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7/31/2008 01:53:00 PM
Worst Sports Trades of All Time
Atlanta made a big mistake trading Brett Favre.
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
If you're a baseball fan, don't close your eyes or you might miss one of the seemingly dozens of trades going down this week. With the trade deadline looming, teams are so desperate to make moves that Jon Heyman's fingers are going to be bloody stumps by the 4:00 p.m. (EST) deadline. The urgency is understandable, but more often than not, trades don't seem to work out for one of the teams involved. So without further ado, here are my top five worst sports trades of all time ...
1. Cowboys trade Herschel Walker and 4 draft picks to Vikings for 5 players and 8 draft picks
-- Seriously, this really happened, back in 1989. You can read about the particulars here.
2. Falcons trade Brett Favre to Packers for a first round pick -- Of course, the Falcons had no need for Favre, what with Chris Miller dominating the NFL at the time. With the first round pick they received as compensation, Atlanta selected RB Tony Smith, who didn't do much at all. Meanwhile, who'd have thought 15 years later that Favre would still arguably be worth a first-round draft pick in a trade?
3. Mavericks trade Robert "Tractor" Traylor to Milwaukee for Dirk Nowitzki -- This was actually a swap of several draft picks, so the two teams selected for each other. But still, must be haunting for Bucks fans to know that for a few brief moments, they actually had the future MVP instead of a guy called "Tractor."
4. Red Sox trade Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen -- As the postseason approached, the Sox wanted to add an arm (and a guy who loved to make quip cute to the press) to their bullpen. Unfortunately, Boston traded away Bagwell, who promptly became one of the best in the game. Andersen left for the Padres soon after.
5. Hawks trade Dominique Wilkins to the Clippers for Danny Manning -- In first place at the time, the Hawks moved their greatest player in franchise history for Manning. They promptly lost in the first round of the Playoffs then failed to re-sign Manning.
What are your worst trades of all time? Let us know below…
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
This one goes way back, but the Cincinnati Reds traded rookie pitcher Christy Mathewson to the NY Giants for veteran pitcher Amos Rusie. Rusie was eventually elected to Hall of Fame, but he did not win a game for the Reds. Mathewson won 372 games for the Giants
The Mets trade Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi
The Blue Jays (or was it the Tigers) acquire Doyle Alexander from the Braves for John Smoltz
And in hockey, the Islanders, in the middle of their dynasty, send a below average defenseman in Bob Lorimer to the Devils for the No. 2 draft pick in 1983 of 1984. That pick turned out to be Pat LaFontaine
In 1974, Dan Devine, head coach of the GB Packers, traded 2 #1's, 2 #2's and a #3 draft pick to the Rams for John Hadl. OUCH! Devine nearly had a deal done before the Hadl deal to acquire Sainst backup Archie Manning, but Saints starter Bobby Scott was injured, so they kept Manning. Bart Starr became coach in 1975, and during the season traded Hadl and Ken Ellis to Houston for Dan Pastorini's backup, Lynn Dickey...so ultimately, Dicky cost the Packers 5 top picks and Ken Ellis.
the Jeff Bagwell trade was inconsequencial for Housto, they never wemt to the World Series with him Mike Cuellar for Curt Blefary was a lopsided trade. Cuellar won an average of more than 20 games per seanon for 6 years with the Oriols and helped them go more than once to the World series, and win the Series once.Outpitched Tom Seaver in 69 Series
Mariners trade with the Red Sox, in which the Mariners gave up Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in order to get Heathcliff Slocumb, has to go down as one of the top three worst baseball trades of all time.
ok I will agree with the cowboys Vikings trade but I think we are omitting some grandios faux pas .. Orioles trade Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley to the Astros for Glenn Davis. Being an Os fan can be hard but it's rough thinking we could have had a rotation in the early to mid 90s of Schilling, Harnisch, Mussina, McDonald and fill in Rick Sutcliffe for a year as a 5th starter for a year and Fernando V and Doug Drabek at one point. We could have been much more competitive in the AL East !!!
What about the trade where the St. Louis Cardinals got Lou Brock from the Chicago Cubs for a bag of peanuts, err, some no-name player who never ended up contributing to the Cubs while Brock went on to a hall of fame career?
What about the Lakers trading four players to Milwaukee for the then-named Lew Alcindor? Yes, some of them, Brian Winters and Junior Bridgeman come to mind, were pretty good, but you can only play 5 guys at a time and the one guy, Kareem, brought all those titles to LA.
Lou Brock (+ two others) for Ernie Broglio (+ two others). After the trade Brock played for the Cardinals for 15 years, won 3 NL pennants and 2 World Series, and was a Hall of Famer. Broglio won a total of 7 games. Go Cubs!
The Bay Area has a three sport trifecta of horrible trades to put up against any area. Wilt Chaimberlain for Lee Shafer, Y.A. Title for Lou Corleone and Orlando Cepeda for Ray Sadecki would make any list.
What about when the Boston Red Sox traded Mr. George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Babe Ruth the greatest baseball player ever. He changed the game in a good way. This trade affected baseball for the next 86 years.
Don't forget the Oriole's trade for Glen Davis in the early 90's. Davis only lasted a year or so in Baltimore and is most famous in Baltimore for getting his jaw broken in a bar fight. He was never an impact. All the O's gave up in return was...Steve Finley, Pete Harnish and Curt Schilling!
Two trades that need to be on this list. In 1975, the Lakers trade Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman to the Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And in 1981, the Warriors traded Robert Parrish and the 3rd pick in the draft that year to the Celtics, which they used to draft Kevin McHale, for the 1st overall pick, which the Warriors used to draft Joe Barry Carroll. We all know how those trades worked out for each team.
In 1964 the Cubs trade Lou Brock for washed up pitcher, Ernie Broglio of the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock went on to a Hall of Fame career. Broglio went on to be 7-14 in three years with the Cubs with an ERAs of 4.04, 6.93, and 6.35. What a deal.
warrior trade Robert Parrish & the #3 pick in the draft (which just turns out to be Kevin McKale) to Boston Celtics for the #1 pick in the draft in which they use to draft Joe Barry Carrol. let see 2 hall of famers for a also ran player
You need to rename this the worst trades of the last 20 years, not of all time. How about the Cubs trading Lou Brock or the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth? Please, they are much worse than some of the ones you've mentioned.
1920 - Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000 plus a $300,000 loan (that's right, a loan... so that they could finance a musical).
Babe Ruth went on to hit 665 HR for the Yankees (714 overall), lead them to 7 World Series' and win 4 of them. The Red Sox went on to have a championship drought that lasts 86 years... but they did get to finance a hit musical. So maybe that was of some comfort for Boston fans when the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs in '86... Or when Bucky Dent went yard in '78... Or when Aaron Boon crushed that dinger in the 11th in 2003...
You should fire your research staff for not making this #1 on your list.
Hockey - Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield traded from Chicago to Boston for Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris. Espo and Hodgey are legends in beantown and were key cogs (along with a fella named Orr) in the Bruins winning two Cups in the early 70's. Pit Martin became a valuable member of the Hawks but this will always be considered one of the most lopsided trades in hockey and sports history.
Warriors trade Robert Parrish and the #3 draft pick, which became Kevin McHale, to Boston for the #1 (Joe Barry Carroll) and the #13 pick (Ricky Brown). Is it any wonder the Warriors haven't won a championship since 1975.
The Giants trade Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano to the Twins for A.J. Pierzinsky. Pierzinsky hits and fields poorly for the Giants and becomes a cancer in the clubhouse. Nathan becomes a perennial all-star and farm hand Liriano has an injury-shortened Cy Young caliber year two and a half years later.
You're not going back far enough. Cincinnati trades "aging" Frank Robinson to Baltimore for Milt Pappas. Robinson wins the Triple Crown and MVP award the next year, launching the Orioles' success of the 1960s-70s. Pappas wasn't horrible -- he won 40 games over the next three years and was a serviceable starter into the early 1970s, but still ...
Delino Deshields for Pedro Martinez, LA -> Montreal 1993. One of the worst trades of all time. LA was desperate for offense, and had enough pitching they thought Martinez was expendable with his sub 2.00 ERA as a rookie. Deshields never hit more than .256 for LA, while Martinez became a future Hall Of Famer.
You have to be at least 40 to remember this, but there was a time that the Red Sox werethe biggest joke in the history of basenall, and they actually traded Sparky Lyle to the Yankees for Danny Cater.
The whole history of the Red Sox was a series of amazing trades, starting with the Curse of The Bambino, but that one is the most famous, more so than the Bagwell one you listed. (That,too, was a beauty though!)
The worst in baseball history was Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $75K, but that happened long ago (soon after 1918, maybe?).
I understand that Cubs fans use "Brock for Broglio" as their version of the "Bagwell for Larry Andersen" catchphrase repeated by disgusted Red Sox fans (until 2004, when we stopped wallowing in self pity).
I can think of two more that should be ahead of #4 and #5. Considering the Braves championship run....John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander was a much worse deal than Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson. While Wilkins for Manning was a bad deal...Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi is countless times worse.
How about Ernie Broglio from St. Louis to the Chicago Cubs for Lou Brock. Or Milt Pappas from Baltimore to Cincinnati for Frank Robinson. In Detroit history, Steve Demeter to the White Sox for Norm Cash and Ramon Santiago and another minor league infielder to Seattle for carlos Guillen
There have been a lot of bad teams and bad trades in the history of Chicago sports, but the worst, by far, is the deal the Cubs made, in the 60's, sending a young Lou Brock to the Cards for Ernie Broglio.
In 1919 Bosox traded Babe Worst trade = Babe Ruth to Yankees for $125,000 and rights to a play called "No, No, Nanette." Say what??? Bosox wouldn't win another World Series for the rest of that century.
Second vote goes to Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant. Enuff said.
I think that the 1980 Celtics-Warriors trade has got to be there. The Celtics gave up the 1st and 13th picks to the Warriors for the 3rd pick and Robert Parish. The Celtics used the pick to draft Kevin McHale while the Warriors drafted Joe Barry Carroll first overall and Rickey Brown with the 13th pick.
Carroll averaged a decent 18 and 8 for his career. (Carroll only made one all-star game.) Brown lasted three seasons with the Warriors, and never amounted to anything. (5 and 4 as a Warrior) On the other hand, the Celtics picked up two hall-of-famers that cemented their front-line throughout the 80s, creating one of the most dominant trios of all time.
Giving away two hall-of-famers (both were also voted to the 50 greatest players of all-time during the NBA's 50th season) for one awful player and one okay one surely counts as one of the worst sports trades of all time.
Are you nuts?!? What about the Sox trading the Babe to the Yankees, effectively starting the 84-year Curse of the Bambino? That's probably the most legendary trade in the history of sports in the United States. It even had an 84-year curse attached to it!!!
The San Francisco Giants trading Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano for AJ Pierzynski. Pierzynski had a crummy season in SF, left, flourished in Chicago, and Nathan and Liriano...well, no need to state the obvious.
Texas Rangers trade pitcher Wilson Alvarez, outfielder Sammy Sosa and infielder Scott Fletcher to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Harold Baines and infielder Fred Manrique. There is no comparison!!!
Dave McNally and Rich Coggins of the Orioles for Mike Torrez and Ken Singleton of the Expos in 1972. Coggins was cut in Spring Training, McNally challenged the reserve clause and retired in May. Singleton hit .300+ for Many years with the Orioles, and Torrez won 20 for the O's
1: Pirates trade OF Kenny Lofton and 3B Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs for 3B Jose Hernandez, P Matt Bruback, and 2B Bobby Hill (named later).
Ramirez was said to have been forced on the Cubs, who were only looking for Lofton because of injuries in their outfield.
The return ex-Pirates GM Dave Littlefield received was down right pathetic. Hernandez was shut down at the end of the season to prevent him from setting the single-season strikeout record as a Pirate. Hill was supposed to be a can't miss prospect, but instead he lived down to the "That boy ain't right" catchphrase. Bruback pitched four games at AAA Nashville, then was claimed off waivers by San Diego. He never made the majors.
2: Panthers trade G Roberto Luongo, D Lukas Krajicek, and a 6th round pick to the Canucks for W Todd Bertuzzi, G Alex Auld and D Bryan Allen.
A perennial Vezina contender, a replaceable part on defense, and a late draft pick for a career backup goalie, a replaceable part on defense, and an aging power forward carrying Steve Moore's civil lawsuit on his bad back, at the end of his contract, no less.
Sports did exist before 1990! Lou Brock from the Cubs to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio in 1964was perhaps the worst baseball trade ever. Cardinals won the World Series that year and three pennants in five years, and the Cubs inability to win a World Series continued for another 43 years.
First of all, Babe Ruth was not traded. He was sold to the Yankees, so he would not qualify. Maybe if the item had been worst sports DEALS, then Ruth would qualify.
As a frustrated Astros fan from way back, I still cackle about the Larry Andersen/Jeff Bagwell trade. We finally got one. Houston once acquired Lee May and Jimmy Stewart. All they had to give up was Denis Menke and Cesar Geronimo. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. And Joe Morgan.
Oh, and one more. Houston once traded Rusty Staub to an expansion Montreal Expo team, looking to get Jesus Alou and Donn Clendenon. The reason that this was one of the worst sports trades of all time was that the deal was sealed, and then Clendenon decided he didn't want to go. MLB decided, "Well, heck, I guess he doesn't have to go after all," and disallowed only that part of the trade. Houston never got a replacement for Clendenon, who went to the Mets and played in a World Series. Alou was a fair player for a couple of years.
Staub became the Franchise for the Expos team of the early to mid '70's.
But this was bad because MLB dropped the ball. Big time.
Cubbies fans forget that to make up for losing Brock to the Cards they go shopping in Philly for a speedy outfielder...Adolpho Phillips for Bob Buehl and Larry Jackson and for good measure the Phillies threw in Ferguson Jenkins.
The NY Giants traded their first-round pick in 1975. They acquired quarterback Craig Morton from Dallas for the second pick overall. The Cowboys used the selection to take Hall of Fame defensive tackle Randy White.
Ron Francis, Ulf Sammuelsson and Grant Jennings from Hartford to Pittsburgh for Zarley Zalapsky and John Cullen. Ulf becomes a cult hero in Pitt and NY, Francis is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Ironically, he ends up playing for the guy who traded him (Eddie Johnston), then returns to the original franchise when it goes to Carolina!
the worst trade of all time? Draft time in the NFL. Mike Dikta gave up his picks 1,3,4,5,6,7 of that year and the 1st and the 3rd of the following year.......for getting Ricky Williams. Results? 3-13 season = Iron Mike fired. You know what's idiotic. With 8 additional picks in 2 years, the Redskins did NOTHING. They have never been even to a Championship game! LOL
Babe Ruth wasn't a true trade. He was sold so that one can't really be on the list. Neither can trading Wayne Gretzy since the Oilers won another title and Gretzky did not. The easiest is Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio.
But another obvious one is Texas trading Sammy Sosa to the White Sox for Harold Baines.