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Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History Paperback – November 1, 2009
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Dave Kingman a notorious home run hitter who struck out a lot, well should really any of his 3 1977 trades be counted. The Mets dump him on San Diego who then trade him to the Angels who then trade him to the Yankees. All the teams give up the minimum because Mr. Kingman is a free agent and none of these teams have any real intention of signing him. He ends up signing with the Cubs so the Yankees get nothing but nobody really expected anything to begin with. Notice statistically too the more notorious same day Mets trading Tom Seaver to the Reds doesn't qualify. The 4 players they received collectively never equaled his later value but realistically it hurt the franchise more. Beside the Mets later reaquired Mr. Kingman. Their original acquisition of him though is more deserving.
Another example is the 1960 trade of Norm Cash from the White Sox to the Indians who then flip him over to the Tigers. Is it really an awful trade for the White Sox, after all he contributed nothing to the Indians. On the other hand the Indians trading him to the Tigers where he played 15 years for Steve Demeter and his whopping future contibution of 0 win shares is an unmitigated disaster.
But you can see by one's complaints the book will create a lot of arguments or discussions and any book that does that for baseball stat fanatics is worth it's weight in gold.
Decatur pitches an entertaining 192 pages of utter joy and disastrous heartbreak for fans by utilizing Win Shares, a statistic developed by Bill James to determine how many wins a player contributes to his team. A tricky curve ball is his ranking of the 306 most lopsided trades of the twentieth century. The 1920 sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to New York Yankees for $125,000 ranks second on the list. Pitcher Curt Schilling makes a pair of appearances in the top ten, but there is a personnel decision in 1914 that involved the Cincinnati Reds and the minor league team in Baltimore that could have changed the entire landscape of sports history.
"While this book does not address bad draft pick decisions, players lost in the Rule 5 Draft, or players not protected in the expansion drafts, an exception has to be made for the worst baseball decision of all-time, which was not a bad trade but a bad decision that cost a team 250 wins. That is 49 more wins than the most lopsided trade in history," Decatur writes. "But even James himself would admit that there is more to baseball than just the numbers."
Each franchise has its own section, with the Cleveland Indians ranking first in making the best lopsided deals, while the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles are in the elite grouping. The best trade by Cleveland was in 1960, as outfielder Minnie Minoso, catcher Dick Brown and two others were shipped to the White Sox for first baseman Norm Cash, catcher Johnny Romano and infielder Bubba Phillips.Read more ›