Second-guessing is one of the things that come with trades. Whether the trade was good or bad, or if it was worth it is open for debate with the fans. The Phillies have had some good trades, some bad trades, and some really bad trades, but most of the good ones cancel out the bad ones.
1. Steve Carlton for Rick Wise (Feb. 25, 1972)
The first thing people thought of this trade was, “What was that?” Many fans disapproved of this trade at first, but after the 1972 season they thought differently. Very differently.
Rick Wise was a fan favorite in Philly, and after a strong season, he wanted more money. Now, over in St. Louis, Cardinals pitcher Steve Carlton was thinking the same thing. Phillies general manager got a call from Cardinals GM Bing Devine. Devine was offering Carlton for Wise because Carlton was becoming a handful. The Phils accepted and Carlton won 27 games for the Phils in 1972, while the team won only 57 games.
Carlton played 14 more seasons in Philly and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
2. Jim Bunning & Gus Triandos for Don Demeter & Jack Hamilton (Dec 5. 1963)
In 1963, the Phils traded away two young prospects to the Detroit Tigers for two established big leaguers.
Jim Bunning had already pitched a no-hitter by the time he joined the Phils. He was amazing for them over the next four seasons, winning 74 games. He would be traded away to the Pirates, but would come back in 1970 and ’71.
Gus Triandos played two years for the Phils and did okay. Don Demeter did well for the Tigers over the next two seasons, while Jack Hamilton would pitch in only nine games for the Tigers during his only two seasons with the team.
3. Cy Williams for Dode Paskert (Dec. 26, 1917)
This was a great Christmas present for the Phillies. Cy Williams had been struggling for the Chicago Cubs during his first and six days after he turned 30 years old, he was traded away for Dode Paskert. Williams did well his first year with the Phils, and then he batted .321 over the next seven seasons. In 1923, he tied Babe Ruth in home runs.
4. Tug McGraw, Don Hahn, & Dave Schneck for Del Unser, John Stearns, & Mac Scarce (Dec. 3, 1974)
After nine seasons with the Mets, including two seasons with an ERA under 2.00, McGraw was traded to the Phils.
The rest is history.
He became the greatest relief pitcher in Phillies history and struck out Willie Wilson in 1980 to win the World Series. Don Hahn played his last season in 1975, and Dave Schneck never played a game for the Phils.
Del Unser came back to the Phils in 1980. John Stearns starred for the Mets for many years while Mac Scarce would pitch in 18 games for the Mets over the next two years.
5. Curt Schilling for Jason Grimsley (April 2, 1992)
After four seasons as a relief pitcher, the Phillies made the smartest decision in Curt Schilling’s career. They acquired him from the Houston Astros and changed him to a starter.
He pitched ten strong seasons for the Phils, even though they never had good teams. He struck out 300 or more batters in 1997 and ’98. Despite his great success, he never won more than 17 games in one season.
Meanwhile, Jason Grimsley never played a game for the Astros.