick returned to the Orioles after the season was over.

9. (3/23/00) Jim Edmonds was traded from the Angels to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy. This trade made the list because Bottenfield was not able to be an adequate pitcher for the Angels.

Instead, Kent was 7-8 with ERA of 5.71 over 21 games. He was sent packing to the Phillies that July. As for Edmonds, he would average close to 30 home runs a year over a 8 year span as a Cardinal.

8. (12/16/01) Colorado received future closer Brian Fuentes and two other players from the Seattle Mariners for Jeff Cirillo. Cirillo would go on to bat .249 and .205 during the two years as a Mariner.

7. (7/23/03) Chicago Cubs went on to strike gold by trading Jose Hernandez and Matt Bruback to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, and cash. Did the Cubs really need cash thrown in? Talk about highway robbery!

6. (11/25/03) Chicago Cubs went on to acquire their second future All Star player when they traded Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini to Florida for Derek Lee. This of course was originated by the team's lack of a major league payroll, which of course is the case today.

Imagine if the Marlins' payroll was a quarter of the NY Yankees or Mets. They would be in the middle of a dynasty.

5. (7/19/00) Texas traded Estaban Loaiza, who was 5-6 at the time, to the Toronto Blue Jays for a young infielder named Michael Young and Darwin Cubillan.

Michael Young has gone on to hit .300 and elected to five All Star Games during his nine seasons. As for Loaiza, he would go on to becoming a .500 pitcher during his two and half years with the Blue Jays.

4. (7/30/04) NY Mets traded Scott Kazmir and Jose Diaz to Tampa Bay for Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano. Everyone has been blamed for this lopsided trade, from then GM Jim Duquette to Met ownership to then pitching coach Rick Petersen to UFOs.

Anyway, Kazmir has gone on become the ace of the Rays while compiling a record of 47-37. As for Victor, he was looking to receive a new elbow basically the moment he stepped in Queens. Good job Mets!!!

3. (1/16/06) San Diego traded Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka, and Bill Killian to the Texas Rangers for current All-Star Adrian Gonzalez, former All-Star Chris Young (the tall one), and Termel Sledge.

Eaton would go on to win seven games during his lone year in the Lone Star State. Needless to say, the Padres were able to receive a pitcher who was better than the one they sent packing and a player who resembled Rafael Palmeiro (minus the performance-enhancing drugs).

2. (11/14/03) Minneapolis was jumping for joy when the Twins management was able to trade hot headed catcher A.J.  Pierzynski and cash to the San Francisco Giants for future stud closer Joe Nathan, future All-Star pitcher Francisco Liriano and "Goofy" Boof Bonser.

What was in the Kool Aid that day in the Bay City? Nathan was coming off a 12-4 season and reports were coming out of the Giants organization that he would be the first in line to close in 2004 to replace free agent Tim Worrell. 

He did close in 2004, but it was with the Twins. Nathan would go on to save 44 games that year.

Surprisingly, the Twins heist isn't Np. 1. The number one lopsided trade conducted in the 21st century goes to current Met GM Omar Minaya.

1. (7/27/02) Feeling the pressure to get the Expos over the hump, and perhaps save the franchise in Montreal, then GM Omar Minaya traded three future studs to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.

Though, Colon tried to fulfill his part (10-4 with the Expos) the team would fall short of catching the Braves. Colon would then get traded to the Chicago White Sox for Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer, and cash after the season. 

As for the Indians, they were able to receive current All-Star Grady Sizemore, current Cy Young Winner Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Lee Stevens. There foundation was set for them to bounce back to the top of the division.

Though it is too soon to analyze, there were probably a half of dozen lop sided trades that were completed since 2006 that will be discussed in the future. That's the beauty of baseball, the hot stove and the trade deadline can be as exciting as the regular season.

Thank you,