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Worst Ever Tigers Trade

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According to jake, it will be (already is?) the Jurrjens trade. But there are some legitimate stinkers over the past 100 years.

I'll start with one:

Jim Bunning

December 5, 1963: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Gus Triandos to the Philadelphia Phillies for Don Demeter and Jack Hamilton.

What happened afterwards:

Bunning - Immediately had 4 of the best seasons in his career. Went on to throw over 1,500 innings in Philly with an ERA+ of 122. To add insult to injury, wears a Phillies cap on his Cooperstown plaque

Triandos - Had a useful season with the Phils.

Hamilton - Did nothing whatsoever in Detroit and was soon gone.

Demeter - Had two servicable seasons with the Tigers but never repeated the production he showed in Philadelphia. Importantly, however, he netted the Tigers Earl Wilson from Boston in 1966.

Verdict:

The Tigers would have won the pennant in 1967 with Bunning in the rotation. Would they have won the league again in 1968, given Bunning's statistical collapse and Wilson's impressive season? Considering the relative comfort in which they won the AL, I think the answer is still yes.

It's true that Bunning was coming off of three straight seasons of decline leading up to the trade, and at age 32 it was fair to wonder if his best years were past him. However, still a very poor trade overall, and one that may well have cost us a pennant.

Luckily championships have a way of healing wounds and we won one later that decade.

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For me, the Juan Gonzalez trade was the worst trade in team history.

Tigers get:

Juan Gonzalez, OF (2000): .289/.337/.505, 22 HR, 67 RBI, only 32 BB. Left after one season, spurning a very lucrative contract. Playing in low level ball when last heard of.

Danny Patterson, P (2000-2004): Initially pitched very well in his first two seasons, posting a 3.97 ERA/56.2 IP in 2000 and a 3.06 ERA/64.2 IP, but fell apart after that, having only 3 IP in 2002 and 17 IP in 2003. He pitched 41 innings in 2004, with a 4.75 ERA. Out of baseball.

Gregg Zaun (never played for us; sent to Royals to complete a previous trade) Out of baseball.

Rangers get:

Frank Catalanotto: since being traded, has appeared in 961 games, averaging 106 games a year. In Texas, he has averaged .290/.365/.450. While in Toronto, he averaged .299/.361/.445. He's been a good hitter and an average fielder. Still playing. (TEX)

Francisco Cordero Became, for a few seasons, one of the game's premier relief pitchers/closers. Still playing. (CIN)

Bill Haselman: Hit .275 and .285 in each of his next two seasons in TEX; as a backup catcher, he had a .989 and 1.000 fielding percentage in those two years. Out of baseball.

Gabe Kapler: Has been an average player since leaving the Tigers, never meeting the hype that once surrounded him. Career line of .272/.331/.424 offensively, with mediocre fielding percentages and below-average range following him in the field. Still in baseball (TBD)

Justin Thompson: I didn't mind seeing JT get traded. With that delivery, he was bound to be gone sooner rather than later. JT didn't appear in baseball again until 2005, when he pitched 1.2 innings. That's the last time he played in MLB, and he's now out of baseball.

Alan Webb: never pitched in the majors.

This trade still hurts for me to look at. I think it was made solely to get a star player in Comerica Park's first season, and it totally backfired. I was very high on Catalanotto, Cordero, and Kapler at the time, while I didn't mind losing Thompson or the unknown Webb.

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For me, the Juan Gonzalez trade was the worst trade in team history.

Tigers get:

Juan Gonzalez, OF (2000): .289/.337/.505, 22 HR, 67 RBI, only 32 BB. Left after one season, spurning a very lucrative contract. Playing in low level ball when last heard of.

Danny Patterson, P (2000-2004): Initially pitched very well in his first two seasons, posting a 3.97 ERA/56.2 IP in 2000 and a 3.06 ERA/64.2 IP, but fell apart after that, having only 3 IP in 2002 and 17 IP in 2003. He pitched 41 innings in 2004, with a 4.75 ERA. Out of baseball.

Gregg Zaun (never played for us; sent to Royals to complete a previous trade) Out of baseball.

Rangers get:

Frank Catalanotto: since being traded, has appeared in 961 games, averaging 106 games a year. In Texas, he has averaged .290/.365/.450. While in Toronto, he averaged .299/.361/.445. He's been a good hitter and an average fielder. Still playing. (TEX)

Francisco Cordero Became, for a few seasons, one of the game's premier relief pitchers/closers. Still playing. (CIN)

Bill Haselman: Hit .275 and .285 in each of his next two seasons in TEX; as a backup catcher, he had a .989 and 1.000 fielding percentage in those two years. Out of baseball.

Gabe Kapler: Has been an average player since leaving the Tigers, never meeting the hype that once surrounded him. Career line of .272/.331/.424 offensively, with mediocre fielding percentages and below-average range following him in the field. Still in baseball (TBD)

Justin Thompson: I didn't mind seeing JT get traded. With that delivery, he was bound to be gone sooner rather than later. JT didn't appear in baseball again until 2005, when he pitched 1.2 innings. That's the last time he played in MLB, and he's now out of baseball.

Alan Webb: never pitched in the majors.

This trade still hurts for me to look at. I think it was made solely to get a star player in Comerica Park's first season, and it totally backfired. I was very high on Catalanotto, Cordero, and Kapler at the time, while I didn't mind losing Thompson or the unknown Webb.

:shocked: wow

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Gregg Zaun is still in baseball, with the O's.

And has had a nice little career for himself since the trade, which sort of makes it even worse.

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And has had a nice little career for himself since the trade, which sort of makes it even worse.

Hm, baseball-reference never loaded his stats beyond his 2000 season with KCR. I thought he was still in ball. I just went based on that.

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After his past few years in Congress, the Phillies can have Bunning in the HOF

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Also let it be known to the masses, the Mighty Gabe Kapler,,, has struck out... to Swisher...

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Worst trade that wasn't a trade (personnel decision) was to return Maury Wills to the Dodgers. Make him the SS and leadoff guy in the 1960's. That may have gotten them that one more game in 1967.

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The worst trade in my recent memory is trading away Travis Fryman for Matt Drews, Gabe Alvarez and Joe Randa. Fryman should've been a Tiger for life

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I formulated a way of judging trades based on the value each team recieved from the player, whether by their production or by the production of guys they were subsequently traded for...

By that method, the worst trade I could find (back to the early 80's) was Luis Salazar for Mike Brumley... simply because the Padres had a run of deals stemming from Salazar that eventually accounted for much of their 1998 NL Championship.

A very flawed way of looking at things, but that was the worst trade I could find. Another bad one around the same time period was Chris Hoiles for Fred Lynn...

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Any trade involving Matt Drews should be on this list.

And yeah, the Juan G. trade was downright awful.

Another stinker was Tony Phillips for Chad Curtis. Even an aging

Tony Phillips was ten times the player Curtis ever aspired to be.

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Randy Smith made the worst trades besides the Bunning deal, but my two most loathed weren't involving Juan Gonzalez.

First, the Fryman deal. It was supposed to be a salary dump before '98, but we turned around and signed Dean Palmer to 5 years and $35 million a year later to play the same position.

Second, the Nevin deal. Some kind of space-making deal, we sent both Matt Walbeck and Phil Nevin (after investing time to make him quite the utility guy, and after showing promise with us over a few years) for freaking Nick Skuse. Skuse was a AA pitcher with crappy control, who never ended up making it past AA as far as I could remember.

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This might not be the worst, but it was pretty bad.

Prior to the 1978 season, we traded Ben Oglivie to the Brewers for Jim Slaton.

Slaton had only one year left on his contract, and after the 78 season (when he was our top pitcher and won 17 games), he immediately signed as a free agent with - you guessed it, the Brewers. So they ended up with BOTH Slaton and Oglivie. Oglivie stayed there for many more seasons, hitting 41 HR's in 1980, and 34 in 1982.

To me, when I was a kid - this was the dumbest trade Jim Campbell ever made.

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What about the Smoltz trade?

It did what it needed to do. Alexander was excellent in the stretch run in '87.

Without that trade, the Tigers would not have made the playoffs in '87, and even assuming that Smoltz would have had the same type of success as a Tiger as he did a Brave, they would have needed much more than him in the 90's to compete.

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Luis Gonzalez for Karim Garcia turned out to be pretty bad.

Ah, yes. "The Latino Bambino."

Randy Smith was atrocious.

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Jim Campbell often said the Oglivie for Slaton trade was the worst he made.

I think the worst was Tom Brookens for Charlie Hudson. Brookens was traded for no reason other than he was about to become a 5/10 man. He was loyal to the Tigers, and they traded him away for garbage.

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November 10, 1948: Billy Pierce was traded by the Detroit Tigers with $10,000 to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Robinson.

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April 1, 2004 -- Possibly the worst day in American history. I remember it like it was yesterday...Storm clouds gathered, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the Tigers announced they had traded Cody Ross for left-handed flame thrower Steve Colyer. A mere five years later, the economy collapses.

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Second, the Nevin deal. Some kind of space-making deal, we sent both Matt Walbeck and Phil Nevin (after investing time to make him quite the utility guy, and after showing promise with us over a few years) for freaking Nick Skuse. Skuse was a AA pitcher with crappy control, who never ended up making it past AA as far as I could remember.

Yeah, the Nevin deal bothered me, too. I thought he was a pretty good player.

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April 1, 2004 -- Possibly the worst day in American history. I remember it like it was yesterday...Storm clouds gathered, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the Tigers announced they had traded Cody Ross for left-handed flame thrower Steve Colyer. A mere five years later, the economy collapses.
LOL

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