A Trip Down Memory Lane: Horrible Trades


At some point in this offseason, Harrison and I are going to sit down and record a pod-cast about the worst trades in Seattle Mariner history. We don’t have anything planned, I can just sense that it’s coming. It’s kind of like back when Bill Bavasi was the Mariners GM, and you knew that a horrible contract was on the way, you just didn’t know who it was that was going to be signed or for how much cash, but you knew it was going to be bad. It’s kind of like that.

There are a few awful trade that everyone remembers, like the one that sent Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb, or the trade that sent  Rafael Soriano to Atlanta for Horacio Ramirez. Those were historically bad trades, but I wanted to point out a few that were a bit older the some of you might not remember.

David Arias to Minnesota for Dave Hollins (8/29/96)

Arias later changed his name to David Ortiz and then developed into one of the best power hitters of the last decade. Hollins was a pointless addition for an ill-fated playoff push that didn’t happen.

Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir to New York Yankees for Sterling Hitchcock and Russ Davis 

Money forced the M’s to move Martinez. He was due a huge pay raise that the M’s couldn’t afford, so the moved him a year earlier to try and get something out of him. The Problem was that they didn’t get anything back. Davis had power, but never developed into a decent hitter or defender, and Hitchcock flopped and was never more than a replacement level starter.

Mike Hampton and Mike Felder to Houston for Eric Anthony 

This was a trade of 2 outfielders that neither team really wanted. For some reason, the M’s decided to throw in a young pitcher who would eventually develop into one of the games top lefty starters.

Omar Vizquel to Cleveland for Felix Fermin, Reggie Jefferson, and cash

This was another trade that happened because the M’s knew they couldn’t afford to keep a great player. What’s amazing is that they got so little for one of the greatest shortstops in history. Jefferson was a DH who couldn’t hit, and Fermin was only an average player who was out of baseball 3 years later.

Jose Cruz, Jr. to Toronto for Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin

The amazing thing about this trade was that it happened on the same day as the Varitek-Lowe trade, it happened for the same reason, and it was equally ineffective in helping the M’s bullpen. While Cruz never developed into the type of player people thought he would, he was still a useful outfielder for years while the M’s bullpen continued to suck and the M’s fizzled in the playoffs.

Jamie Moyer to Philadelphia for Andrew Barb and Andy Baldwin

Moyer was at the end of his career was was going to retire any day now, right? Nope. He continued to pitch well for 4 more years and the M’s got absolutely nothing in return for him.