From the Windup is Matt Snyder's extended look at some aspect of America's pastime each Thursday.
With the non-waiver trade deadline looming just eight days away, it seemed like the perfect time to warn teams about the dangers of a deadline deal. There are plenty of good trades on the books. Then again, it's the swaps that blow up in the face of a team that seem to stick with us. That's nothing new. We know the famous, ill-fated John Smoltz and Jeff Bagwell deals, but for now let's look at recent history by ranking the 10 worst deadline deals of the 2000s.
[Note: Deadline deals only ... meaning we only considered those made in July]
10. Reds trade Yankees Aaron Boone for Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning, 2003. The Yankees got an ALCS-winning home run, the Reds got a 15-27 record and 5.12 ERA from Claussen and sent Manning back to the Yankees in 2004.
9. Mariners send Shin-Soo Choo to Indians for Ben Broussard, 2006. This already looks bad, but has the potential to get worse. Choo is only 26, and he's got an .899 OPS the past two seasons for the Tribe. Broussard didn't do much for the Mariners before heading to Texas and then out of the majors.
8. Mets give up on Scott Kazmir, 2004. The Mets were in a pennant race, so they dealt their prized, young arm with Jose Diaz to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. From 2005-2008, Kazmir went 45-34 with a 3.51 ERA and has struck out more than a batter per inning. The Rays went to the World Series last season with him in their rotation. And he's only 25. And the Mets continue to search for a viable starter to fill the fifth slot in their rotation.
6. Pirates send Jason Schmidt to Giants, 2001. The Giants got Schmidt -- who went 78-37 with a 3.36 ERA and finished in the top five in Cy Young voting twice -- and John Vander Wal for Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelsong. Rios (torn ACL) and Vogelsong (needed Tommy John surgery) didn't last long. Did Dave Littlefield check medical records or just trade for the heck of it?
5. Jermaine Dye leaves a trail, 2001. On July 25, the Royals traded Dye to the Rockies for Neifi Perez. That move was pretty awful in and of itself, but the Rockies weren't content to just mug poor ol' KC, so they spun Dye on the same day to the A's for Todd Belitz, Mario Encarnacion and Jose Ortiz. Talk about a mountain of suck.
4. Phillies trade Curt Schilling, 2000. The Phillies sat through the injury-riddled part of Schilling's career, so why didn't they enjoy more of the benefits? He had gone 47-31 with a 3.22 ERA and struck out 771 batters in 703 1/3 innings from 1997-1999. In 2000, though, the Phils decided to trade him for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla. Two rings, a 10-2 postseason record and three Cy Young runner-up finishes were all that was left in Schill's tank.
3. Braves help the Rangers rebuild by acquiring Mark Teixeira, 2007. This could have been a move that helped both teams. Instead, the Braves never sniffed the postseason with Tex, and swapped him out for Casey Kotchman and Steve Marek (who?) about a year later. The Rangers, on the other hand, came away with Elvis Andrus, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones. Andrus, Salty and Harrison are part of the youth movement which has the Rangers fully in contention and will help keep them there for years. Oh, and the 21-year-old Feliz can throw 102 miles per hour. The Braves did also get Ron Mahay -- for a half season.
2. Pirates give the Cubs Aramis Ramirez ... and Kenny Lofton, 2003. Emphasis on give, because they got back Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez and Matt Bruback. Bruback and Hill never amounted to anything and Hernandez was on the downside of a modest-at-best career. Not only has Ramirez been one of the best third basemen in the league ever since, but Lofton's stellar work as a leadoff man that season enabled the Cubs to get within one game of the World Series.
1. Expos trade for Bartolo Colon, 2002. And you wonder why the Nats are so bad. Do you think they could have used Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips the past few years? That's who they gave up for Colon and the black sheep of the Drew family. They also sent Lee Stevens -- who was a 20-25 home run guy at the time and fell apart post-trade -- to Cleveland. It wasn't just the players involved in the trade that made this bad, though. Not only did Colon only make 17 starts for the Expos, but they essentially gave up on the season when they traded Cliff Floyd for two also-rans just five days later. So, Expos, were you buying or selling? How can the game plan change in five days? Brutal trade on about five different levels.
Also considered: A's trade Aaron Harang for Jose Guillen. Red Sox send Kason Gabbard and David Murphy to Rangers for Eric Gagne. A's trade Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Cubs for Matt Murton, Eric Patterson, Sean Gallagher and Josh Donaldson. Finally, the Cliff Floyd mess in Montreal could be its whole own story. They traded for him three weeks before moving him for essentially nothing.