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Nobody can win them all, that’s for sure. Trades are always a dicey prospect, no matter how good they look at the time. Sometimes trades in baseball can be out of necessity, or to nab that missing piece, and General Managers lose sight of what they might be letting go. Regardless of whatever the issues may be, here are 7 of the most lopsided trades in baseball history…
7. Jeff Bagwell, Red Sox to Astros – Boston’s trade of Bagwell to the Astros for a sturdy reliever in Larry Anderson made sense to the franchise because they had a logjam. While Bagwell was a third-base prospect, his true spot was first base and Mo Vaughn had that position locked down. Bagwell would go on to have a Hall of Fame career in Houston, winning MVP in 1994. Anderson had only one good season in Boston.
6. Pedro Martinez, Dodgers to Expos – While Martinez really blossomed in Boston, the fact that the LA Dodgers had this Hall of Famer in their system and let him go is on them. Besides, the Expos were in the midst of collapsing when they sent Martinez to the Red Sox. The Dodgers sent Martinez away for Delino DeShields, who never reached any sort of consistency in his play before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals three years later.
5. Curt Schilling, everywhere to everywhere… – Curt Schilling was one of the most consistently dominating pitchers of his era, but still managed to be traded five times during his career. Perhaps the big loser would be the Houston Astros, who had the rights to Schilling before he became such a monster on the mound. The Astros traded Schilling to the Phillies for a spare reliever in Jason Grimsley. Schilling would go on to win a World Series with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox in the fabled “bloody sock” series.
4. Randy Johnson, Expos to Mariners – In 1989, the Montreal Expos let one of the most overpowering left-handed aces in baseball history head over to the Seattle Mariners for quality pitcher Mark Langston. Despite being a quality pitcher, Langston bolted from Montreal for the Angels, and Johnson would go on to win multiple Cy Young awards in the Pacific Northwest.
3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins to Tigers – The Florida Marlins – now the Miami Marlins – have always been stupid when it comes to building and rebuilding a tea, even though they have two championships in their back pocket. In 2007, the Marlins made arguably their worst decision as a team, sending perennial all-star, triple crown winner, and MVP Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers for a whole cavalcade of prospects from the Tigers that nobody ever heard from again. The Tigers also received declining pitcher Dontrelle Willis, but Cabrera was clearly the big catch for the Motor City.
2. Nolan Ryan, Mets to Angels – The New York Mets traded away young pitcher Nolan Ryan before he became the Hall of Fame monster in his 27-year career. In return, the Mets received third basemen Jim Fregosi from the California Angels, who never amounted to much as a consistent player. While Nolan went on to play for two more teams, his long, steady, dominant career is one of the best of all time.
1. Babe Ruth, Red Sox to Yankees – There is no other true answer when it comes to the most lopsided baseball trade in history. Following the 1919 season, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee took $100,000 to trade Ruth to what would become the Boston franchise’s mortal enemy. Ruth would go on to define the Yankees, and still does to this day, and Boston would go on to incur an 86-year World Series drought that many called “the curse of the Bambino.”