MLB Trade Deadline: The 50 Dumbest Trades in Baseball History

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2011

MLB Trade Deadline: The 50 Dumbest Trades in Baseball History

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    At the MLB trade deadline, there are teams that get nervous; they do not know if they are buyers or sellers. Others think that this is their one chance to put themselves in a position to win a World Series.

    As a result of this, teams make rash decisions. Sometimes, they are willing to give up top prospects for players that do not deliver. There are other times when scouts don't do a great job evaluating the players that their teams eventually trade for.

    Almost every single season, it seems inevitable that there is a bad trade made. It may not haunt the team that season, but it comes back to bite it in the future.

50) O's Trade Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis

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    The Baltimore Orioles were the first team to have Curt Schilling on their major league roster. They eventually traded him away to the Houston Astros in a deal for Glenn Davis. Schilling was a reliever for the Astros and was traded away the next season.

    The Astros also got Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch in the deal. Finley was a speedster who had a decent four years with the Astros. Harnisch had a .577 winning percentage and an All-Star appearance with the team.

    In return for all of these players, the Orioles got Glenn Davis. He spent only three years with Baltimore and did not play that well. He was limited to just 185 games during his time with the O's and put up decent numbers.

49) Red Sox Send Sparky Lyle to the Yankees for Mario Guerrero and Danny Cater

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    It is not all that often when the Red Sox and Yankees make a deal. There need to be players that each team believes can significantly help it if the two are going to make a deal.

    The Red Sox thought that Danny Cater would be a big help in their lineup. Over three seasons, he had 638 at-bats and hit just .262. Mario Guerrero spent only two years with the team and was not very successful.

    Sparky Lyle would eventually become the New York Yankees closer. He made one All-Star game during his time with the Yankees and was one of the more dominant closers of the 1970s.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Nation

48) Royals Trade Dan Miceli and Jon Lieber to Pirates for Stan Belinda

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    The Kansas City Royals received Stan Belinda, who only spent two years with the team. In 60 appearances out of the bullpen, Belinda went 3-3 with a 4.83 ERA.

    The Pittsburgh Pirates fared only slightly better in the deal. Miceli was not great for the Pirates—he actually had worse numbers than Belinda—but he made 139 appearances over four years for the team. Jon Lieber was young and put up respectable numbers during his time with the Pirates.

47) Expos Trade Andre Thornton to Indians for Jackie Brown

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    Jackie Brown spent just one full season with the Montreal Expos before he was out of the major leagues. In that one season, he was not successful. He went 9-12 with a 4.51 ERA, which gave him an 84 ERA+ for the year.

    Andre Thornton, on the other hand, stayed with the Cleveland Indians for many seasons. He spent 10 years with the team and was named to the All-Star team twice. He also won a Silver Slugger.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Almanac

46) Rangers Trade Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez to White Sox for Harold Baines

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    Sammy Sosa was in the first year of his career when this deal was made and was still developing. The real star in this trade for the Chicago White Sox was Wilson Alvarez. He was with the team for seven years, posting 67 wins and a 118 ERA+. The White Sox also acquired Scott Fletcher in the deal, and he did not contribute much.

    In return, the Texas Rangers got Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. Baines put up decent statistics over the course of two seasons with the team. Manrique was decent in his half-year with the Rangers.

45) Pirates Trade Willie Randolph, Ken Brett and Dock Ellis for Doc Medich

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    Doc Medich only spent one season with the Pittsburgh Pirates during after this trade. He had an 8-11 record and an ERA that was right around league average.

    The New York Yankees certainly got the better end of this deal. Willie Randolph became the team's starting second baseman for 13 years. In addition to this, the Yankees got a 17-win season out of Ellis. Brett only made two appearances for the team.

44) Yankees Move Jose Contreras to White Sox for Esteban Loaiza

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    The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox decided to swap pitchers in 2004. The White Sox walked away big winners in this deal. Esteban Loaiza would only last half a season with the Yankees, and he ended up with an 8.50 ERA.

    Jose Contreras struggled in his first year with the White Sox, but things got much better from there. The following year, Contreras won 15 games, and the White Sox were World Series champions. He won his only start in the World Series.

43) Reds Send Aaron Boone to Yankees for Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning

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    Aaron Boone only played 54 regular season games for the New York Yankees. He batted just .254 during that time. However, Boone ended up hitting one of the biggest home runs in Yankees history. In the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Boone hit a walk-off home run to beat the Red Sox.

    In return for Boone, the Reds got Brandon Claussen, Charlie Manning and cash. Claussen struggled during parts of three different seasons with the Reds. Manning never made the majors with the Reds and only pitched one year in MLB.

42) Mets Trade Amos Otis and Bob Johnson to Royals for Joe Foy

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    The New York Mets only got 76 hits and 39 runs scored from Joe Foy in the one year that he played for the team. The Mets then let him go to the Washington Senators in the Rule 5 draft.

    Amos Otis would become a key contributor for the Kansas City Royals for 14 seasons. He appeared in five All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves. Bob Johnson had one mediocre season with the team.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Almanac

41) Indians Receive Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard

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    The Seattle Mariners sent Shin-Soo Choo and Shawn Nottingham to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Ben Broussard. The deal has paid off for the Indians, as Shoo has developed into an outstanding outfielder.

    Broussard spent a year and a half with the Mariners and put up average numbers. He hit for a .260 batting average with 15 home runs.

    Choo has become an integral part of the Indians lineup. He is batting .293 as a member of the team and has had two 20/20 seasons.

    Nottingham did not make the majors and is out of baseball.

40) Rangers Move Ron Darling and Walt Terrell to Mets for Lee Mazzilli

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    The Texas Rangers did not get much production out of Lee Mazzilli after trading for him. He appeared in just 56 games for the team before he was traded to the Yankees.

    Ron Darling was a key piece of this deal. He became an important part of the New York Mets pitching staff and helped lead the team to a World Series victory in 1986. Darling spent nine years with the Mets and had 99 wins with the team.

    Terrell only spent one year with the Mets, during which he went 11-12, but he was traded for Howard Johnson, another key piece of the Mets' World Series championship team.

39) Royals Trade David Cone and Chris Jelic to Mets for Three Players

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    The star of this deal was undoubtedly David Cone. In his second season with the New York Mets, Cone went 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA. During his tenure with the team, he won 80 games. Jelic did nothing for the Mets, collecting one hit in 11 at-bats.

    The Royals received Rick Anderson, Mauro Gozzo and Ed Hearn in return for Cone and Jelic. Anderson only threw 47 MLB innings after the deal. Gozzo was traded before he would pitch for the Royals. Hearn also did not see much time in the majors, as he had just 35 career at-bats after the deal.

38) Mariners Get Freddy Garcia, John Halama and Carlos Guillen for Randy Johnson

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    The Houston Astros were looking for a pitcher who could push them into the playoffs. They decided to deal for free-agent-to-be Randy Johnson. He was outstanding for them, going 10-1 with a 1.82 ERA. However, they did not win the World Series, and they could not re-sign him in the offseason.

    In return for Johnson, the Seattle Mariners received Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama. Each one of these players played an important role in the 2001 Mariners team that won 116 games.

    Garcia would become the ace of the Mariners rotation. Guillen was decent for the Mariners. Halama was a good back-of-the-rotation starter.

37) Blue Jays Trade Michael Young and Darwin Cubillan for Esteban Loaiza

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    Loaiza was only slightly more effective with the Toronto Blue Jays than he was with the Yankees. He went 25-28 over three years with the team and had an ERA of just under 5.00.

    The Texas Rangers came out as the big winners in this deal. Cubillan made no impact with the team and only appeared in 13 games. Young, on the other hand, was the gem of the deal. He has been with the team since 2000 and has put up impressive numbers. He has hit over .300 in his career with the Rangers and has been a key part of the team's lineup.

36) Yankees Trade Fred McGriff and Dave Collins for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray

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    In addition to trading away McGriff and Collins to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees included Mike Morgan and cash in the deal.

    McGriff would have four seasons with the Blue Jays where he hit at least 20 home runs, during three of which he would hit more than 30. Collins had two decent years with the Blue Jays. Morgan made 16 appearances with the Jays and struggled.

    Dodd was originally drafted by the Yankees and was traded back to the team in this deal. He had only 13 at-bats in the majors. Murray spent a little over two years in the Yankees bullpen and did not have much success.

35) Cubs Trade Ivan de Jesus to Phillies for Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg

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    The Philadelphia Phillies thought that Ivan de Jesus would be an improvement over their current shortstop Larry Bowa. In addition to giving up Bowa to acquire him, they gave up Ryne Sandberg.

    De Jesus would go on to play just three seasons for the Phillies, and he did not play well during that time period.

    Bowa would also only play three seasons with his new team, and he had his own struggles. However, the Cubs ended up with a Hall of Fame second baseman in the deal. Sandberg would play 15 outstanding seasons for the Cubs.

34) Cubs Trade Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl to Phililes for Fergie Jenkins

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    The Philadelphia Phillies traded a young starting pitcher as well as two other players to the Chicago Cubs in return for two aging pitchers.

    Larry Jackson pitched two seasons for the Phillies. He put up good numbers each year, but he ended both seasons with a losing record. Bob Buhl struggled in just over a year with the Phillies.

    Adolfo Phillips played four years with the Cubs and was able to deliver some power during that time span. John Herrnstein only had three hits with the Cubs before his career ended.

    However, Fergie Jenkins became a star. Jenkins won 167 games with the Cubs. In addition to this, he appeared in four All-Star games as a Cub and won a Cy Young Award on his way to the Hall of Fame.

33) Kansas City Athletics Trade Roger Maris to Yankees

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    Don Larsen is most famous for throwing a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Just a few years later, the New York Yankees traded him away to the Kansas City Athletics. Larsen only pitched one year for the team and went 1-10.

    The Athletics also received Norm Siebern, who was an All-Star in two of his four years in Kansas City. Hank Bauer was at the end of his career and did not produce much for the Athletics. Marv Throneberry also provided the Athletics with little production.

    The Yankees got Joe DeMaestri and Kent Hadley, who combined for 27 hits as members of the franchise. However, the best player that the Yankees got in the deal was Roger Maris. He would go on to set the single-season home run record when he hit 61 home runs in 1961. He also won two MVP awards.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

32) White Sox Trade Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson to Cubs for George Bell

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    George Bell had been an All-Star and an MVP, but he was not able to play at that level once the Chicago  White Sox acquired him. His talents quickly dropped off, and he retired after just two years of the team.

    Ken Patterson spent one uneventful year in the Chicago Cubs bullpen. Sammy Sosa had been struggling with the White Sox. There was no way they could have known the type of player that he would turn into. The Cubs were lucky enough to receive one of the best power hitters of the past few decades.

31) Devil Rays Trade Bobby Abreu to Phillies for Kevin Stocker

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    The Tampa Bay Devil Rays had spent the sixth pick of the expansion draft on Bobby Abreu. On the same day that he was drafted, the Devil Rays decided to trade him. He went on to become a key part of the Philadelphia Phillies outfield for the next nine years.

    In return for Abreu, the Devil Rays received shortstop Kevin Stocker. In parts of three seasons with the Devil Rays, Stocker struggled. He was not great offensively and failed to impress with the glove.

30) Indians Trade David Justice to Yankees for Ricky Ledee and Jake Westbrook

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    In 2000, the New York Yankees were looking to add a player that could help put them over the top. In an effort to do this, they acquired David Justice. Justice was outstanding during the 2000 season, hitting over .300 and knocking in 60 in just 78 games. He also had a decent season with the Yankees the following year.

    The biggest piece that the Indians got in return was supposed to be Ricky Ledee. However, he struggled with Cleveland, and the Indians moved him to Texas after just 17 games. Zach Day was also sent to Cleveland but never appeared in a game with the team.

    The final piece of the deal was Jake Westbrook. He spent nine years with the Indians and was an average pitcher, which is indicated well by his 101 ERA+ with the team.

29) Cardinals Trade Keith Hernandez to Mets for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey

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    Keith Hernandez was already a six-time Gold Glove-winning first baseman when the St. Louis Cardinals decided to trade him to the New York Mets.

    While in New York, Hernandez would go on to win five more Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger award and a World Series. He was a key part of the 1986 Mets team. Hernandez is also now a fan favorite in New York as a member of the Mets broadcast team.

    One would figure that a team would get a big return for trading away a Gold Glove first baseman in his prime. However, the Cardinals certainly did not get one. Rick Ownbey made just 21 appearances with the Cardinals before he retired. Neil Allen was a mediocre reliever for St. Louis during three seasons.

28) Phillies Trade Curt Schilling to Diamondbacks for Omar Daal and Others

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    Curt Schilling had established himself as a good pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he was not yet an ace. Once he got to Arizona, that all changed.

    Schilling won 58 games in four years in the desert. He finished second in the Cy Young voting twice. Schilling also helped lead the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title, and he shared the World Series MVP award.

    The Phillies received four players in return for Schilling. Omar Daal spent a year and a half in Philly and went 15-16 with a 4.52 ERA. Nelson Figueroa only spent one season with the Phillies but was decent between the bullpen and rotation.

    Travis Lee was supposed to be the Phillies' new starting first baseman, but he struggled and was gone after three seasons. Vicente Padilla had a .500 record in his six years with the Phillies.

27) Cubs Get Hank Sauer and Frankie Baumholtz from Reds for Peanuts Lowrey

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    The Cincinnati Reds thought they were getting a great deal when they brought in Peanuts Lowrey and Harry Walker.

    However, Lowrey was not the player he once was with the Chicago Cubs. He only played parts of two years with the Reds. Walker had a good season with the Reds, hitting .318, but he was gone after that year.

    Hank Sauer had seven great years with the Cubs. He hit at least 30 home runs four times and set a career high with 41. He also won an NL MVP award. Frank Baumholtz had six good years with the Cubs and batted .295 with the team.

    Photo Credit: When It Was A Game

26) Cubs Get Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from Pirates for Three Players

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    Kenny Lofton was nearing the end of his career in 2003 when the Chicago Cubs traded for him. However, he was able to put up outstanding numbers for the rest of the season.

    The real prize of the deal for the Cubs was Aramis Ramirez. He has been one of the better third basemen in the National League for most parts of his nine years with the Cubs.

    The Pittsburgh Pirates did not receive such a great return in the deal. Pitcher Matt Bruback never made it out of the minor leagues. Jose Hernandez struggled in 58 games for the Pirates and was released after the year. Bobby Hill stayed with the Pirates until 2005 but was not very productive.

25) Reds Trade Frank Robinson to Orioles for Milt Pappas

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    The Cincinnati Reds also received Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson in this trade. Pappas would go on to have two decent seasons for the Reds. Simpson played just two years for the team and had only 20 RBI. Baldschun also spent two years with the Reds and was slightly below average in the bullpen.

    Robinson went on to win the Triple Crown during his first season in Baltimore. He then spent five more years with the Orioles, during which he put up outstanding numbers. The O's came out as the big winners in this deal.

    Photo Credit: Baltimore Sports Then and Now

24) Padres Trade Ozzie Smith to Cardinals for Garry Templeton in Six-Player Deal

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    The San Diego Padres traded away one of the best defensive shortstops to ever play the game because they were looking for an offensive upgrade at shortstop. What a big mistake that was. Smith would go on to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals.

    In that deal, the Cardinals also got Steve Mura and Al Olmsted. Mura posted a winning season in his only year with the Cardinals, and Olmsted only made five appearances for the Cardinals.

    Garry Templeton was the centerpiece of the deal for the Padres. In addition, they received Luis DeLeon and Sixto Lezcano. Templeton spent 10 years with the Padres, but he was not the player that he was with the Cardinals. DeLeon was decent out of the bullpen for the Padres, and Lezcano had a 16 home run season.

23) Astros Send Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Joe Morgan to Reds

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    This deal played a big part in creating the Big Red Machine. In return for trading away five players, the Houston Astros received Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart.

    Helms put up numbers similar to his career averages during his time with the Astros. May was an All-Star in Houston but only stayed with the team for three seasons. Stewart struggled in two seasons with the Astros.

    Joe Morgan had the most successful career out of any of the players traded to the Reds. He won two MVP awards and was part of two World Series-winning teams. Morgan also is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

    Ed Armbrister struggled in parts of five seasons with the Reds. Jack Billingham won 19 games twice as a member of the Reds and had a .580 winning percentage when he was with the team. Cesar Geronimo won four Gold Gloves in nine years with the Reds. Dennis Menke spent two seasons with the Reds but did not produce much.

22) Expos Trade Randy Johnson to Mariners for Mark Langston and Mike Campbell

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    Mark Langston had been very successful with the Seattle Mariners, so the Montreal Expos wanted to add him for their playoff push. He went 12-9 with a 2.39 ERA, but the Expos missed the playoffs, and he was gone after the year. They also received Mike Campbell who did not pitch for them.

    To get Langston the Expos traded a 25-year-old pitcher who had yet to have extended success in the majors. That pitcher turned out to be Randy Johnson, and he would end up winning 130 games and a Cy Young Award in Seattle.

    The Mariners also got Gene Harris and Brian Holman. Harris struggled during four seasons in the Mariners bullpen, and Holman was part of the Mariners rotation for three years.

21) Mets Trade Tom Seaver to Reds

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    Tom Seaver is one of the best pitchers in New York Mets franchise history. However, in 1977 the Mets dealt the three-time Cy Young winner to the Cincinnati Reds. The deal was known as the "Midnight Massacre." Seaver would go on to have six great seasons with the Reds.

    For their ace, the Mets got four players back. Doug Flynn played five years with the Mets and only mustered a .234 batting average. Steve Henderson put together four decent years in New York. Dan Norman saw limited playing time in four years with the Mets. Pat Zachry saw much success and disappointment during his six years as a Met.

    Photo Credit: 7 Train to Shea

20) Blue Jays Trade David Cone to Yankees for Mike Gordon

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    David Cone only spent six years with the New York Yankees, but he was outstanding during that period of his career. He threw a perfect game and had a 20-win season.

    In return for Cone, the Toronto Blue Jays got three players. Two of them, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon, never reached the majors. The third, Marty Janzen, only spent two years in the majors and had a career 6.39 ERA.

19) Pirates Trade Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal to Giants

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    When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Jason Schmidt to the San Francisco Giants, he was one of the better pitchers in baseball. Schmidt spent six years in San Francisco and made the All-Star team in half of those seasons. He also finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting twice. John Vander Wal only spent half a season with the Giants and was not very productive.

    The Pirates received Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelsong in return for their players. Rios did not have much success in 78 games with the Pirates. Vogelsong could not put things together with the Pirates and eventually went to Japan.

18) Braves Get Fred McGriff for Melvin Nieves, Donnie Elliott and Vince Moore

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    Fred McGriff spent five years with the Atlanta Braves, and the deal in which they acquired him was a steal. McGriff was a three-time All-Star with the Braves and was a key component of their success in the mid '90s.

    Vince Moore never reached the major leagues for the San Diego Padres, or any team for that matter. Melvin Nieves batted .207 in three years in San Diego. Donnie Elliott may have been the best of the bunch, as he made 31 appearances out of the bullpen for the team over two seasons.

17) Yankees Trade Jay Buhner to Mariners for Ken Phelps

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    This trade drew so much ire from New York Yankee fans that it was mocked by Frank Costanza in an episode of Seinfeld.

    The year after the trade, Jay Buhner would go on to hit 33 home runs. He would continue to show his power for the majority of his 14 years in Seattle. He hit a total of 307 home runs with the Mariners. In addition to Buhner, the Yankees sent two players who never reached the majors, Rick Balabon and Troy Evers, to the Mariners.

    Ken Phelps was supposed to be a veteran that could come in and help the Yankees. He could not do this. In parts of two seasons with the team, he hit .240 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI.

16) Mets Trade Scott Kazmir to Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato

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    New York Mets fans were shocked as soon as this trade was announced. They did not know why the team was giving up its top pitching prospect. In return, the Mets got Victor Zambrano, who struggled mightily with the Mets, and Bartolome Fortunato. Fortunato pitched only 21.2 innings for the Mets.

    The Tampa Bay Devil Rays found a top-of-the-rotation starter in Scott Kazmir. He had four great seasons for the Devil Rays, and he was named an All-Star twice before things began to fall apart. The Devil Rays also got Jose Diaz, who never appeared in a game for the team.

15) Padres Get Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young from Rangers

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    The Texas Rangers traded away their 23-year-old first baseman in a deal that they believed would make their team better. The Rangers certainly missed out on having Adrian Gonzalez as a part of their batting order.

    In his five years with the San Diego Padres, Gonzalez's performance can only be described as phenomenal. He was one of the game's best first basemen. In addition, the Padres got Chris Young, who was effective when healthy. Terrmel Sledge was included in the deal and did not bring much to the team other than a great name.

    The Rangers got three players back in the deal, two of which made their major league team. Billy Killian never made it to the majors. Adam Eaton went 7-4, albeit with a 5.12 ERA, in his one year with the team. Akinori Otsuka did a great job as the Rangers closer for one year, but he lost his spot the following season. He pitched well as the setup man but then left after the season.

14) Cardinals Get Mark McGwire for T.J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein

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    The St. Louis Cardinals would acquire McGwire in the middle of the 1997 season. The following year he would set the then-MLB record with 70 home runs in a season. He followed that up with a 65 home run year. McGwire then had two more productive seasons with the team.

    To get McGwire, the Cardinals gave up Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews and Blake Stein. Ludwick went 1-4 with an 8.25 ERA for the Oakland Athletics. Mathews found some success with the A's over the course of five seasons. Stein could not produce good numbers with the Athletics.

13) Giants Trade Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano & Boof Bonser for A.J. Pierzynski

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    The San Francisco Giants desperately needed a catcher for the 2004 season. To solve this problem they traded for A.J. Pierzynski. He put up strong offensive numbers for the team, but he was gone after one year.

    Boof Bonser, Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan were sent to the Minnesota Twins. While Bonser never really panned out, the other two players had a big impact. Liriano had a few fantastic seasons, but he hit a bump in the road when he needed Tommy John surgery in 2006. Nathan became one of the premier closers in baseball.

12) Tigers Trade John Smoltz to Braves for Doyle Alexander

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    When this deal was made and even during the rest of that season, it looked like it would be a big steal for the Detroit Tigers. Doyle Alexander was fantastic and went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA after he was traded to the Tigers in the middle of the season. He could not replicate this success during the next two years.

    John Smoltz was just 21 at the time of the trade and would struggle in his first year with the Atlanta Braves, going 2-7. Smoltz eventually developed into one of the best starters in MLB. When an injury forced him to the bullpen, Smoltz became an elite closer. He has a good chance to be a Hall of Famer.

11) Red Sox Get Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb

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    The Seattle Mariners traded for Heathcliff Slocumb in the middle of the 1997 season in the hopes that he could be their closer. He struggled during the year, and the following season he lost his job as the closer. In two years, Slocumb had a 4.97 ERA and just 13 saves.

    Derek Lowe pitched out of the bullpen for the Red Sox for four seasons. He led the AL with 42 saves in 2000. In the first year that he was converted to a starter, he won 21 games for the team. Jason Varitek has been a stalwart behind the plate for the Red Sox ever since the deal.

10) Mets Trade Nolan Ryan to Angels for Jim Fregosi

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    The New York Mets had a young player who would would eventually become one of the best pitchers in the modern era. However, they traded Nolan Ryan to the California Angels before he became successful. Ryan had 138 of his 324 career wins and 2,146 of his MLB-record 5,174 strikeouts in California.

    Also included in the deal for the Angels were Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Leroy Stanton. None of these players had the impact that Ryan had, but Stanton did play five years for the Angels. Rose made 16 appearances, and Estrada never played for the Angels.

    In return for Ryan, the Mets got Jim Fregosi. Two seasons removed from 22 home runs, the Mets hoped that Fregosi would help them offensively. However, he did nothing but struggle. In less than two full years with the Mets, he hit .233 with five home runs.

    Photo Credit: Halos Heaven

9) Expos Trade Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips for Bartolo Colon

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    The Montreal Expos were owned by MLB when this deal occurred. General manager Omar Minaya believed that it would catapult the Expos into the playoffs.

    Bartolo Colon was successful in Montreal, going 10-4 with a 3.31 ERA, but the team finished the season without making the playoffs. They also received Tim Drew in this deal, but he only threw 24.2 innings over two years for the team.

    The Cleveland Indians got a massive return for Colon. Cliff Lee developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball and won 22 games for the Indians and a Cy Young in 2008. Brandon Phillips only spent parts of four years in Cleveland but eventually became an elite second baseman after he joined the Reds.

    Grady Sizemore is a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner in his time in Cleveland. Lee Stevens struggled during his half-season with the Indians.

8) Dodgers Trade Pedro Martinez to Expos for Delino DeShields

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    Pedro Martinez was a setup man for the Los Angeles Dodgers at age 21. When the team needed a second baseman, they shipped him off to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields. DeShields spent three seasons in LA. He batted just .241 and did not develop the way the Dodgers expected him to.

    Martinez would be converted into a starter when he arrived in Montreal. This was a brilliant move. In four seasons in Montreal, Martinez won 55 games for the Expos. He also appeared in two All-Star games and won a Cy Young Award.

7) Braves Trade Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison for Mark Teixeira

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    The Atlanta Braves were looking for an elite first baseman. They found one when they traded for Mark Teixeira. During parts of two seasons with the team, Teixeira played 157 games for the Braves. He batted .295 with 37 home runs and 134 RBI.

    The Braves also got Ron Mahay in the deal. Mahay pitched well in 30 outings with the Braves before he became a free agent.

    However, the Braves needed to trade away a few top prospects to the Texas Rangers to make the deal. The Rangers' 2010 AL championship team was shaped partially by this trade.

    Neftali Feliz has become one of the best closers in the American League. Elvis Andrus has developed into an elite shortstop. Matt Harrison has been improving and has become a part of the Rangers rotation. Jarrod Saltalamacchia never could get going in his time with the Rangers. Beau Jones is still just 24 and is on the Rangers' Triple-A team.

6) Red Sox Trade Jeff Bagwell to Astros for Larry Andersen

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    During the 1990 season, the Boston Red Sox were looking for bullpen help. They acquired Larry Andersen to bolster the 'pen. In 15 games for the Red Sox, Andersen posted a 1.23 ERA. However, he was gone after the year.

    In return for trading Andersen, the Houston Astros got Jeff Bagwell. He started at first base for them the following year and hit .294 with 15 home runs. Bagwell would go on to put up numbers during his 15 seasons with the Astros that now have him being considered for the Hall of Fame.

5) Blue Jays Trade John McDonald to Tigers for John McDonald

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    In 2005, the Toronto Blue Jays traded John McDonald to the Detroit Tigers as part of a conditional deal. McDonald played 31 games for the Tigers. Then, in the winter, the Tigers traded McDonald back to the Blue Jays to complete the deal.

    McDonald is not the only player to be traded for himself. Other players who have been traded for themselves include Harry Chiti, Archie Corbin and Mark Ross.

4) Twins Trade Dave Winfield for Dinner

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    Yes, you read that correctly. A player who amassed over 3,000 hits in his career was traded for a dinner. At the 1994 trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins sent Dave Winfield to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later.

    Winfield never played a game for the Indians because the rest of the season was canceled because of the players' strike. No player was ever named later.

    To settle the deal, the Indians executives took the Twins executives out to dinner and paid the bill.

3) Cubs Trade Lou Brock to Cardinals for Ernie Broglio

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    Lou Brock had yet to truly establish himself in the majors when he was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals. Once in St. Louis, Brock would figure out his game and become a Hall of Fame player.

    The Cardinals also received Jack Spring and Paul Toth in the deal. Spring threw just three innings for the Cardinals. Toth never even appeared in a game in St. Louis.

    For Brock, the Cubs got Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz. Broglio had been an ace for the Cardinals but struggled in Chicago and only went 7-19 with a 5.40 ERA in three years. Clemens struggled at the plate in his time with the Cubs. Shantz threw 11.1 innings for Chicago and gave up seven runs.

2) Philadelphia Athletics Trade Shoeless Joe Jackson for Bris Lord

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    The Philadelphia Athletics traded Morrie Rath and a player to be named later for Bris Lord. The player to be named later turned out to be one of the best pure hitters in baseball history, Shoeless Joe Jackson. The Athletics traded him after just 10 games with the team over two years.

    Lord spent two-and-a-half years in Philly after the deal and even finished 14th in the MVP race one year.

    Rath only played 24 games for the Cleveland Naps and batted under .200. However, Shoeless Joe Jackson put together some outstanding years in Cleveland. He finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting during each of his full seasons in Cleveland. In 1911, Jackson batted .408 as a 23-year-old.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

1) Red Sox Trade Babe Ruth to Yankees for Cash

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    This deal is arguably the most famous trade in baseball history. It shaped the history of both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for the next 80-plus years.

    Babe Ruth had demanded a raise in his salary, and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee did not believe that he deserved it. Ruth said he would not play until he got his raise. Frazee eventually lost patience and traded him to the Yankees for cash and a loan.

    As history has it, Ruth would go on to become one of the best players in baseball history, and the "Curse of the Bambino" would keep the Red Sox from winning a World Series for 86 years.

    Photo Credit: NNDB


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