Saturday, November 13, 2010

Feature: Best (And Worst) Red Sox Trades Since 1991

Most of my articles, you will notice, are limited to the time since 1991. That's not to say that I do not know as much about periods before then, I have researched thoroughly. But research only gets you so far. I have seen the players since 1991 and that helps me make more informed decisions.

With that little explanation, I want to look at five trades that I consider to be the best Red Sox trades since 1991. And then I will look at five that I consider to be the worst.


Red Sox get: DH Jose Canseco

In two seasons with Boston, Canseco hit 52 home runs and had a slash line of .298/.389/.571/.960. Sure, he was on steroids, but so were a lot of other players. If it had not been for injuries, his home run total would have looked even better. WAR=5.1

Rangers get: CF Otis Nixon and 3B Luis Ortiz

Nixon played reasonably well for Texas, stealing 50 bases and hitting .295, but his only real weapon was speed. WAR=0.5

Ortiz played part-time for Texas in 1995 but even less in 1996 and was out of baseball after that. WAR=-1.1


Red Sox get: RP Heathcliff Slocumb, P Larry Wimberly, OF Rick Holyfield

Slocumb is the only player to be in the Major Leagues out of these three. He put together a very good 1996 season for the Red Sox, going 5-5 with a 3.02 ERA, 88 strikeouts in 83.2 innings, and saved 31 games. He was pretty disastrous in 1997 but still managed 17 saves before he was traded, but that is part of why this trade was so great too. See below. WAR=3.2

Winberly and Holyfield never made it to the Majors.


Phillies get: RP Ken Ryan, OF Lee Tinsley, OF Glenn Murray

Ken Ryan was supposed to be a closer-in-waiting. He did have a pretty good 1996 for the Phillies, going 3-5, 2.43 ERA and struck out 70 in 89 innings. But he never came close to those numbers again. WAR=0.8

Lee Tinsley played 31 ugly games for the Phillies and returned to Boston. WAR=-1.1

Glenn Murray played 38 ugly games for the Phillies and never returned to the Majors. WAR=-0.6


Red Sox get: P Derek Lowe and C Jason Varitek

In eight seasons with Boston, Derek Lowe went 70-55, 3.72 ERA with 673 strikeouts. He once saved 40 games (2000) and won 20 games (2002). He was a two-time All Star (2000, 2002) and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting in 2002. He won the clinching games for all three postseason series in 2004. He also pitched a no-hitter against the Devil Rays in 2002. WAR=18.4

Jason Varitek has played in 14 seasons for the Red Sox with a slash line of .258/.343/.436/.778. He has hit 182 home runs and played the most games as a Red Sox catcher ever. He is the captain of the team. He is a three-time All Star (2003, 2005, 2008) and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2005. He has caught four no-hitters (Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester). WAR=23.1


Mariners get: RP Heathcliff Slocumb

See. Slocumb in two years with Seattle was awful. He went 2-9, 4.97 ERA and 13 saves. WAR=0.4

Red Sox get: P Pedro Martinez

Do I really have to talk about what Pedro did? Okay, 117-37, 2.52 ERA, 1,683 strikeouts in 1,383.2 innings. Two-time Cy Young winner (1999, 2000), four-time All Star. Looks to be headed to the Hall of Fame, with a Red Sox cap on his plaque. WAR=47.6

Expos get: P Carl Pavano and P Tony Armas Jr.

Pavano went 24-35 in five seasons for the Expos. He had a 4.83 ERA and 304 strikeouts in 452.2 innings. WAR=2.0

Armas Jr. pitched for eight seasons with the Expos and Nationals, as he was with the team when they relocated. He went 48-60, 4.45 ERA, and 680 strikeouts in 925.2 innings. WAR=7.7


Red Sox get: P Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling went 53-29, with a 3.95 ERA and 574 strikeouts in 675 innings. He won 21 games in 2004 and lead the league in wins and winning percentage. He was an All Star that year and finished second in the Cy Young race. He basically ruined his career with his heroics in the 2004 postseason, but had a couple of solid seasons afterwards. WAR=14.5

Diamondbacks get: P Casey Fossum, P Jorge De La Rosa, P Brandon Lyon, and OF Michael Goss

Casey Fossum spent one year in Arizona going 4-15 with a 6.65 ERA. WAR=-1.3

Jorge De La Rosa was traded a few days later as part of a large package to Milwaukee for Richie Sexson. WAR=0.0

Brandon Lyon spent four years in Arizona and went 11-15, 4.03 ERA and 42 saves. WAR=1.7

Michael Goss never made the Major Leagues. WAR=0.0



Red Sox get: OF Darren Bragg

Bragg spent three years in Boston with a slash line of .264/.346/.395/.741 with 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases. WAR=5.4

Mariners get: P Jamie Moyer

Moyer spent 11 years with Seattle and went 145-87 with a 3.97 ERA. He won 20 games twice for the Mariners. WAR=32.4

Red Sox get: C/DH Jim Leyritz and OF Damon Buford

Leyritz was a very good player for Boston but did not like being a part-timer and forced a trade to San Diego where Boston got three spare parts (Mandy Romero, Dario Veras, Carlos Reyes). Leyritz went .287/.385/.519/.904 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. WAR=0.7

Buford spent two years as a backup outfielder going .259/.317/.453/.770 with 16 home runs, 80 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases and played great outfield defense. WAR=1.8


Rangers get: P Aaron Sele, C Bill Haselman, RP Mark Brandenburg

Sele spent two years in Texas going 37-20. WAR=5.7

Haselman was a backup catcher with power. WAR=0.6

Brandenburg did not make the Major Leagues with Texas. WAR=0.0


Red Sox get: RP Hector Carrasco

Carrasco was terrible with Boston. He went 1-1 with a 9.45 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings and was a free agent after the season when he returned to Minnesota. WAR=-0.4

Twins get: OF Lew Ford

Ford played five seasons for the Twins with a slash line of .272/.349/.402/.751 with 32 home runs and 47 stolen bases. WAR=3.2

Red Sox get: P Jeff Suppan, RP Brandon Lyon, RP Anastacio Martinez

Suppan was supposed to help stabilize the rotation for the stretch run. He went 3-4 with a 5.57 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 63 innings. WAR=0.2

I will not consider the WAR values of Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez as they were reacquired from Pittsburgh due to some complaints about Lyon's shoulder. Both were with the Red Sox earlier in the season.

Pirates get: 2B Freddy Sanchez, RP Mike Gonzalez

Sanchez spent six years in Pittsburgh with a slash line of .301/.338/.424/.761. He won the batting title in 2006 and lead the NL in doubles. He was a three time All Star. WAR=11.6

Gonzalez was reacquired by Pittsburgh for the same reason as Lyon and Martinez above. This trade was just a mess.

Red Sox get: RP Eric Gagne

Gagne was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA but had 22 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. WAR=-0.4

Rangers get: OF David Murphy, P Kason Gabbard, OF Engel Beltre

Murphy has been with the Rangers for four seasons so far and put up a slash line of .283/.342/.459/.802 with 46 home runs, 210 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases. WAR=5.3

Gabbard was 4-4 with a 5.14 ERA. WAR=0.0

Beltre is a top prospect in the Rangers system. WAR=0.0 (so far)

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