2011 MLB Trade Deadline: Cliff Lee and the 13 Most Lopsided Trades Since 1990
As the MLB season heads into the dog days of summer, we all sit in anticipation to see what big names will be moved at the deadline.
Will the New York Yankees get their top of the line pitcher? Will the Milwaukee Brewers make another surprising splash like they did in acquiring C.C. Sabathia in 2008?
We will find out soon.
At this point, we can just sit back and hold out hope that our respective teams can keep winning ballgames—pleading that they are in position to make a bold move at the deadline.
On the other hand, it doesn't always work out as planned—as no one wants to be on the losing end of a bad deal.
We've seen many lopsided deals over the last 20 years—although in most cases it takes years to determine the winner.
Here are the 13 Most Lopsided Deals Since 1990.
13. Tides Change in Tampa as Baby Rays Nab Kazmir
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
1) Scott Kazmir
1) Victor Zambrano
2) Bartolome Fortunato
The Rays made out like bandits in this deal—getting one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Sure, Kazmir blows now. But in Tampa he anchored a young rotation and helped lead the franchise out of futility.
Zambrano spent a few seasons in New York—going 10-14 with a 4.42 ERA.
12. Baby Rays Send Bobby Abreu to Fanatics in Philly
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1) Bobby Abreu
1) Kevin Stocker
Abreu never even played a game for Tampa. Although Stocker spent three seasons on the Baby Rays, it can be argued that he was never really there.
Abreu became an All-Star in Philly, where he spent nine productive seasons before heading to the Big Apple.
11. A-Gon Goes from Lone-Star State to Being the Lone Star in San Diego
1) Adrian Gonzalez
2) Chris Young
3) Terrmel Sledge
1) Akinori Otsuka
2) Adam Eaton
A-Gon is obviously the biggest piece of this deal, but Chris Young put together some decent seasons in San Diego.
The Rangers got a combined three seasons out of the two pitchers, leaving no doubt that the Padres were the clear winners in this trade.
10. Cardinals Go Kiko, Land Mulder
1) Dan Haren
2) Kiko Calero
3) Daric Barton
1) Mark Mulder
In all fairness, the Cards' got what they were asking for in Mulder. Unfortunately, after a 16-8 performance during his first season in St. Louis, Mulder got bit by the injury bug and never pitched the same.
Haren is now one of the top pitchers in baseball while Kiko Calero and Daric Barton both put up respectable numbers
9. Hudson Heads to a Brave New World
1) Tim Hudson
1) Juan Cruz
2) Charles Thomas
3) Dan Meyer
This trade didn't work out too well for Billy Beane and Co. Juan Cruz has been a respectable reliever the last few seasons, but the other two are lost causes.
Hudson is 77-52 with a 3.58 ERA in seven seasons with Atlanta—clearly putting the Braves on the top end of this trade.
8. Florida Marlins Get Filleted by Cubbies
Victor Baldizon/Getty Images
1) Hee-Seop Choi
1) Derrek Lee
Lee became a fan favorite in Chicago—giving the Cubbies 180 home runs and a few division titles over his seven seasons in the Windy City.
Choi gave the the Marlins a total of 95 games before he was sent to the Dodgers for three bats, two baseballs and a glove.
7. Cubbies Loot Pirates in Pittsburgh
Al Bello/Getty Images
1) Aramis Ramirez
2) Kenny Lofton
1) Jose Hernandez
2) Bobby Hill
3) Matt Bruback
Even Kenny Lofton did more for the Cubs than any of the three players did for the Pirates—batting .327 down the stretch and being more than solid in the NLDS and NLCS.
Hernandez had the best career for the Pirates—playing in 125 total games and hitting five long-balls.
6. The Curse Strikes Again as Bagwell Heads to Houston
1) Jeff Bagwell
Red Sox Receive
1) Larry Anderson
Oh, what could have been.
It would have been great for the Red Sox having Bagwell at first base throughout the 90s with Mo Vaughn moving to the DH spot. I guess it wasn't meant to be.
The journeyman known as Larry Anderson pitched to a 1.23 ERA in his Red Sox career—albeit only 15 games.
5. Seattle Goes Slo', Red Sox Buy Lowe
1) Heath Slocumb
Red Sox Receive
1) Jason Varitek
2) Derek Lowe
Slocumb went 2-9 with a 4.97 ERA and 13 saves in parts of two seasons with the Mariners—not quite what they were hoping for when acquiring him from the Red Sox.
We all know the story with Varitek and Lowe—who helped the Red Sox break the "Curse of the Bambino" while winning a World Series title in 2004.
4. Houston Robs Baltimore but Doesn't Even Know It
1) Glenn Davis
1) Curt Schilling
2) Steve Finley
3) Pete Harnisch
Injuries allowed Davis to play in only 185 games during his three uenventful seasons with Baltimore.
Although Schilling and Finley didn't stay in Houston long, the Astros had hidden gems and didn't even know it. Schilling will some day be in the Hall of Fame and Finley is a member of the 300 Club (300 HR/300 SB).
3. Red Sox Steal Pedro While Pavano Gets Expos(ed)
Red Sox Receive
1) Pedro Martinez
1) Carl Pavano
2) Tony Armas, Jr.
Pedro was already an elite pitcher by the time he was shipped to Boston. Yet, his seven year stretch in Bean Town may be the most dominant stretch in MLB history.
Pavano spent five unpleasant years in Montreal before finally catching on in Florida. Armas actually stuck around long enough to make it to Washington before washing out of the league.
2. Twin Killing: A Giant Failure for San Francisco
1) AJ Pierzynski
1) Joe Nathan
2) Francisco Liriano
3) Boof Bonser
The Giants took a chance on a rental player and they failed miserably. Pierzynski had a hole in his bat during his short time in San Francisco and wore out his welcome within months.
The Twins got a top of the rotation starter in Liriano and one of the better closers in MLB over the last decade in Nathan.
Twinkies take the cake.
1. Expos Give Up Montreal to Acquire Bartolo Colon
1) Bartolo Colon
2) Tim Drew
1) Cliff Lee
2) Grady Sizemore
3) Brandon Phillips
4) Lee Stevens
Not only did the Expos fail to make the playoffs after acquiring Colon, but it pretty much reshaped the future of the franchise. One can only wonder if baseball would still be played in Montreal if Lee, Sizemore and Phillips had stuck around.
Even though Colon pitched great for the Expos for the remainder of that season, this ended up being by far the most lopsided deal since 1990.