The 15 Worst Trades in Seattle Mariners History

R. LeBaronCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 15:  Infielder Tino Martinez #24 of the New York Yankees smiles during the game against the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum on May 15, 2005 in Oakland, California.  The Yankees won 6-4.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

With the Seattle Mariners currently in the capable hands of General Manager Jack Zduriencik, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to revisit the kinds of trades that used to take place before Z arrived on the scene.

15.  Phil Bradley and Tim Fortugno to Philadelphia for Glenn Wilson, Mike Jackson, and Dave Brundage; Dec. 9, 1987:

Phil Bradley was a pretty solid player on some bad Mariner's teams, which at that time meant one thing: He had to go.

14.  Jose Cruz Jr. to Toronto for Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric; July 31, 1997:

This one didn’t end up as bad as it initially appeared simply because Cruz didn’t develop into the perennial All-Star some thought he would become, but it still wasn’t exactly a shining moment in Mariners' history.

13.  Dave Henderson and Spike Owen to Boston for Rey Quinones, Mike Brown, John Christensen, and Mike Trujillo; Aug. 19, 1986:

Henderson eventually became an All-Star and played in four World Series. Quinones is most famous for being unavailable to pinch hit in a game for the Mariners because he was playing video games in the clubhouse.

12.  Brian Fuentes, Denny Stark, and Jose Paniagua to Colorado for Jeff Cirillo; Dec. 16, 2001:

As if giving away Fuentes wasn’t bad enough, Cirillo hit .234 for the Mariners in two forgettable seasons.

11.  Carlos Guillen to Detroit for Juan Gonzalez (not that Juan Gonzalez) and Ramon Santiago; Jan. 8, 2004:

After a trade for Omar Vizquel fell through, the M’s dealt Guillen for Santiago and Gonzalez who went on to play a combined 27 games for the Mariners (all of them by Santiago). Meanwhile, Guillen (briefly) blossomed into a pretty solid run producer for the Tigers.

10.  Shin-Soo Choo and Shawn Nottingham to Cleveland for Ben Broussard; Aug. 24, 2006:

This trade looked iffy, but not outrageous when it happened, but it looks like it’s about to get a lot worse after Choo hit .300 with 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases for the Indians in 2009. Broussard, bless his heart, is now a full time musician.

9.    Mike Hampton and Mike Felder to Houston for Eric Anthony; Dec. 10, 1993:

This one looked really bad for several years until Hampton signed that ridiculous contract with the Rockies and has since spent a ton of time on the Disabled List.

8.    Danny Tartabull and Rick Luecken to Kansas City for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery, and Steve Shields; Dec. 10, 1986:

After Tartabull led all of professional baseball with 43 home runs for the AAA Calgary Cannons, he then hit 25 the next year as a rookie for the Mariners. Back then, success was not tolerated by the Mariners, so he was immediately traded. Scott Bankhead was a serviceable pitcher for the Mariners and Mike Kingery was somewhat fun to watch in the outfield because of his cannon of an arm. However, Tartabull went on to have six additional seasons with at least 25 home runs and five with at least 100 RBIs. Ouch.

7.   Rafael Soriano to Atlanta for Horacio Ramirez; Dec. 7, 2006:

Every single Mariners fan let out a collective gasp when this trade was announced. Just brutal.

6.   David Arias (now known as David Ortiz) to Minnesota for Dave Hollins; Sept. 13, 1996:

I'll admit this one isn't really fair. Ortiz wasn't much of a prospect when the Mariners traded him. It’s really the Twins that gave up on him at the wrong time. But still, David Ortiz for Dave Hollins hurts.

5.   Billy Swift, Mike Jackson, and Dave Burba to San Francisco for Kevin Mitchell and Mike Remlinger; Dec. 11, 1991:

Swift went on to win 21 games one season for the Giants while Mitchell went on to gain weight and stop hitting home runs for the Mariners.

4.  Omar Vizquel to Cleveland for Felix Fermin, Reggie Jefferson, and cash; Dec. 20, 1993:

I think “Ugh!” pretty much sums it up.

3.  Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir to the New York Yankees for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock; Dec. 7, 1995:

This one was painful. The Mariners knew Tino was headed for a big payday and decided to trade him instead of pay him. Hitchcock never really fulfilled his potential, and although Davis did hit 20 or more home runs three years in a row, he was a disappointment compared to what the Mariners gave up. Davis did, however, hit the first home run in Safeco Field history. Take that, Yankees. 

2.   Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kameron Mickolio, Chris Tillman, and Tony Butler to Baltimore for Erik Bedard ; Feb. 8, 2008:

The only thing that keeps this from being number one is that the M’s, in need of a replacement for Jones, eventually dealt for Franklin Gutierrez. The Bedard trade was horrendous, but without it, Gutierrez probably wouldn’t be a Mariner today and Jack Z might not be the M’s General Manager.

1.  Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb; July 31, 1997:

Lowe and Varitek were key members of the Red Sox World Series winning team in 2004 (and Varitek again in 2007) and combined for five All-Star selections. Slocumb, on the other hand, had a habit of constantly scrunching his nose as if something stunk. He was probably smelling his performance.


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