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Worst Cub Trades of Last 40 Years!

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  • Worst Cub Trades of Last 40 Years!

    We all know the the Brock for Broglio trade was the Mother of all bad Cub trades.

    As a long-time Cub fan, I thought it would be interesting to vote and comment on the worst Cub trades and personnel moves since the 1960's, other than the Brock trade.

    Off the top of my head, here are a few other humdingers (no particular order):

    1. Letting Greg Maddox go to free agency.
    2. Dennis Eckersley for three minor leaguers.
    3. Bill Madlock for Bobby Murcer.
    4. Bruce Sutter for Leon Durham and Ken Reitz.
    5. Lee Smith for Calvin Schraldi and Al Nipper.
    6. Ken Holtzman for Rick Monday.
    7. Raphael Palmiero for Mitch Williams and others.
    8. Manny Trillo for Barry Foote and Ted Sizemore.
    9. Willie Hernandez for Doug Jones.
    10. Dontrell Willis for Matt Clement and 6-Fingers Alfonseca
    11. Andre Thornton for Steve Renko and Larry Biittner.

    In my lifetime, the Cubs have had a string of absolutely terrible GM's: John Holland, Salty Saltwell, Bob Kennedy, Dallas Greene (the one exception - he was good), Jim Frey, Larry Himes, Ed Lynch, Andy MacPhail, Jim Hendry. Have I forgot anyone? Hard to say who is the worst of this bunch.

    Feel free to add your "favorite" trade to my list of humdingers!
    Last edited by GaryL; 02-22-2006, 10:04 AM.

  • #2
    Juan Cruz and change for Andy Pratt.

    (Not posted because it was necessarily a hideously lopsided trade on the surface but because we could have gotten Hillenbrand for him straight-up before the 2003 season.)


    • #3
      As listed in the Complete Chicago Cubs Encyclopedia

      Chicago Cubs top 10 worst trades of all times:

      10. 1917: Cy Williams to the Phillies for Dode Paskert.
      This trade is long forgotten by most Cubs fans, but it was a bad one. The Lanky (6'2", 280 pounds) Williams was a hard hitting outfielder for the Cubs for six years. At 30, he was six years younger than Paskert, a light-hitting but solid defensive outfielder for Philly. Not surprisingly, Paskert played only four more years for the Cubs, although he was a key performer on the 1918 World Series team. Williams, however, played 13 more years in Philadelphia, leading the league in home runs 3 times and in slugging % once.

      9. 1980: Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz and Ty Waller.
      Sutter was one of the top relievers in baseball when he was dealt by the Cubs for prospect Durham and two utility players. Durham had a solid career in Chicago and was a two-time All-Star, but Sutter would lead the National League in saves three of the four years he was in St. Louis and be a major component in their World Series championship on 1892, winning two games and saving three more of their seven play-off wins over Atlanta and the Milwaukee Brewers.

      8. 1973: Larry Gura to the Texas Rangers for Mike Paul.
      Gura spent four years languishing in the Cubs’ bullpen before being traded to the Rangers. Gura was traded to the Yankees soon after, where he went 12-9. But it was at his next stop, Kansas City, where he really blossomed, going 101-79 over the next nine years, and winning several key playoff games. Mike Paul was 0-2 with Chicago.

      7. 1983: Willie Hernandez to the Phillies for Dick Ruthven.
      Another hideous misjudgement of a reliever’s skills, as Hernandez would be one of the best closers in baseball for the Tigers in the mid-1980s, a three time All-Star and a winner of the Cy Young award in 1984. Ruthven was 32 when he came to the Cubs and went 22-29 in his four seasons there.

      6. 1972: Billy North to the Oakland Athletics for Bob Locker.
      This was one of those true puzzlers because North, at 24, was a prospect with speed proven hitting ability, and Bob Locker was a 34-year-old veteran who had had a good career but who was, well, 34. So it was no real surprise when North became the leadoff man for the three time champion A’s. And it was no real surprised when Locker played only two more years for the Cubs, going 10-7 with 18 saves.

      5. 1934: Dolph Camilli to the Phillies for Don Hurst.
      Camilli had 1 ½ desultory seasons at first base in Chicago on his résumé when he was sent to Philadelphia for Don Hurst, who had turned in six solid seasons for the Phillies and was traded to Brooklyn, where he was a three-time All-Star and MVP, helping Brooklyn to the 1941 World Series. Hurst hit .199 for the Cubs and retired that year.

      4. 1987: Lee Smith to the Boston Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi.
      Smith became the all-time save leader over the next decade after the trade, racking up almost 300 saves with several teams. Nipper won four games and saved one before retiring two years later, while Schiraldi was 12-19 with five saves in his two years in Chicago.

      3. 1981: Bill Caudill and Jay Howell to the New York Yankees for Pat Tabler.
      Tabler was a journey-man for the Cubs who lasted two years. Caudill, traded to Seattle by New York, saved 104 games for the Mariners and later Toronto. Howell, another reliever, had a so-so three seasons in New York, but he was a three-time All-Star for the Athletics and Dodgers.

      2. 1987: Dennis Eckersley to the Oakland Athletics for David Wilder*, Brian Guinn* and Mark Leonette*.
      To be fair, it’s certain that in 1987 no one realized that the trade to Oakland would resurrect Eckersley as a reliever. In fact, that first year with the A’s, he was still a starter, winning only six of 14 decisions. But he did turn his career around, becoming the most dominant closer of the later 1980s and early 1990s, saving 387 games in that span. None of the three men Eckersley was traded for ever played a game in the bigs.

      1. 1964: Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio , Bobby Shantz and Doug Clemens.
      This, alas, is still referred to by many as one of the worst trades in baseball history. And there is no use disputing that point, unfortunately. The Cubs were mainly trying to unload the 25-year-old Brock, a promising outfield prospect who simply wasn’t playing well. Broglio, a veteran pitcher for the Cardinals, was Chicago’s principal focus. He was go 7-19 over the nest three years for Chicago. Clemens was a reserve outfielder and Shantz, a canny veteran, never won a game in a Cubs uniform.
      The Transaction came in mid-1964, and it galvanized the Cardinals, who went on to win the National League crown and the World Series. Brock would become a Hall of Fame outfielder who would also contribute heavily to the Cardinals’ 1967 World Series win and 1968 National League championship. He would amass 3,091 hits, the 3,000th of which would be on August 13, 1979-against the Cubs.

      *Denotes players who never made it to the Majors.


      • #4
        Originally posted by GaryL

        In my lifetime, the Cubs have had a string of absolutely terrible GM's: John Holland, Salty Saltwell, Bob Kennedy, Dallas Greene (the one exception - he was good), Jim Frey, Larry Himes, Ed Lynch, Andy MacPhail, Jim Hendy. Have I forgot anyone? Hard to say who is the worst of this bunch.
        I actually think Hendry is a good GM. I dont see anything worng (with the exception of signing Neifi.)
        Last edited by RBi; 02-20-2006, 01:54 PM. Reason: Quotation typo.
        "I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
        -Rogers Hornsby-

        "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
        -Rogers Hornsby-

        Just a note to all the active members of BBF, I consider all of you the smartest baseball people I have ever communicated with and love everyday I am on here. Thank you all!


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