Tagged: My Team(s)

Win Some, Lose Some…

And the rest are a draw. Or so it seems when it comes to evaluating trades. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and either praise a trade or condemn it as the worst decision since Custer yelled “Charge!”
One of the worst (or best, depending on your perspective) trades of all time occurred in 1964 when a 25 year old unproven outfielder hitting .251 at the time was traded for a 39 year old relief pitcher and a washed up starter. After being traded, the relief pitcher ended up going 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA  and the starter was to pitch only two more years going 7-19 during that time. The outfielder went on to play 19 years and became Hall of Famer.
Of course I’m referring to the Lou Brock for Bobby Shantz and Ernie Broglio trade between the Cubs and the Cardinals. Good for the Cards, bad for the Cubs.
Not all trades are so atrocious.
When Kevin Mench was designated for assignment by the Brewers this week, it marked the end of a trade between Milwaukee and the Texas Rangers. Remember July, 2006 when the slumping Brewers showed no sign of resuscitation? Rather than risk getting nothing in return, General Manager Doug Melvin traded Carlos Lee and outfielder Nelson Cruz to the Texas Rangers for Mench, outfielder Laynce Nix and Francisco Cordero.
So did this trade benefit both clubs? Definitely not the Rangers who lost Lee for an astronomical sum to Houston. After hitting .223 in 2006 and .235 in 2007 in limited duty, Cruz has not reached his great potential. He remains on the Rangers active roster primarily because of a shortage of experienced outfielders even after the recent signing of Milton Bradley.
How about the Brewers? Nix has been nagged by injuries and came up at the tail end of each year and rarely played. He was recently designated for assignment and accepted another year of obscurity in the minors. Mench never provided the hoped-for power that he used to possess and wound up in a platoon with Geoff Jenkins. His $3.4 million salary was deemed too high for a role player and he too was designated for assignment. He will probably refuse to go to the minors and will be released. Finally, Cordero resurrected his career as a closer with the Brewers placing second in saves and making the All-Star team. Then he bolted to the Reds. Now the Brewers would’ve lost Lee to free agency after the 2006 season anyway so they were able to get a great productive year out of Cordero who as much as anyone on the club helped them finish second in the NL Central.
So, after a year and a half, the Brewers are left with nothing while the Rangers are waiting for Cruz to breakout. This is probably all too common in this age of “turnstile” players. They move in and out faster than a busload of hungry teens at the fast food joint.
Today the objective of a trade seems to be immediate gratification. Get as much as you can out of a player for as long as you can before he is either extracted or leaves on his own free will.
So, from the Brewers point of view, can this trade be deemed a success?  Not really since the players traded for have all left with nothing in return. They were “layover” players who will connect elsewhere.