September 21, 2017

Hardball Retrospective – The Worst In-Season Trades Since 1950

October 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The in-season deal in modern baseball is typically proposed under the following circumstances:

  • A team may wish to trade a potential free agent that will likely sign with another team in the upcoming off-season. The expected return is minor-league talent.
  • Two teams wish to make a deal to upgrade at a specific position without weakening their current roster and/or give up any minor league talent of note.
  • A team that is out of contention near the trade deadline can offload veteran players to reduce payroll and acquire some cheap talent to help during a rebuilding period.

To determine the “worst” trades by every franchise (with “worst” being a relative term), I sorted the results of my research using the difference in the combined WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of the players involved in each trade, for the duration of their stint with the team that they were traded to. (Refer to the definition of WARdiff below). This article will look at “in-season trades” only. I am planning a follow-up article to address off-season deals. Please note that I have divided the transactions into two categories along the following timeframes:

In-Season Trades – trades occurring from April 1 through September 30

Off-Season Trades – trades occurring from October 1 through March 31

Further, I constrained my query of the Retrosheet transactions database to the 1950-2015 timeframe in an effort to correspond with the entries in the Baseball America Executive Database. I omitted all transactions which do not include Major League teams on both ends of the trade, including but not limited to trades with teams in minor leagues.

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Each player is listed with their “original” team for the balance of their careers. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

“Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.

Terminology

WARdiff – Wins Above Replacement differential for players on the “winning” side of a trade as compared to the players on the “losing” side. Jeff Bagwell accrued 73.37 WAR for the Houston Astros. Subtract the 0.88 WAR that Larry Andersen registered for the Boston Red Sox. Consequently the Bagwell for Andersen trade totals 72.49 WARdiff.

WSdiff – Win Shares differential for players on the “winning” side of a trade as compared to the players on the “losing” side. John Smoltz tallied 287.22 Win Shares for the Atlanta Braves. Subtract the 28.90 WS that Doyle Alexander recorded for the Detroit Tigers. As a result the Smoltz for Alexander trade totals 258.32 WSdiff.

OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

AWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “actual” teams

AWS – Win Shares for players on “actual” teams

In-Season Trades Ranked By “Losing” Team & WARdiff

 

Anaheim / California / Los Angeles Angels

Damion Easley washed out as an Angels’ middle infield prospect. He posted a .212 BA over 2+ seasons after hitting .313 in his sophomore campaign (1993). Angels GM Bill Bavasi pulled the trigger at the trade deadline on July 31, 1996 to ship Easley to Detroit in exchange for right-handed pitcher Greg Gohr. Easley delivered three consecutive seasons with 20+ home runs, swiped 28 bags in ’97 and knocked in 100 baserunners in ’98 for the Tigers. A first-round draft pick for Detroit in 1989, Gohr made 15 relief appearances for California. He yielded 20 earned runs in 24 innings to close out his big league career.

The White Sox and the Angels completed an exchange of prospects on August 4, 1989. California GM Mike Port sent Roberto M. Hernandez, the club’s first-round selection from the 1986 Amateur Draft, to Chicago along with outfielder Mark Doran. In return the Halos received outfielder Mark A. Davis, a twelfth round selection from ’86 and brother of Athletics right fielder Mike Davis. Mark’s entire Major League career consisted of three games in July 1991. He batted .368 with 9 dingers in 133 at-bats for Edmonton (AAA) following a mid-season promotion in 1990 but failed to earn a September call-up. Davis repeated triple-A ball in ’91, stole 32 bags and swatted 13 big-flies to warrant a “cup of coffee”. Absent from the list of September recalls for the second straight season, Davis played his final three seasons in the Mexican League. Hernandez reached the Majors with the Pale Hose in 1991 and tallied 161 saves over six seasons. The 17-year big league veteran played for 10 teams and totaled 326 career saves.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
92.90 15.52 Damion Easley for Greg Gohr DET ANA
66.50 10.24 Roberto Hernandez and Mark Doran for Mark A. Davis CHW ANA

Atlanta / Boston / Milwaukee Braves

Darrell Evans clubbed 41 round-trippers for Atlanta in 1973 and registered 100+ walks in three successive seasons (1973-75). He was mired in a remarkable slump through early June of ’76 when Braves GM John Alevizos sent him packing to San Francisco in a six-player deal. The principle acquisition for Atlanta, Willie Montanez, produced a .302 BA with 29 jacks and 132 ribbies over one and a half seasons. Montanez was then packaged in a 4-team, 11 player deal in December 1977. Evans manned the hot corner for the Giants for 6+ seasons, averaging 19 taters and 80 bases on balls.

GM John Schuerholz acquired Mark Teixeira from Texas in a July 2007 trade deadline deal that amounted to a 1-year rental (“Tex” was headed for free agency upon completion of the 2008 season). In exchange he shipped four of the Braves top prospects to the Rangers. Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison all played pivotal roles as Texas secured playoff berths in three consecutive campaigns (2010-12). Andrus averaged 31 stolen bases and 82 runs scored through 2015. Feliz (40 SV, 2.73) earned the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year Award after Andrus placed runner-up in the prior season. Harrison won 18 contests in 2012 with a 3.29 ERA. Unfortunately injuries forced him to the sidelines for almost all of the past four years. Teixeira met all expectations for the Braves, posting a .295 BA with 36 doubles, 37 home runs and 134 RBI.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
139.58 25.16 Darrell Evans and Marty Perez for Willie Montanez, Craig Robinson, Mike Eden and Jake Brown SFG ATL
188.40 22.16 Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay TEX ATL
194.80 19.17 Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna for Len Barker CLE ATL

Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns

Dennis Martinez almost pitched himself out of the big leagues. “El Presidente” endured three straight seasons with ERA’s above 5.00 and a WHIP near 1.5. Orioles GM Hank Peters shipped him to the Expos in June 1986. After a lackluster finish to the ’86 campaign, Martinez seized the opportunity for redemption. He averaged 14 victories with a 2.96 ERA and a WHIP of 1.135 over seven seasons (1987-1993) and led the League with an ERA of 2.39 in ‘91. Infielder Rene Gonzales supplied a .221 BA with 5 dingers while playing in parts of four seasons for Baltimore.

Jake Arrieta, Baltimore’s fifth round selection in the 2007 Amateur Draft, scuffled through 3+ seasons with the Orioles. Laboring with a sub-.500 record, a combined ERA of 5.46 and a WHIP of 1.472, GM Dan Duquette decided to give Arrieta and mound mate Pedro Strop a fresh start with the Cubs. Baltimore ended a 14-year dry spell with a playoff berth in 2012, so Duquette executed the transaction in order to stabilize the starting rotation with Scott Feldman. The return on investment was negligible as Feldman fashioned a 5-6 record with a 4.27 ERA down the stretch. Baltimore missed the playoffs in 2013 and Feldman filed for free agency, leaving the O’s for the ‘Stros. Strop lost command of the strike zone following a solid campaign in 2012. Subsequent to being dealt to Chicago, Strop settled into the setup role and posted a 10.8 K/9 ratio along with a 2.69 ERA. Arrieta (22-6, 1.77) surprised many observers with his Cy Young Award-winning season in 2015. In his last twenty regular-season starts in ’15, Arrieta went 16-1 with an ERA of 0.86.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
108.83 23.50 Dennis Martinez and John Stefero for Rene Gonzales WSN BAL
53.93 17.38 Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger CHC BAL
47.87 14.98 Virgil Trucks and Bob Elliott for Lou Kretlow and Darrell Johnson CHW BAL
94.36 11.70 Jim Rivera and Darrell Johnson for Jay Porter and Ray Coleman CHW BAL
59.95 10.39 Jose Mesa for Kyle Washington CLE BAL

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox were 6.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays on August 30, 1990. GM Lou Gorman negotiated a deal with Houston to bolster the Boston bullpen, importing Larry Andersen in exchange for minor league third baseman Jeff Bagwell. Andersen appeared in 15 games down the stretch, surrendering only three earned runs in 22 innings while striking out 25 batsmen. Boston claimed the American League Eastern Division crown by two games but the Sox were swept by Oakland in the AL Championship Series. Andersen filed for free agency on December 7, 1990 and signed with San Diego two weeks later. Bagwell secured the Eastern League batting crown with a .333 BA. Astros GM Bill Wood commented on the deal: “Even though Andy (Andersen) is one of the top guys in his role in baseball, when you get a chance to get a player like Bagwell, you do it. He’s an above-average offensive player, and that’s one of our goals of the 1990’s: to bring in more players who have above-average offensive tools.” (Sporting News, Sept. 17, 1990) “Bagpipes”, the Sox fourth-round draft pick in June, 1989, played 15 MLB seasons for the Astros. The 1991 NL Rookie of the Year and 1994 NL MVP finished his career with a .297 BA and 449 home runs.

Southpaw Jamie Moyer entered his tenth MLB season with an uninspiring 59-76 record with a 4.51 ERA and a WHIP of 1.418. He amassed seven victories in his first eight decisions for Boston and GM Dan Duquette chose to spin him off to Seattle in return for outfielder Darren Bragg. In his 2+ seasons in Boston, Bragg notched a .264 BA including 35 doubles as the starting centerfielder for the ’97 squad. Moyer compiled 145 victories in ten seasons with the M’s and surpassed the twenty-win plateau twice (2001, 2003). At age 40 he merited his lone All-Star invitation, establishing career-bests with a 21-7 record and a 3.27 ERA.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
376.23 72.49 Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen HOU BOS
106.24 34.16 Jamie Moyer for Darren Bragg SEA BOS
117.98 21.99 Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto for Allen Webster, James Loney, Ivan De Jesus Jr., Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands LAD BOS
178.35 15.36 Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling for Mike Boddicker BAL BOS
56.58 13.53 Earl Wilson for Don Demeter DET BOS
90.06 12.91 Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez for Brandon Lyon, Jeff Suppan and Anastacio Martinez PIT BOS

Chicago Cubs

Cubs GM John Holland sent outfielder Lou Brock to the Cardinals on June 15, 1964 in return for three players. Ernie Broglio was the cornerstore of the Chicago acquisitions, as Doug Clemens (.229 career BA) amounted to a spare outfielder and Bobby Shantz was pitching in his final season. Broglio led the National League with 21 wins in 1960 while splitting time between the rotation and relief assignments. Coming off an impressive 1963 season (18-8, 2.99) with personal-bests in shutouts (5), innings pitched (250) and WHIP (1.168), Broglio joined a Cubs rotation featuring Larry Jackson (24-11, 3.14 in ’64). The Cubs were playing .500 ball when Holland pulled the trigger on the deal, only 5.5 games behind the Phillies. Holland proclaimed “We’re taking more than a shot at the flag. We’re blasting at it with both barrels.” (Sporting News, June 27, 1964) The pact escalated into an unmitigated disaster for Holland and the Cubs as Broglio foundered. Through two and a half seasons in Chicago he yielded a 7-19 record with a 5.40 ERA and a WHIP of 1.678. Brock posted pedestrian numbers during his 2+ seasons with the Cubbies – a .257 BA with 20 triples and 50 stolen bases. “The Franchise” refined his base running skills and led the National League eight times in steals over the balance of his career. He recorded 3,023 base knocks, made six All-Star appearances and held the single-season and career stolen base records at the time of his retirement after the 1979 season (both records were subsequently broken by Rickey Henderson).

Eleven years after the Brock-for-Broglio deal, Holland brokered a transaction with the Dodgers, sending Burt Hooton to Los Angeles in return for portsider Geoff Zahn and righthander Eddie Solomon. Solomon earned a ticket to St. Louis two months later following six relief appearances for the Cubbies. Zahn started twelve contests and relieved in seven others before earning his release from Chicago in January 1977. He kickstarted his career in the American League, posting a record of 105-95 with a 3.77 ERA over 8+ seasons with the Twins and the Angels. Hooton fashioned an 18-7 mark with a 2.82 ERA to complete his initial campaign in Los Angeles. “Happy” placed runner-up in the NL Cy Young Award balloting in ’78 while establishing personal bests in wins (19) and WHIP (1.089). He tallied 112 victories in his career with the Dodgers along with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.181 WHIP.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
304.73 36.44 Lou Brock and Jack Spring for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz STL CHC
119.94 25.99 Burt Hooton for Geoff Zahn and Eddie Solomon LAD CHC
81.40 17.59 Jon Garland for Matt Karchner CHW CHC
112.94 12.58 Dennis Eckersley and Dan Rohn for Brian Guinn, Mark Leonette and Dave Wilder OAK CHC

Chicago White Sox

In the midst of his lone season as the Sox GM, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson engineered a trade with the Pirates on July 23, 1986. Chicago sent rookie OF/1B Bobby Bonilla to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-handed starting pitcher Jose De Leon. Suffering through a 19-loss campaign in ’85, De Leon was demoted to the Bucs’ bullpen and was ripe for a change of scenery. He fashioned an ERA of 2.96 in 13 starts for the Pale Hose post-trade and managed 11 victories in the subsequent season. In February 1988 De Leon was dealt to St. Louis for Ricky Horton and Lance Johnson. Excluding the second half of ’86, Bonilla supplied a .287 BA with 37 doubles, 23 long balls and 87 RBI per year with the Bucs. “Bobby Bo” achieved four consecutive All-Star nominations (1988-1991) and set career-highs in runs (112) and RBI (120) while placing runner-up in the 1990 NL MVP vote. Bonilla belted 44 two-baggers to lead the Senior Circuit during his final season in Pittsburgh before inking a free agent contract with the Mets in December 1991.

The Senators acquired Earl Battey and Don Mincher in a six-player deal with the White Sox on April 4, 1960. Battey attained three consecutive Gold Glove Awards and four All-Star nominations for the Senators / Twins franchise. Mincher gradually gained playing time at first base and averaged 19 dingers over a four-year period (1963-66). In return the ChiSox received Roy Sievers. “Squirrel” collected his fourth All-Star invitation and clouted 55 round-trippers during two seasons in the Windy City. Sievers’ stint with the White Sox ended in November 1961 when he was traded to Philadelphia.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
115.71 18.81 Bobby Bonilla for Jose DeLeon PIT CHW
142.76 17.06 Earl Battey and Don Mincher for Roy Sievers MIN CHW
98.30 11.58 Bob Nieman, Connie Johnson, George Kell and Mike Fornieles for Jim Wilson and Dave Philley BAL CHW

Cincinnati Reds

Mike Caldwell and Charlie Leibrandt combined for 178 victories for the Brewers and Royals, respectively, following mid-season trades from the Reds. Caldwell fashioned a 22-9 record with a 2.36 ERA and a League-best 23 complete games to merit a runner-up finish in the 1978 AL Cy Young Award balloting. Leibrandt crafted a 17-9 mark with a 2.69 ERA. The three players acquired by Cincinnati in both deals never appeared in a Major League contest for the Reds.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
86.92 22.20 Charlie Leibrandt for Bob Tufts KCR CIN
89.35 15.94 Mike Caldwell for Rick O’Keeffe and Garry Pyka MIL CIN
118.72 12.28 Tony Gonzalez and Lee Walls for Wally Post and Harry Anderson PHI CIN

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland holds the distinction of the most in-season trades with a WARdiff above 10 (in the opposing team’s favor). Further proof of the Tribe’s miserable trade record in the past 65 years lies with the American League OWAR and OWS leader boards during the same timeframe. The Indians topped the Junior Circuit 12 times in OWAR and 11 times in OWS since 1950 (vs. 7 AWAR and 2 AWS titles during the same period).

Four months after the Indians received Norm Cash in a seven player deal with the White Sox, GM Frank Lane shipped him to the Tigers for Steve Demeter on April 12, 1960. The remainder of Demeter’s MLB career consisted of five hitless at-bats with Cleveland in the spring of ‘60. Cash earned the starting first base gig with Detroit after belting 18 circuit clouts. “Stormin’ Norman” produced his finest campaign in 1961 as he led the League in batting average (.361), OBP (.487) and base hits (193). Cash registered career-highs in almost every major offensive category including home runs (41), RBI (132) and runs scored (119) while placing fourth in the AL MVP race. Excluding his final season (1974), Cash averaged 26 wallops and 77 ribbies for the Tigers.

GM Phil Seghi executed a trade on April 3, 1974 to add left-hander Bruce Ellingsen to the Indians’ relief corps in exchange for corner infielder Pedro Guerrero. Ellingsen made him Major League debut three months later on July 4 and remained with the club through the balance of the campaign. He appeared in 16 games (2 starts) and completed his inaugural season with a 3.21 ERA. Ellingsen returned to Triple-A Oklahoma City upon failing to secure a position on the Tribe staff in Spring Training. His professional baseball career concluded after posting a 4-12 record with a 6.43 ERA and a 2.017 WHIP in ’75.  Guerrero feasted on minor league pitching for five seasons with a cumulative batting average of .325. He pummeled opposing hurlers in Triple-A to the tune of a .351 BA with 218 base knocks, 39 doubles, 18 home runs and 145 ribbies. The five-time NL All-Star paced the circuit in OBP (.422) and SLG (.577) in 1985. Guerrero batted .309 during 11 seasons with the Dodgers and averaged 28 jacks and 90 RBI from 1982-85.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
308.57 51.23 Norm Cash for Steve Demeter DET CLE
180.24 29.68 Pedro Guerrero for Bruce Ellingsen LAD CLE
46.42 27.20 Minnie Minoso and Paul Lehner to CHW, Gus Zernial, Dave Philley, Ray Murray and Sam Zoldak to PHA, Lou Brissie to CLE CHW CLE
133.75 24.87 Roger Maris, Preston Ward, Dick Tomanek for Woodie Held and Vic Power OAK CLE
173.50 23.43 Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens CIN CLE
92.26 21.31 Jim Perry for Jack Kralick MIN CLE
129.07 19.46 Ray Boone, Steve Gromek, Al Aber and Dick Weik for Art Houtteman, Bill Wight, Joe Ginsberg and Owen Friend DET CLE
120.38 14.68 Mickey Vernon for Dick Weik MIN CLE
34.44 13.61 John Denny for Jerry Reed, Roy Smith and Wil Culmer PHI CLE
74.93 13.24 Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn DET CLE
30.54 13.04 Bert Blyleven for Rich Yett, Jay Bell and Curt Wardle MIN CLE
105.33 12.95 Chris Chambliss, Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw for Tom Buskey, Fritz Peterson, Fred Beene and Steve Kline NYY CLE
39.62 11.92 Sonny Siebert, Vicente Romo and Joe Azcue for Ken Harrelson, Dick Ellsworth and Juan Pizarro BOS CLE
94.14 10.85 Jeromy Burnitz for Kevin Seitzer MIL CLE

Colorado Rockies

GM Bob Gebhard packaged three of the Rockies’ expansion draft selections to the Padres as the trade deadline approached in July 1993. In return Colorado received veteran southpaw Bruce Hurst and right-hander Greg W. Harris. Hurst’s inclusion in the transaction allowed the Padres to reduce payroll. He made only five starts during the entire ’93 season following rotator cuff surgery during the prior offseason and departed for Texas after filing for free agency in October ‘93. The essential player in the deal was Harris, the top set-up man for San Diego before moving to the rotation in 1991. With an ERA of 2.36 and a WHIP of 1.147 covering 1989-1991, the Rockies’ brass seemed confident that Harris would augment their mound crew. Instead he imploded, yielding a 6.60 ERA and a record of 4-20 over two seasons in the Mile-High City. Andy Ashby arrived in San Diego with a 7.44 ERA in 38 career MLB contests (25 starts). He scuffled through the balance of the 1993 campaign, then transformed into a solid member of the starting rotation by limiting his walks per nine innings. Ashby earned back-to-back All-Star appearances in 1998-99 and a fashioned a 3.49 ERA along with a 1.232 during a six-year span with the Friars (1994-99). Brad Ausmus compiled a .255 BA in 3+ seasons while sharing the catching chores with Brian Johnson. Doug Bochtler settled into a middle relief role for the Padres, posting a 3.78 ERA over three seasons.

In July 2001 Colorado and Anaheim swapped minor league speedsters Chone Figgins and Kimera Bartee. Hitless in fifteen at-bats for the Rockies, Bartee was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Granted free agency in October 2001, he latched on with the Cubs but spent the season in Iowa (AAA). Bartee spent the next two seasons in the Atlantic League with the Long Island Ducks then headed south of the border to play for Saltillo in the Mexican League before hanging up his spikes after the 2004 campaign. Figgins reached the Majors as a pinch-runner in August 2002 as the Halos claimed their first World Series title in 2002. He achieved full-time status in 2004 as a utility player, batting .296 with 34 steals. Figgins topped the American League with 101 free passes and received an invitation to the Mid-Summer Classic in 2009. Over a six-year stretch from 2004-09, Figgins swiped 44 bags and scored 93 runs on an annual basis while producing a .292 BA.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
106.15 21.34 Andy Ashby, Brad Ausmus and Doug Bochtler for Greg W. Harris and Bruce Hurst SDP COL
123.45 17.20 Chone Figgins for Kimera Bartee ANA COL

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were engaged in a fierce battle for the American League Eastern Division crown entering the “Dog Days” of August, 1987. Toronto held a 1.5 game lead over Detroit with the Yankees dropping to 2.5 games behind on August 12. GM Bill LaJoie executed a transaction with Atlanta to import veteran starting pitcher Doyle Alexander in return for Detroit’s 22nd round draft pick in ’85, John Smoltz. The trade paid immediate dividends for the Bengals as Alexander delivered a 9-0 record with a 1.53 ERA. Detroit edged Toronto for the division title by two games. However, Alexander faltered in the American League Championship Series, yielding 10 earned runs in 9 innings (2 starts) as the Twins defeated the Tigers. He earned his lone All-Star invitation and tallied 14 victories in 1988, then sustained a League-worst 18 losses in his final campaign (1989). Smoltz debuted with the Braves on July 23, 1988 and labored to a 2-7 mark with a 5.48 ERA in 12 starts. “Smoltzie” attained the first of eight All-Star appearances during his sophomore season, posting an 11-6 record along with an ERA of 2.10 at the break. He eclipsed the 200-strikeout plateau five times for Atlanta and merited the 1996 NL Cy Young Award after compiling a 24-8 mark with 276 whiffs and a 1.001 WHIP. Smoltz re-invented himself as a closer after missing the entire 2000 campaign to recover from Tommy John surgery. The former Braves ace led the Senior Circuit with 55 saves in 2002 and fashioned a 2.47 ERA with 48 saves per season from 2002-04.

An eerily similar scenario unfolded precisely one year after the Smoltz deal. Detroit, slightly ahead of Boston heading into the final month of the 1988 campaign, acquired Fred Lynn from Baltimore in exchange for a trio of prospects. Detroit immediately went into a tailspin, losing 10 of 11 after the calendar turned to September. Lynn clubbed seven round-trippers and drove in 19 runs down the stretch, but the Lynn’s original team (the Red Sox) secured the division title despite a late charge by the Motor City Kitties. After a sub-par season in ’89, Lynn left via free agency and retired following a lone campaign with the Padres. Chris Hoiles, Cesar Mejia and Robinson Garces reported to the Orioles. Mejia and Garces failed to reach the Majors and were out of organized baseball by ’91 (although Mejia briefly resurfaced in the Mexican League four years later.) Hoiles settled into a platoon role with fellow backstop Bob Melvin in 1991 subsequent to brief stints with the O’s in the two previous seasons. He spent his entire Major League career in Baltimore, averaging 19 long balls per year from 1991-98. Hoiles enjoyed his finest campaign in ’93 when he batted .310 with 29 jacks and 82 ribbies.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
258.32 67.87 John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander ATL DET
104.36 20.06 Chris Hoiles for Fred Lynn BAL DET

Florida / Miami Marlins

Florida held a fire sale in the months following their World Series victory in 1997. Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski executed a seven-player deal with Los Angeles on May 14, 1998, acquiring impending free agents Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. Eight days later, Dombrowski dispatched Piazza to the Mets in return for three prospects. Preston Wilson made a brief appearance for the Mets and Marlins in ’98. He earned the center field job and responded with a .280 BA with 26 dingers to garner a runner-up finish in the 1999 NL Rookie of the Year vote. Wilson swatted 31 big-flies and knocked in 121 baserunners during his sophomore year, and averaged 26 jacks with 82 RBI over four complete seasons with the Marlins. Ed Yarnall never pitched for Florida, having been dealt in February 1999 to the Yankees in a four-player deal for third baseman Mike Lowell. Geoff Goetz topped out in Double-A and retired from organized baseball after the 2006 season. Piazza supplied a .337 BA with 33 circuit clouts and 105 RBI per year in five full seasons with the Dodgers. His unrelenting assault on opposing hurlers continued unabated through the 2002 campaign. Injuries and age caught up with the bashing backstop. Piazza left the Mets and returned to the West Coast in February 2006 to complete his Major League career with stints in San Diego and Oakland.

Rick Helling, the first round selection for Texas in the 1992 Amateur Draft, appeared in 18 contests (14 starts) over parts of three seasons. He compiled a 6.38 ERA, securing his exile from the Rangers as the “player to be named later” in a September 1996 transaction along with Ryan Dempster for John Burkett. Less than one year later, Texas re-acquired Helling in exchange for left-handed reliever Ed Vosberg. In 17 relief outings for Florida, Vosberg fashioned a 3.75 ERA with a 1.750 WHIP. He was dispatched to San Diego in November 1997 for minor league RHP Chris Clark. Helling blossomed in the Rangers’ rotation upon returning to Arlington. He led the American League with 20 victories in ’98 and averaged 15 wins from 1998-2001 despite an ERA of 4.73.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
92.15 17.82 Mike Piazza for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall and Geoff Goetz NYM FLA
53.80 15.56 Rick Helling for Ed Vosberg TEX FLA
113.10 15.22 Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich and Manuel Barrios for Todd Zeile and Mike Piazza LAD FLA
42.31 14.14 Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn DET FLA

Houston Colt .45’s / Astros

Curt Schilling was traded for the third time in four years after a single season in Houston consisting of 56 relief outings, 8 saves and an ERA of 3.81. GM Bill Wood sent “Schill” to the Phils in exchange for fellow right-hander Jason Grimsley. In three fragmented seasons Grimsley started 27 contests and fashioned a 5-12 record with a 4.35 ERA and a WHIP of 1.632. He pitched the entire 1992 campaign for Tucson (AAA), compiling an ERA of 5.07. Grimsley was ignored by the Houston brass when September call-ups were announced and granted his release at the end of Spring Training in March, 1993. Schilling moved into the Philadelphia rotation on May 19, 1992 and paced the National League with a 0.990 WHIP which accompanied a 14-11 mark and 2.35 ERA. He posted consecutive seasons with at least 300 strikeouts (1997-98) and concluded 8+ years as a member of the Phillies with 101 victories, 3.35 ERA and a 1.120 WHIP.

Houston languished in fourth place, six games behind St. Louis at the 2006 All-Star break. GM Tim Purpura agreed to a deal with Tampa Bay to import Aubrey Huff, an imminent free agent, in exchange for Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot. Huff hammered 13 round-trippers as the ‘Stros regrouped and nearly took the division crown from the Cardinals. “Huff Daddy” filed for free agency on October 31, 2006 and inked a deal with Baltimore in early January 2007. Talbot sported a career ERA of 5.30 and a WHIP of 1.646. Subsequent to three disastrous outings for the Rays in ’08 where he yielded 12 earned runs in 9.2 innings, Talbot managed to make 40 starts for the Indians in 2010-11. Zobrist failed to impress during his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Rays. Belting long balls in three consecutive games following his recall from Durham (AAA) in June 2008, “Zorilla” became a fixture in the starting lineup at multiple positions. He achieved All-Star status and set personal-bests in home runs (27), RBI (91) and batting average (.297) in 2009. Through six full seasons in Tampa Bay spanning 2009-2014, Zobrist produced 35 doubles, 16 homers and 16 stolen bases per year.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
123.18 34.70 Curt Schilling for Jason Grimsley PHI HOU
148.60 27.57 Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot for Aubrey Huff TBD HOU
103.87 18.37 Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen for Randy D. Johnson SEA HOU
47.96 12.89 Joaquin Andujar for Tony Scott STL HOU

Kansas City Royals

Jorge De La Rosa compiled 78 victories with a 4.20 ERA over eight seasons with Colorado (through 2015) as the “player to be named later” in a deal for reliever Ramon E. Ramirez. In 71 outings for the Royals, Ramirez delivered a 2.64 ERA with a 1.228 WHIP. He was sent packing to Boston in November 2008 in exchange for outfielder Coco Crisp.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
64.46 14.99 Jorge De La Rosa for Ramon E. Ramirez COL KCR

Los Angeles / Brooklyn Dodgers

GM Buzzie Bavasi executed a four-player trade with the Cubs on April 23, 1968, sending outfielder/first baseman Jim Hickman and reliever Phil Regan to the Windy City. Regan acquired his moniker, “Vulture” after swooping in from the bullpen to claim 14 relief victories in ’66. He paced the National League with 25 saves subsequent to the trade. “Gentleman Jim” struggled at the outset of the deal, but achieved his lone All-Star invite two years later when he swatted 32 big-flies and drove in 115 baserunners. The two players that Los Angeles received in the deal (Jim Ellis and Ted Savage) remained in the organization for less than one year. Ellis never appeared in a Major League game for the Dodgers, completing his career with a pair of outings for the Cardinals in ’69. Savage supplied a .206 BA for Los Angeles in ’68.

Twenty-year old Dominican right-hander Juan Guzman had just completed his third minor league season in Bakersfield (A). The flamethrower endured control issues, yielding 84 free passes in 110 frames. GM Fred Claire shipped him to the Blue Jays for second-sacker Mike Sharperson in September 1987. Guzman continued to hone his craft in the Toronto system through June ‘91, when he made his Major League debut. His arsenal was highly effective as Guzman (10-3, 2.99) placed runner-up in the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year balloting. A sparkling won-loss record of 40-11 through his third season serves to highlight his success. After laboring to a combined 5.99 ERA in 1994-95 Guzman rebounded to lead the circuit in ERA (2.93) and WHIP (1.124) in ’96. Sharperson secured a utility infield role in ‘90 and supplied a .293 BA over three seasons (1990-92), culminating in an All-Star appearance in ’92.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
109.44 15.31 Jim Hickman and Phil Regan for Jim Ellis and Ted Savage CHC LAD
36.14 12.90 Juan Guzman for Mike Sharperson TOR LAD
69.72 12.17 Carlos Santana and Jon Meloan for Casey Blake CLE LAD
79.93 11.92 John Franco for Rafael Landestoy CIN LAD
89.95 11.74 Sid Bream, R.J. Reynolds and Cecil Espy for Bill Madlock PIT LAD
22.25 10.78 Don Newcombe for Johnny Klippstein, Steve Bilko and Art Fowler CIN LAD

Milwaukee Brewers / Seattle Pilots

Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin sent impending free agent Carlos Lee to Texas along with outfielder Nelson R. Cruz on July 28, 2006 in exchange for two outfielders and two pitchers. In the midst of a stellar campaign which included his first All-Star nod, Lee continued his assault on opposing hurlers. “El Caballo” combined for a career-high 37 clouts and drove in 116 runs while maintaining a .300 BA. He filed for free agency at the conclusion of the ’06 season and inked a deal with the Astros, where he batted .286 with 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 101 RBI per year from 2007-2011. Cruz earned a full-time gig after batting .330 with 7 dingers following a late-August recall in ’08. “Boomstick” socked 27 long balls per year as the starting right fielder for Texas (2009-2013). Francisco Cordero parlayed 60 saves and a 2.60 ERA into a multi-year contract with Cincinnati upon completion of the ’07 season. Kevin Mench failed to sustain the 20+ home run production that he displayed in 2004-05. Laynce Nix batted .153 in 59 at-bats for the Brew Crew spanning three seasons. Julian Cordero made five appearances for Milwaukee’s West Virginia (A) affiliate before vanishing from organized baseball.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
78.41 16.72 Nelson R. Cruz and Carlos Lee for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix and Julian Cordero TEX MIL

Minnesota Twins / Washington Senators I

Scott Erickson’s career in Minnesota can be neatly divided into two segments. He posted 41 victories through three seasons featuring a record of 20-8 with an ERA of 3.18 which culminated in a runner-up finish for the 1991 AL Cy Young Award. The second half (1993-95) generated dreadful results as he fashioned a 5.42 ERA with a won-loss mark of 20-36. Twins’ GM Terry Ryan executed a trade on July 7, 1995 sending Erickson to the Orioles in exchange for fellow RHP Scott Klingenbeck. Erickson accrued 69 victories for Baltimore from July 1995 through the end of the decade. Klingenbeck’s term in the Twin Cities lasted 28 outings (7 starts) with dismal returns as he yielded an ERA of 8.30 with a WHIP of 1.883.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
62.04 15.38 Scott Erickson for Scott Klingenbeck BAL MIN

New York Mets

Mets GM Frank Cashen bundled three players in a June 1989 deal with the Phillies in return for Juan Samuel. “Sammy” had been a productive player for Philadelphia despite his frequent whiffs and defensive lapses at second base. The National League strikeout leaders in four straight seasons (1984-87), Samuel balanced the negatives by averaging 102 runs scored, 35 doubles, 15 triples, 20 homers and 50 steals during the same timeframe. A position change from second base to center field was undertaken at the start of the ’89 campaign in an attempt to alleviate Samuel from the defensive responsibilities of a middle infielder and allow him to focus strictly on offense. In order to acquire the two-time All-Star, New York unloaded two of the more “colorful” characters in the organization. Lenny Dykstra averaged 29 stolen bases per season with the Mets. “Nails” delivered a .325 BA with a League-leading 192 hits and .418 OBP for the Fightin’ Phillies in 1990. The runner-up for the 1993 NL MVP Award topped the leader boards with 143 runs scored, 194 safeties and 129 walks. Roger McDowell saved 20 contests and vultured 8 victories per year for the Mets from 1985-88. He totaled 44 saves and maintained an ERA of 2.90 for Philadelphia before moving on to Los Angeles in a trade deadline deal in July ’91. Samuel played the equivalent of a half-season for the Mets, swiping 31 bags despite a .228 BA. He was exiled to the Dodgers in December ’89 for Mike A. Marshall and Alejandro Pena.

Melvin Mora persevered through eight seasons in the minors before the Mets rewarded him with a “cup of coffee” in 1999. His statistics through age 27 gave the impression that Mora may be valuable in a utility role but it did not appear as though he would be much of a contributor on offense. With the Mets tied with the Diamondbacks in the Wild Card standings and chasing the Braves for the NL East title, GM Steve Phillips pursued a defensive upgrade at shortstop after Rey Ordonez broke his forearm in late May. Mike Bordick came to New York in exchange for Mora and a trio of prospects. Bordick batted .260 in two months with the Metropolitans before slumping to a .121 BA during the playoffs and World Series. He returned to Baltimore in December 2000 after filing for free agency. Mora delivered a .280 BA over ten seasons with the O’s and established personal-bests with a .340 BA, 111 runs scored, 41 doubles, 27 home runs, 104 ribbies and a League-high .419 OBP in 2004.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
144.82 27.77 Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell and Tom Edens for Juan Samuel PHI NYM
144.38 22.90 Melvin Mora, Mike Kinkade, Leslie Brea and Pat Gorman for Mike Bordick BAL NYM
154.21 22.58 Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West and Tim Drummond for Frank Viola MIN NYM
-48.21 16.62 Tom Seaver for Steve Henderson, Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn and Dan Norman CIN NYM
41.71 12.32 Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato TBD NYM

New York Yankees

Rick Dempsey toiled for parts of eight seasons as a backup catcher for the Twins and Yankees. Tippy Martinez registered 10 saves in 44 outings with the Yankees spanning three seasons. Both players were bundled along with the veteran left-hander Rudy May, prospect Scott McGregor and journeyman reliever Dave Pagan to Baltimore in exchange for a comparable flock of Orioles. Dempsey recorded 20.5 WAR over more than a decade as the primary backstop for the Birds. McGregor reached double-digits in victories for nine straight seasons (1978-1986) with a composite 3.80 ERA and 1.263 WHIP during that stretch. The crafty lefthander led the AL with a 1.076 WHIP in ’79 and achieved 20 wins in the subsequent campaign. Martinez appeared in 499 contests over an 11-year period for the O’s (1976-1986) and recorded 105 saves while fashioning a 3.46 ERA. He received an All-Star invite in ’83, notching 21 saves along with a career-best WHIP of 1.094. May registered 29 victories with a 3.68 ERA for Baltimore before being flipped to Montreal in a six-player deal on December 7, 1977. All of the players acquired by the Yankees totaled 1 WAR and moved on to other teams within two years of the transaction.

In his second tour of duty with the Athletics, left fielder Rickey Henderson produced a .299 BA with 87 big-flies, 254 steals, 450 runs scored and 445 walks in the equivalent of four seasons. “The Man of Steal” merited 1990 AL MVP honors as he topped the leader boards in runs (119), stolen bases (65) and OBP (.439) while notching career-highs in BA (.325), doubles (33) and home runs (28). GM Sandy Alderson parceled a trio of A’s to New York in exchange for Henderson despite his impending free agency. Greg Cadaret managed 22 wins and 7 saves working primarily out of the bullpen during his 3+ years in the Bronx. Eric Plunk secured 15 victories in a similar role. Luis Polonia’s brief tenure with the Yankees was marred by off-the-field incidents including an arrest in August 1989.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
319.43 41.85 Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May and Dave Pagan for Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ken Holtzman, Elrod Hendricks and Jimmy Freeman BAL NYY
122.57 31.91 Rickey Henderson for Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia OAK NYY
100.05 19.01 Larry Gura for Fran Healy KCR NYY
123.38 18.21 Lew Burdette for Johnny Sain ATL NYY
157.16 16.63 Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps SEA NYY
54.96 14.28 Bob Porterfield, Tom Ferrick and Fred Sanford for Bob Kuzava MIN NYY
47.76 10.02 Jim Deshaies for Joe Niekro HOU NYY

Oakland / Kansas City / Philadelphia Athletics

GM Billy Beane formulated plans to make a return on his investment a mere eight months after acquiring Matt Holliday from Colorado for three ballplayers including sophomore outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and closer Huston Street. As the trade deadline approached in July 2009, Beane flipped Holliday to the Cardinals in return for two former first round selections and the Redbirds’ second-round pick from ’08. Holliday signed a multi-year deal with St. Louis and maintains a .292 BA through eight seasons with the Cardinals. Holliday delivered a .312 BA with 45 two-baggers, 28 circuit clouts and 103 ribbies in 2010. Clayton Mortensen compiled a 7.22 ERA in seven starts for Oakland. Shane Peterson managed one hit in seven at-bats for the A’s in 2013. Brett Wallace never played for the Athletics as he was traded to Toronto in December 2009 for outfielder Michael D. Taylor.

Mark McGwire bashed 70 round-trippers to seize the single-season home run record in 1998, scarcely one year removed from the deal in which A’s GM Billy Beane sent him packing to St. Louis. “Big Mac” belted 65 big-flies for an encore and knocked in 147 runs in consecutive campaigns (1998-99). Oakland obtained three hurlers in the exchange. T.J. Mathews accrued 24 victories and 8 saves with a 4.78 ERA in 210 relief appearances over a five-year span with the Athletics. Blake Stein yielded a 6.60 ERA in 25 outings (21 starts) while Eric Ludwick (1-4, 8.25) lasted six games in an A’s uniform.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
142.08 23.64 Matt Holliday for Clayton Mortensen, Shane Peterson and Brett Wallace STL OAK
88.42 23.44 Mark McGwire for T.J. Mathews, Blake Stein and Eric Ludwick STL OAK
122.84 23.07 Chet Lemon and Dave Hamilton for Stan Bahnsen CHW OAK
96.04 17.87 Clete Boyer for Jack Urban NYY OAK
69.32 17.80 Aaron Harang and Joe Valentine for Jose Guillen CIN OAK
92.75 11.74 Denny Walling for Willie Crawford HOU OAK
21.13 11.73 Tim Belcher for Rick Honeycutt LAD OAK
102.56 11.06 Joe Azcue and Dick Howser for Doc Edwards CLE OAK
49.42 10.58 Ralph Terry and Hector Lopez for Jerry Lumpe, Johnny Kucks and Tom Sturdivant NYY OAK

Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies’ GM John Quinn engineered a trade to acquire Larry Jackson, a four-time All-Star and 24-game winner for the Cubs just two years prior. Jackson continued to pitch effectively for Philadelphia, fashioning an ERA of 2.95 with a 1.178 WHIP over three seasons before retiring after the ’68 campaign. The Fightin’ Phillies also obtained the services of Bob Buhl. Similar to Jackson, Buhl was winding down his career and faded into the sunset with a 6-8 record and an ERA of 4.93 in 35 outings (18 starts). Chicago procured several prospects in the exchange. Center fielder Adolfo Phillips accrued 103 at-bats in the Majors when the deal was struck. “The Panamanian Flash” swiped a career-high 32 bags in his first season with the Cubbies and averaged 15 homers per season from 1966-68. Ferguson Jenkins finished the ’66 campaign in Chicago’s rotation after working almost exclusively out of the bullpen. “Fly” fashioned a 4-2 record with a 2.13 ERA and a WHIP of 0.917 in nine starts. Jenkins reeled off six straight seasons with 20+ victories (1967-1972) along with an aggregate ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 1.072. The 1971 NL Cy Young Award recipient led the circuit with 24 wins, 30 complete games in 39 starts and 325 innings pitched. Jenkins also whiffed over 200 batsmen in five consecutive campaigns (1967-1971).

GM Ed Wade struck a deal on July 29, 2002 which sent former Rookie of the Year and perennial Gold Glove third baseman Scott Rolen to St. Louis. Wade acquired Rolen’s replacement at the hot corner, Placido Polanco, along with veteran reliever Mike Timlin and left-handed prospect Bud Smith. A wounded shoulder prevented Smith from pitching for the Phillies. Timlin posted a stellar WHIP (0.953) in 30 relief appearances prior to signing with the Red Sox in January, 2003. Polanco produced a .297 BA for the Phillies over the equivalent of three seasons before he was flipped to the Tigers in return for reliever Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramon E. Martinez in June, 2005. Rolen collected three Gold Glove Awards during his stint with the Redbirds. He placed fourth in the 2004 NL MVP race and realized personal-bests in home runs (34), RBI (124), BA (.314), OBP (.409) and SLG (.598).

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
186.61 46.96 Fergie Jenkins, Adolfo Phillips and John Herrnstein for Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl CHC PHI
58.23 15.99 Scott Rolen and Doug Nickle for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin and Bud Smith STL PHI
78.74 13.47 John Briggs for Pete Koegel MIL PHI
77.20 10.48 Placido Polanco for Ugueth Urbina and Ramon E. Martinez DET PHI

Pittsburgh Pirates

Jose A. Bautista owned a .240 batting average with 43 career home runs in 3+ MLB seasons. He reached full-time status in 2007 and responded with 36 two-base hits and 15 jacks. His production tailed off in ’08 and following a brief demotion to the minors, Pittsburgh packaged Bautista to Toronto for a player to be named later. Pirates GM Neal Huntington asserted “Given our recent acquisitions and our projected roster moving forward, this was the logical move. We’ve given Jose a fresh start.” (TribLive, August 2008). “Joey Bats” jump-started his career when he dialed long distance ten times after September 1, 2009. Bautista blasted 38 long balls and drove in 97 baserunners per season (from 2010-15). He achieved All-Star status in six straight campaigns and secured the American League home run title in back-to-back years (2010-11) including 54 bombs in 2010. Robinzon Diaz supplied a .289 with one homer and 20 ribbies for the Bucs as a second-string backstop.

Jason Schmidt possessed a career ERA of 4.58 when Bucs GM Dave Littefield engineered a trade with the Giants on July 30, 2001, sending Schmidt along with John Vander Wal to the City by the Bay in exchange for Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelsong. Rios suffered a power outage upon arriving in Pittsburgh, launching a lone blast following a 14-homer campaign for San Francisco in the previous year. Vogelsong fared even worse, yielding a 6.00 ERA over 103 games (33 starts) during his first stint with the Pirates. Outfielder and pinch-hitter deluxe Vander Wal was flipped to the Yankees in December 2001 after posting a .252 BA with 3 taters and 20 ribbies. Schmidt vaulted to ace status as he fashioned a record of 78-37 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.183 WHIP over 5+ seasons with the Giants. He finished runner-up in the 2003 NL Cy Young Award balloting, leading the League with a 2.34 ERA and 0.953 WHIP.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
161.96 31.52 Jose A. Bautista for Robinzon Diaz TOR PIT
80.30 24.88 Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal for Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios SFG PIT
156.25 24.10 Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill and Jose Hernandez CHC PIT
58.18 11.30 Dave Dravecky for Bobby D. Mitchell SDP PIT

San Diego Padres

As the Padres languished in last place (29-53) and staggered into the All-Star break, GM “Trader” Jack McKeon pulled the trigger on a seven-player deal with his Giants’ counterpart, Al Rosen on July 5, 1987. San Francisco, within striking distance of Cincinnati entering July, imported Kevin “World” Mitchell along with left-handers Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts. The Friars procured third-sacker Chris Brown and a trio of hurlers – Keith Comstock, Mark W. Davis and Mark Grant. Davis responded with back-to-back All-Star appearances (1988-89) and a Cy Young Award in ’89 as he led the National League with 44 saves while fashioning an ERA of 1.85. Grant delivered a respectable 3.98 ERA spanning three seasons in “America’s Finest City”. Comstock’s outcomes comprised a 5.73 ERA in 33 relief outings, which earned him an unconditional release in June of ’89. Brown’s output dipped considerably from his freshmen and sophomore campaigns. His .234 batting average in just over a year in San Diego punched his ticket to Detroit in October 1988. Dravecky strengthened the rotation with seven victories and a 3.20 ERA as the Giants overtook the Reds and the Astros to claim the National League Western Division title in ’87. He fractured his left arm in August 1989 while pitching in his second MLB start following surgery to remove a tumor ten months earlier. Lefferts managed a 2.88 ERA and tallied 35 saves in 2+ seasons. Mitchell crushed opposition pitching and merited All-Star status in 1989-1990. “World” led the League with 47 home runs, 125 RBI and a .635 slugging percentage as he earned 1989 NL MVP honors and established personal-bests in nearly every offensive category.

Two years later, McKeon acquired corner outfielder Chris James from Philadelphia in return for John Kruk and Randy Ready. James’ tenure with the Padres lasted a half-season. He was included in the December 1989 package along with Sandy Alomar Jr. and Carlos Baerga to extract Joe Carter from the Indians. Ready filled a utility role with the Phillies, batting .253 with 10 dingers over two-and-a-half years. Kruk produced a .311 BA with 30 two-baggers per season while notching three successive All-Star invites from 1991-93.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
82.51 19.49 Kevin Mitchell, Craig Lefferts and Dave Dravecky for Mark W. Davis, Mark Grant, Chris Brown and Keith Comstock SFG SDP
125.88 17.68 John Kruk and Randy Ready for Chris James PHI SDP
105.10 15.13 George Hendrick for Eric Rasmussen STL SDP
97.51 13.40 Mike Hargrove for Paul Dade CLE SDP
16.70 10.94 Corey Kluber to CLE, Ryan Ludwick to SDP, Jake Westbrook and Nick Greenwood to STL CLE SDP
59.03 10.91 Fred Norman for Gene Locklear and Mike N. Johnson CIN SDP
3.96 10.66 Jason Bay and Oliver Perez for Brian S. Giles PIT SDP

Seattle Mariners

The Angels pulled within a half-game of the Mariners as the 1997 trade deadline loomed. Seattle’s bullpen woes (counting closer Norm Charlton’s 7.27 ERA) forced GM Woody Woodward to explore other options. He arranged a deal with Boston for struggling Sox stopper Heathcliff Slocumb, who possessed a 5.79 ERA after compiling 30+ saves in back-to-back seasons in Philadelphia. Slocumb helped Seattle in the short-term as the club secured the American League Western Division title. A subsequent slump in ’98 (5.32 ERA in 57 games) expedited Slocumb’s departure from the Pacific Northwest. The Red Sox acquired prospects Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in the exchange. Varitek rapped at least 30 doubles in five campaigns and achieved Gold Glove status in 2005. Lowe collected 42 saves with a 2.56 ERA in 2000. Slotted into the rotation in ’02, he responded with 21 victories, an ERA of 2.58 and a sub-one WHIP to procure a third-place finish in the Cy Young Award balloting.

Mariners’ GM Bill Bavasi acquired first baseman Ben Broussard from Cleveland in exchange for two prospects as July 2006 trade deadline approached. Enjoying his finest campaign to date with a .321 BA and 13 round-trippers, Broussard dialed long distance eight times down the stretch but his averages tailed off. He was traded to Texas in December 2007 after posting ordinary results for the M’s. The Indians assigned Shawn Nottingham to Akron (AA) in the spring of ’07. He compiled a 12-18 mark with an ERA of 4.94 ERA in 2+ seasons for multiple minor league affiliates with the Tribe. Nottingham left organized baseball following 26 relief appearances with the Pirates’ double-A team in Altoona (0-1, 8.37). Cleveland also received Shin-Soo Choo in the deal. Choo reached the Majors with Seattle in ’05 and managed a .069 BA (2 for 29) in two brief stints with the ball club prior to the trade. He scratched out a .295 BA while platooning in right field towards the conclusion of the ’06 season. Choo eclipsed the .300 mark in three consecutive campaigns (2008-2010) and averaged 30 two-base knocks over a five-year stretch (2008-2012).

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
237.56 45.73 Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb BOS SEA
97.04 17.90 Shin-Soo Choo and Shawn Nottingham for Ben Broussard CLE SEA
111.47 14.67 Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez CLE SEA
78.38 12.80 Randy Winn for Yorvit Torrealba SFG SEA

San Francisco / New York Giants

Cincinnati had a short leash on opening day shortstop Frank Duffy in 1971. He was benched after three games and replaced briefly with veteran Woody Woodward and ultimately Dave Concepcion. Duffy was sent to the minors for additional seasoning but refused to report and asked to be traded. The Reds accommodated this request, sending Duffy and pitcher Vern Geishert to San Francisco for rookie left fielder George Foster. Geishert decided to hang up his spikes after the deal was consummated. Duffy managed 29 plate appearances with the Giants through the balance of the ’71 campaign. Subsequently he was included in the November 1971 deal which sent Gaylord Perry to the Tribe in return for “Sudden” Sam McDowell. After several false-starts, Foster locked up the starting gig in left field during the ’75 season. “Yahtzee” appeared in five out of six All-Star contests from 1976-1981 and produced a .297 BA with 33 circuit clouts and 112 ribbies per year in that span. Foster garnered 1977 NL MVP honors as he topped the leader boards with 52 jacks, 149 RBI, 124 runs scored and a .631 SLG.

Garry Maddox supplied a .292 BA with 29 doubles and 19 stolen bases per year in his first three campaigns with San Francisco. Following a slow start in ’75, he was sent to Philadelphia in exchange for first-sacker Willie Montanez. The runner-up for 1971 NL Rookie of the Year averaged 29 doubles and 15 round-trippers in the four-year span for the Phillies. Montanez batted .306 in a little more than one season for the Giants prior to his inclusion in a six-player deal with Atlanta in June 1976. Maddox swiped at least 20 bags in six straight seasons (1975-1980) and finished fifth in the 1975 NL MVP race after setting career highs with a .330 BA and 37 two-baggers. “The Secretary of Defense” stockpiled eight consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1975-1982) and batted .284 with the Phillies.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
197.35 36.91 George Foster for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert CIN SFG
131.34 25.92 Garry Maddox for Willie Montanez PHI SFG
113.83 13.97 Keith Foulke, Bob Howry, Mike Caruso, Lorenzo Barcelo and Ken Vining for Roberto Hernandez, Danny Darwin and Wilson Alvarez CHW SFG
73.66 10.83 Terry Mulholland, Charlie Hayes and Dennis Cook for Steve Bedrosian and Rick Parker PHI SFG

St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals’ GM Dal Maxvill negotiated a deal with the Pirates for backstop Tony Pena at the conclusion of Spring Training in ’87. The 3-time Gold Glove winner compiled a .286 BA over six full seasons as a member of the Bucs. Pena’s production fell considerably during his three years in St. Louis. His batting average dipped to .243 and slugging percentage declined from .411 to .342. Pena signed with Boston as a free agent in November 1989. Pittsburgh’s haul included Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere and Mike Dunne. Van Slyke responded favorably to a full-time role after platooning for four years with the Cards. He earned five consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1988-1992) and twice finished fourth in the NL MVP race. Van Slyke led the Senior Circuit with 199 base hits and 45 doubles while posting a .324 BA in ’92. “Spanky” LaValliere earned a Gold Glove Award and supplied a .300 BA while Dunne fashioned a 13-6 record with a 3.03 ERA in 23 starts to place runner-up in the 1987 NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

The Redbirds divested former NL MVP and batting champion Keith Hernandez in the middle of June 1983.  “Mex” was in the midst of earning twelve consecutive Gold Glove Awards and held a .299 career batting average when the deal was finalized. He delivered a .309 BA in his first 3+ seasons in New York, finished runner-up in the 1984 NL MVP race and coaxed a League-high 94 walks for the 1986 World Series champions. The Cards received two right-handed pitchers in exchange for Hernandez. Rick Ownbey furnished a 4.09 ERA in 21 appearances (7 starts) over parts of two seasons in St. Louis. Neil Allen worked out of the bullpen for the Cardinals in 1984-85 after winning 10 of 16 decisions as a starter in the summer of ’83.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
 

228.40

35.23 Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere and Mike Dunne for Tony Pena PIT STL
124.73 26.22 Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey NYM STL
83.57 18.72 Reggie Smith for Joe Ferguson LAD STL
104.65 11.58 Jack Wilson for Jason Christiansen PIT STL
36.55 11.29 Bake McBride for Dane Iorg, Tom Underwood and Rick Bosetti PHI STL
134.51 10.75 Bill Virdon for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield PIT STL

Texas Rangers / Washington Senators II

Texas GM Eddie Robinson sent two pitching prospects to the Mets on April 1, 1982 in return for former All-Star outfielder Lee Mazzilli. “Maz” slumped to .228 in the strike-shortened ’81 season after averaging .286 with 16 dingers and 32 steals over the three prior campaigns. Four months later the Rangers flipped Mazzilli (.241/4/17) to the Yankees for shortstop Bucky Dent. He continued to earn a big-league paycheck for seven seasons, contributing primarily as a spare outfielder and first baseman. Walt Terrell made his debut with the Mets in September 1982 and slotted into the rotation in June 1983. In the equivalent of two seasons in New York, Terrell tallied 19 victories with a 3.53 ERA prior to being dealt to Detroit for third baseman Howard Johnson in December 1984. Ron Darling secured a slot in the rotation as the Mets broke camp in ’84. During his career in the Big Apple, Darling accrued 99 wins with a 3.50 ERA and 1.288 WHIP.

The Rangers sat in fourth place in the American League West on July 29, 1989 when GM Tom Grieve engineered a five-player trade with the White Sox to acquire veteran DH and outfielder Harold Baines along with middle infielder Fred Manrique. The move failed to vault Texas to the top of the standings as the club finished the season with an 83-79 record (4th). Baines provided his usual output over the next season, posting a .288 BA with 16 homers and 60 ribbies prior to an August 1990 exchange which sent him to Oakland. Manrique managed a .288 BA with 12 two-baggers in 210 plate appearances before migrating to Minnesota in April 1990. The ChiSox received Scott Fletcher and two prospects in the deal, Wilson Alvarez and Sammy Sosa. Fletcher returned to the keystone position in Chicago after spending the past 3+ seasons as the Rangers’ starting shortstop. Fletcher’s offensive contributions were minimal as he slumped from .288 in Texas to a .240 BA in his second stint with the Pale Hose. Alvarez fashioned a 3.62 ERA and recorded 59 victories as a member of the Sox rotation from 1993-97. Sosa nabbed 32 bags and laced 10 triples in ’90. “Slammin’ Sammy” (.203/10/33) posted miserable results in his sophomore campaign. He was dealt to the Cubs with reliever Ken Patterson in return for George A. Bell on March 30, 1992.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
99.05 19.60 Ron Darling and Walt Terrell for Lee Mazzilli NYM TEX
89.75 18.78 Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher and Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique CHW TEX
111.51 15.39 Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara BAL TEX
79.20 11.97 Frank Tanana for Duane James DET TEX
111.91 11.65 Roy Smalley III, Mike Cubbage and Bill Singer for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson MIN TEX

Toronto Blue Jays

David Cone’s impending free agency combined with Toronto’s 36-47 record influenced Blue Jays’ GM Gord Ash’s decision to deal the AL Cy Young Award winner from the previous season to the rival Yankees on July 28, 1995. Toronto’s haul consisted of three right-handed pitchers: Mike Gordon, Marty Janzen and Jason Jarvis. Janzen supplied a 6.39 ERA in 27 games (11 starts) over a two-year period with the Jays. Toronto left him unprotected in the November 1997 Expansion Draft and he was selected by Arizona. He was subsequently traded back to the Yankees in March 1998 but never returned to the Majors. Gordon and Jarvis topped out at double-A and both were out of organized baseball within four years. Cone signed a free agent contract to remain with the Bronx Bombers. He whiffed 200+ batsmen in back-to-back campaigns (1997-98) and compiled 20 wins for the ’98 squad.

Challenging New York and Boston for the American League Eastern Division lead in July 2000, Toronto pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire starting pitcher Esteban Loaiza from the Rangers for two minor leaguers. Loaiza delivered five wins with a 3.62 ERA to close out the campaign but the Jays finished the year in third place, 4.5 games behind the Yankees. Loaiza reverted to his previous form in the two subsequent seasons, posting an abysmal ERA (5.33) to complement an equally alarming WHIP (1.491). Darwin Cubillan was exiled to Montreal within a year of the deal, the victim of a 10.70 ERA in 13 relief appearances. Michael Young claimed the second base gig by 2002 and started at every infield position for the Rangers over the course of his thirteen seasons with the club. The seven-time All-Star eclipsed the 200-hit mark six times and collected a batting title with a .331 average in ’05. Young produced a .311 BA with 202 base hits, 38 doubles, 17 moon-shots and 90 ribbies per year from 2003-2011.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
62.12 19.81 David Cone for Marty Janzen, Mike Gordon and Jason Jarvis NYY TOR
197.24 14.81 Michael Young and Darwin Cubillan for Esteban Loaiza TEX TOR

Washington Nationals / Montreal Expos

Expos GM Dave Dombrowski swapped three prospects to the Mariners for lefty strikeout artist and free-agent-to-be Mark Langston on May 25, 1989. The Expos assumed the lead in the National League Eastern Division on June 26 and held on for six weeks before fading down the stretch. Langston compiled 12 wins in 24 starts and whiffed one batter per inning for Montreal while fashioning a 2.39 ERA. He ultimately inked a five-year contract with the California Angels in December 1989. The key to the deal for Seattle was 6’ 10” flamethrower, Randy D. Johnson. Nicknamed the “Big Unit”, Johnson struggled to harness his arsenal and led the League with 100+ bases on balls in three consecutive campaigns (1990-92). Omitting an injury-plagued ’96 season, Johnson supplied a 2.80 ERA with a 1.095 WHIP and 274 strikeouts per year from 1993-97. He placed in the top three for the AL Cy Young balloting in each of those seasons and claimed the award in 1995, recording 18 victories along with League-bests in ERA (2.48), WHIP (1.045) and strikeouts (294). Brian Holman accrued 32 wins and delivered an ERA of 3.73 over 2+ seasons in the Emerald City. Gene Harris registered a 5.48 ERA and 1.730 WHIP in partial campaigns over four years in Seattle.

Holding steady in second place and trailing Atlanta by 6.5 games as the end of June 2002 loomed, Montreal GM Omar Minaya shipped veteran first-sacker Lee Stevens and three minor leaguers to Cleveland in return for right-handed starting pitchers Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. Colon was due to become a free agent at the end of the ’03 campaign. He duplicated his won-loss record (10-4) with both clubs to reach the 20-victory mark while furnishing an ERA of 2.93. The Expos warranted the runner-up slot in the division race but finished 19 games off the pace and proceeded to spin Colon to the White Sox in January 2003. Drew’s career in Montreal amounted to 13 appearances (2 starts) with a composite ERA of 6.20. Stevens knocked in 26 runs in 153 at-bats with the Tribe in his final season as a big-leaguer. Cliff P. Lee delivered a rather uneven 4.01 ERA during his stint in Cleveland. However he was particularly brilliant in 2008 as his 22-3 record and League-leading 2.54 ERA were rewarded with AL Cy Young honors. Grady Sizemore registered three All-Star invites and collected two Gold Glove Awards in a four-year span (2005-08) during which he averaged 41 two-baggers, 27 round-trippers and 29 stolen bases. Brandon Phillips (.206/6/38) flopped with the Indians but later redeemed himself with four Gold Glove Awards and three All-Star appearances as a member of the Reds.

Wsdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
153.08 44.04 Randy D. Johnson, Brian Holman and Gene Harris for Mark Langston SEA WSN
195.14 33.59 Grady Sizemore, Cliff P. Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew CLE WSN
51.58 12.61 Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos G. Perez and Hiram Bocachica for Peter Bergeron, Wilton Guerrero and Ted Lilly LAD WSN

Note: The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays do not have any in-season trades with a WARdiff of 10 or above. (as of September 1, 2016).

In-Season Trades Ranked By WARdiff

WSdiff WARdiff Trade Win Lose
376.23 72.49 Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen HOU BOS
258.32 67.87 John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander ATL DET
308.57 51.23 Norm Cash for Steve Demeter DET CLE
186.61 46.96 Fergie Jenkins, Adolfo Phillips and John Herrnstein for Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl CHC PHI
237.56 45.73 Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb BOS SEA
153.08 44.04 Randy D. Johnson, Brian Holman and Gene Harris for Mark Langston SEA WSN
319.43 41.85 Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May and Dave Pagan for Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ken Holtzman and Elrod Hendricks BAL NYY
197.35 36.91 George Foster for Frank Duffy CIN SFG
304.73 36.44 Lou Brock and Jack Spring for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz STL CHC
228.40 35.23 Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere and Mike Dunne for Tony Pena PIT STL
123.18 34.70 Curt Schilling for Jason Grimsley PHI HOU
106.24 34.16 Jamie Moyer for Darren Bragg SEA BOS
195.14 33.59 Grady Sizemore, Cliff P. Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew CLE WSN
122.57 31.91 Rickey Henderson for Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia NYY OAK
161.96 31.52 Jose A. Bautista for Robinzon Diaz TOR PIT
180.24 29.68 Pedro Guerrero for Bruce Ellingsen LAD CLE
144.82 27.77 Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell and Tom Edens for Juan Samuel PHI NYM
148.60 27.57 Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot for Aubrey Huff TBD HOU
46.42 27.20 Minnie Minoso and Paul Lehner to CHW, Gus Zernial, Dave Philley, Ray Murray and Sam Zoldak to PHA, Lou Brissie to CLE CHW CLE
124.73 26.22 Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey NYM STL
119.94 25.99 Burt Hooton for Geoff Zahn and Eddie Solomon LAD CHC
131.34 25.92 Garry Maddox for Willie Montanez PHI SFG
139.58 25.16 Darrell Evans and Marty Perez for Willie Montanez, Craig Robinson and Mike Eden SFG ATL
80.30 24.88 Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal for Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios SFG PIT
133.75 24.87 Roger Maris, Preston Ward, Dick Tomanek for Woodie Held and Vic Power OAK CLE
156.25 24.10 Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill and Jose Hernandez CHC PIT
142.08 23.64 Matt Holliday for Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson STL OAK
108.83 23.50 Dennis Martinez and Rene Gonzales for John Stefero WSN BAL
88.42 23.44 Mark McGwire for T.J. Mathews, Blake Stein, Eric Ludwick STL OAK
173.50 23.43 Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens CIN CLE
122.84 23.07 Chet Lemon and Dave Hamilton for Stan Bahnsen CHW OAK
144.38 22.90 Melvin Mora, Mike Kinkade and Leslie Brea for Mike Bordick BAL NYM
154.21 22.58 Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West and Tim Drummond for Frank Viola MIN NYM
86.92 22.20 Charlie Leibrandt for Bob Tufts KCR CIN
188.40 22.16 Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay TEX ATL
117.98 21.99 Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto for Allen Webster, James Loney, Ivan De Jesus Jr., Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands LAD BOS
106.15 21.34 Andy Ashby, Brad Ausmus and Doug Bochtler for Greg W. Harris and Bruce Hurst SDP COL
92.26 21.31 Jim Perry for Jack Kralick MIN CLE
104.36 20.06 Chris Hoiles for Fred Lynn BAL DET
62.12 19.81 David Cone for Marty Janzen NYY TOR
99.05 19.60 Ron Darling and Walt Terrell for Lee Mazzilli NYM TEX
82.51 19.49 Kevin Mitchell, Craig Lefferts and Dave Dravecky for Mark W. Davis, Mark Grant, Chris Brown and Keith Comstock SFG SDP
129.07 19.46 Ray Boone, Steve Gromek, Al Aber and Dick Weik for Art Houtteman, Bill Wight, Joe Ginsberg and Owen Friend DET CLE
194.80 19.17 Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna for Len Barker CLE ATL
100.05 19.01 Larry Gura for Fran Healy KCR NYY
115.71 18.81 Bobby Bonilla for Jose DeLeon PIT CHW
89.75 18.78 Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher and Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique CHW TEX
83.57 18.72 Reggie Smith for Joe Ferguson LAD STL
103.87 18.37 Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen for Randy D. Johnson SEA HOU
123.38 18.21 Lew Burdette for Johnny Sain ATL NYY
97.04 17.90 Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard CLE SEA
96.04 17.87 Clete Boyer for Jack Urban NYY OAK
92.15 17.82 Mike Piazza for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall and Geoff Goetz NYM FLA
69.32 17.80 Aaron Harang and Joe Valentine for Jose Guillen CIN OAK
125.88 17.68 John Kruk and Randy Ready for Chris James PHI SDP
81.40 17.59 Jon Garland for Matt Karchner CHW CHC
53.93 17.38 Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger CHC BAL
123.45 17.20 Chone Figgins for Kimera Bartee ANA COL
142.76 17.06 Earl Battey and Don Mincher for Roy Sievers MIN CHW
78.41 16.72 Nelson R. Cruz and Carlos Lee for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix TEX MIL
157.16 16.63 Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps SEA NYY
-48.21 16.62 Tom Seaver for Steve Henderson, Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn and Dan Norman CIN NYM
58.23 15.99 Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco and Mike Timlin STL PHI
89.35 15.94 Mike Caldwell for Rick O’Keeffe and Garry Pyka MIL CIN
53.80 15.56 Rick Helling for Ed Vosberg TEX FLA
92.90 15.52 Damion Easley for Greg Gohr DET ANA
111.51 15.39 Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara BAL TEX
62.04 15.38 Scott Erickson for Scott Klingenbeck BAL MIN
178.35 15.36 Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling for Mike Boddicker BAL BOS
109.44 15.31 Jim Hickman and Phil Regan for Ted Savage CHC LAD
113.10 15.22 Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich and Manuel Barrios for Todd Zeile and Mike Piazza LAD FLA
105.10 15.13 George Hendrick for Eric Rasmussen STL SDP
64.46 14.99 Jorge De La Rosa for Ramon E. Ramirez COL KCR
47.87 14.98 Virgil Trucks and Bob Elliott for Lou Kretlow and Darrell Johnson CHW BAL
197.24 14.81 Michael Young and Darwin Cubillan for Esteban Loaiza TEX TOR
120.38 14.68 Mickey Vernon for Dick Weik MIN CLE
111.47 14.67 Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez CLE SEA
54.96 14.28 Bob Porterfield, Tom Ferrick and Fred Sanford for Bob Kuzava MIN NYY
42.31 14.14 Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn DET FLA
113.83 13.97 Keith Foulke, Bob Howry, Mike Caruso, Lorenzo Barcelo and Ken Vining for Roberto Hernandez, Danny Darwin and Wilson Alvarez CHW SFG
34.44 13.61 John Denny for Jerry Reed, Roy Smith and Wil Culmer PHI CLE
56.58 13.53 Earl Wilson for Don Demeter DET BOS
78.74 13.47 John Briggs for Pete Koegel MIL PHI
97.51 13.40 Mike Hargrove for Paul Dade CLE SDP
74.93 13.24 Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn DET CLE
30.54 13.04 Bert Blyleven for Rich Yett, Jay Bell and Curt Wardle MIN CLE
105.33 12.95 Chris Chambliss, Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw for Tom Buskey, Fritz Peterson, Fred Beene and Steve Kline NYY CLE
90.06 12.91 Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez for Brandon Lyon, Jeff Suppan and Anastacio Martinez PIT BOS
36.14 12.90 Juan Guzman for Mike Sharperson TOR LAD
47.96 12.89 Joaquin Andujar for Tony Scott STL HOU
78.38 12.80 Randy Winn for Yorvit Torrealba SFG SEA
51.58 12.61 Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos G. Perez and Hiram Bocachica for Peter Bergeron, Wilton Guerrero and Ted Lilly LAD WSN
112.94 12.58 Dennis Eckersley and Dan Rohn for Brian Guinn, Mark Leonette and Dave Wilder OAK CHC
41.71 12.32 Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato TBD NYM
118.72 12.28 Tony Gonzalez and Lee Walls for Wally Post and Harry Anderson PHI CIN
69.72 12.17 Carlos Santana and Jon Meloan for Casey Blake CLE LAD
79.20 11.97 Frank Tanana for Duane James DET TEX
79.93 11.92 John Franco for Rafael Landestoy CIN LAD
39.62 11.92 Sonny Siebert, Vicente Romo and Joe Azcue for Ken Harrelson, Dick Ellsworth and Juan Pizarro BOS CLE
89.95 11.74 Sid Bream, R.J. Reynolds and Cecil Espy for Bill Madlock PIT LAD
92.75 11.74 Denny Walling for Willie Crawford HOU OAK
21.13 11.73 Tim Belcher for Rick Honeycutt LAD OAK
94.36 11.70 Jim Rivera and Darrell Johnson for Jay Porter and Ray Coleman CHW BAL
111.91 11.65 Roy Smalley III, Mike Cubbage and Bill Singer for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson MIN TEX
98.30 11.58 Bob Nieman, Connie Johnson, George Kell and Mike Fornieles for Jim Wilson and Dave Philley BAL CHW
104.65 11.58 Jack Wilson for Jason Christiansen PIT STL
58.18 11.30 Dave Dravecky for Bobby D. Mitchell SDP PIT
36.55 11.29 Bake McBride for Dane Iorg, Tom Underwood and Rick Bosetti PHI STL
102.56 11.06 Joe Azcue and Dick Howser for Doc Edwards CLE OAK
16.70 10.94 Corey Kluber to CLE, Jake Westbrook and Nick Greenwood to STL, Ryan Ludwick to SDP CLE SDP
59.03 10.91 Fred Norman for Gene Locklear and Mike N. Johnson CIN SDP
94.14 10.85 Jeromy Burnitz for Kevin Seitzer MIL CLE
73.66 10.83 Terry Mulholland, Charlie Hayes and Dennis Cook for Steve Bedrosian and Rick Parker PHI SFG
22.25 10.78 Don Newcombe for Johnny Klippstein, Steve Bilko and Art Fowler CIN LAD
134.51 10.75 Bill Virdon for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield PIT STL
3.96 10.66 Jason Bay and Oliver Perez for Brian S. Giles PIT SDP
49.42 10.58 Ralph Terry and Hector Lopez for Jerry Lumpe, Johnny Kucks and Tom Sturdivant NYY OAK
77.20 10.48 Placido Polanco for Ugueth Urbina and Ramon E. Martinez DET PHI
59.95 10.39 Jose Mesa for Kyle Washington CLE BAL
66.50 10.24 Roberto Hernandez and Mark Doran for Mark A. Davis CHW ANA
47.76 10.02 Jim Deshaies for Joe Niekro HOU NYY

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database

Baseball-Reference

James, Bill. The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1985. New York, NY.: Ballantine Books, 1985. Print.

James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.

James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

Sporting News – June 27, 1964 (via SABR Research / Paper of Record)

Sporting News – September 17, 1990 (via SABR Research / Paper of Record)

TribLive – August 21, 2008 – “Pirates trade Jose Bautista to Toronto”, Rob Biertempfel

 

Addendum:

10/27/2016 – I added the Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna for Len Barker trade to the Atlanta Braves chart. This trade was inadvertently omitted as it occurred on both sides of the cutoff date (October 1) due to multiple “players to be named later” holding up the completion of the deal until October 21, 1983. Since the initial trade was consummated on August 28, 1983, I am including it with the “in-season” trades.

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