Thursday, August 16, 2007

Choppin' it up with Lorcan - part one - The worst trade in recent baseball history.

Met up with a few of the boys the other night to hold a live fantasy NFL draft, and during that I had several interesting conversations with my Dublin Hurricanes team mate Lorcan Sherlock. I tell you, if you ever feel the need to have a meaty conversation, grab Lorcan, put a few Guinness in front of him and get ready to talk. Allot.

First interesting topic? The worst trade in recent baseball history. When Lorcan brought this up my eyes went all Reche Caldwell and I blurted out 'Heachcliff Slocumb! Heachcliff Slocumb!'.

Heathcliff Slocumb - the human aneurysm

I was of course referring to the infamous 1997 trade when Seattle sent both Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston in return for closer Heathcliff Slocumb. Although Slocumb helped the Mariners make the playoffs in 1997, his career had slowed down significantly by 1998 and he was relegated to mop up/long relief roles until he finally retired in 2000. So, basically, the Mariners got one significant season out of him. The Red Sox, on the other hand, got an all star pitcher and all star catcher, not to mention a World Series pretty much on the back of those two men, Lowe and Varitek. Pretty lopsided, no?

Well, Lorcan was ready for this, and had his own lopsided trade. Check this bad boy out. After the 2003 season the Twins traded catcher AJ Pierzynski to the San Francisco Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser . Pierzynski spent one season in San Francisco before being signed as a free agent by the Chicago White Sox on January 6, 2005. So, in effect, for the use of Pierzynski for one season, San Fran gave up a lights out closer (Nathan), a very solid starter (Bonser) and an absolutely electric starter, with the potential to do special things in his career (Liriano).

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a bad trade.

It has the potential to be an even worse trade than the Slocumb 'deal'. Both San Fran and Seattle were screwed equally badly in their half of the two deals, but the Twins not only added a super star closer and decent starter, depending on how Liriano recovers from arm surgery, they may have landed another Pedro Martinez.

File this one under, check back in 3-4 years time.



Ed said...

Speaking of the next Pedro Martinez, don't forget the original Pedro Martinez. Carl Pavano and Tony Armas for Petey. Pavano pitched 4.5 generally bad seasons for the Expos before being sent to Florida in a large deal. Armas pitched parts of 6 seasons for the 'Spos before becoming a free agent. While, yes, both pitchers stuck around for a while both were plagued with injuries and never amounted to anything like what the Expos thought they'd be getting.

Boston only got the most dominating run in baseball history and eight full seasons of Cy Young caliber performance.

Not the worst trade of the last 10-15 years, but it deserves to be mentioned in such conversations.

Cormac said...

Great point! That trade definitely rivals the two mentioned!

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