A half-century later the Mets made a trade that turned out terrible for them when they dealt Nolan Ryan to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi in December 1971.
Two months later another steal occurred when the Phillies traded Rick Wise to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton.
Also up there on lists of best/worst trades ever was one made 25 years ago today by the contending Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros.
Looking for bullpen help before the Aug. 31 trade deadline, the Red Sox landed veteran reliever Larry Andersen for a Double-A third baseman who was leading the Eastern League in hitting.
This was a case in which you gotta be careful dealing good prospects for rentals because Jeff Bagwell went on to become an National League MVP and perential All-Star who was one of the top right-handed hitters of his generation playing first base for the Astros.
A quarter-century later, Andersen, who is in his 18th season as a Phillies broadcaster, still frequently hears that the Red Sox trade for him was one of the worst in baseball history.
“I always appreciate the fact that Bagwell keeps me in the news at least once a year,” Andersen told NJ Advance Media. “I wouldn’t mind, however, if he could also take care of my security issues when I go to Boston!”
To his credit, Andersen did help the Red Sox win the AL East in ’90 by pitching to a 1.23 ERA in 15 games, but he was just a setup reliever and after the season he became a free agent and signed with the San Diego Padres.
“I understand the trade now, what (Red Sox GM) Lou (Gorman) was trying to do,” Bagwell told Sports Illustrated in 1993. ”The Red Sox were in a pennant race. They needed help. I was third on their chart at third base. They had Wade Boggs. They had (third baseman prospect Scott Cooper at (Triple-A) Pawtucket. You look at that, and you look at their situation — they bring in free agents all the time. I might never have gotten a chance.”