The Diamondbacks front office has made good decisions in the trade market, but this hasn’t always been the case for this team.
There have been several moments where fans are left scratching their heads. A franchise can’t win every trade, but the Diamondbacks sometimes fail to win any trade. So let’s take a look at the five worst trades in D-Backs history.
5. Dan Haren for Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, and Chris Carter (A’s)
Dan Haren was a two time All-Star for the D-Backs, and he was considered a top starting pitcher at the time of this trade. But it is hard not to think about the Diamondbacks with Carlos Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt. Cargo was in the top 50 prospects according to Baseball America in 2006 and 2007, so it must have been hard for the D-Backs to give him away. And of course, he has been a top threat in the National League since 2010 with 2 All-Star appearances and Silver Sluggers. Carter and Anderson have had productive careers as well.
But two years of All-Star pitching just wasn’t enough for this trade to work out. This trade would be much higher on the list if it wasn’t for the return we got when we traded Haren away in 2010. The production of Patrick Corbin, Joe Saunders, and Tyler Skaggs just don’t outweigh the production of Carlos Gonzalez with the Rockies.
4. Shelby Miller for Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and Dansby Swanson (Braves)
The Shelby Miller trade has been widely discussed by experts and fans around the country, and almost everyone has had a very negative view on it. I have tried to stay optimistic about the trade, but after the another rough outing against the Cardinals, I have lost a lot of hope.
But let’s discuss what the front office gave away and keep our minds off of Miller’s small sample size. Dansby Swanson is one of the hottest minor league players right now. In High-A, he is hitting xxx in x games with x steals. His manager is raving about him and calling him “the total package“. He should be playing for the Braves by sometime next year at the latest, and a call to Double-A is coming soon.
Aaron Blair is now in the Braves’ big-league rotation.
Ender Inciarte is on the DL with a hamstring strain. He would’ve had a big impact this year with the D-Backs because of the Pollock injury, but he was expendable at the time of the trade.
The fact is the Diamondbacks gave up too much for a pitcher that still needs to prove that he is consistent. It doesn’t help that Swanson and Blair have had great starts with the Braves’ organization. If Swanson truly is the total package, this trade will easily slide up to the number one spot on this list, but for now we will give Miller some more time to figure it out.
3. Mark Trumbo for Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton (Angels and White Sox)
The Angels received Hector Santiago from the White Sox, who has been awesome for the Angels, and Eaton has been good for the Sox when healthy. Skaggs was a big trade piece at the time, but two Tommy John surgeries have really slowed him down. Skaggs was considered one of the top D-Backs prospects. Eaton would be a nice piece on this D-Backs team right now, and the D-Backs really wanted more production and impact out of Trumbo to make this trade work. At the time, the trade seemed fair even though Trumbo wasn’t a player that would push the D-Backs over the edge to a playoff team, but the underperformance of Trumbo is what pushed this trade on the list.
The D-Backs did get a couple nice pieces in trading Trumbo away last season by getting Welington Castillo and a promising prospect in Gabby Guerrero. If Castillo keeps up his scorching hot power bat and Gabby Guerrero turns into a solid player, this initial trade won’t be as harshly looked upon.
2. Richie Sexson for Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Lyle Overbay, Jorge De La Rosa, Junior Spivey
Sexson played one season and was hurt almost the whole time. In his defense, he hit 9 homers in just 23 games which is very impressive. But they gave up a lot for 23 good games.
Almost all the players traded for him though have had solid major league careers. De La Rosa is still pitching for the Rockies and Chris Capuano had a couple of good years for the Brewers. Overbay hovered around 15-20 homers a season for about seven seasons after this trade too.
Obviously, injury played a big role in this trade, but Sexson was most likely going to walk away as a free agent after the first season anyway. The D-Backs lost some good production especially in Overbay, Capuano, and De La Rosa. Not to mention that they gave away two fan favorites in Counsell and Spivey.
Sexson did provide one of the most entertaining home runs in D-Backs history though. No matter how bad this trade was, D-Backs fans will remember this moment forever.
1. Max Scherzer for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson
This is the one trade that has absolutely affected the franchise and its competitiveness. Yes, Ian Kennedy is a top-ten pitcher in franchise history, but Scherzer is a franchise-changing player. Scherzer has been an All-Star the past three seasons, and he won the Cy Young in 2013.
Edwin Jackson was a flop with the D-Backs with 5.19 ERA in 21 starts in one season. He had one bright spot with a no-hitter against the Rays, but who wasn’t throwing no hitters against the Rays at that time? He had eight walks and 149 pitches in the game making it a very unique no hitter.
Sadly, a 21-win season from Kennedy in 2011 and a no-hitter don’t make up for not having Scherzer.