Bad Trade No. 1: John Smiley and Jeff Branson for Danny Graves, Damien Jackson, Scott Winchester and Jim Crowell
Has there ever been a worse result in a trade?
Smiley was not having a good year for the Reds. At the time of the trade he was 9-10, 5.23. He was no better in six starts in Cleveland (2-4, 5.54). But the real problem was what happened in the bullpen as Smiley was warming up before his seventh start on September 27, 1997. It was described as “First a crack, then a scream.” Smiley’s left arm broke at the shoulder. His season and his career was over.
Graves recorded 182 saves for the Reds. Winchester pitched for two seasons. Jackson played 11 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with San Diego. As an added bonus, Graves was on the radio doing the Reds report, so I got to listen to that.
It would have been the worst trade – but my rules excluded it: John Rocker for Steve Karsay and Steve Reed
On July 7, 2001 Rocker took off from Cleveland to attend a Black Sabbath concert. He made it back in time to blow a save on July 8. Rocker went 3-7 with a 5.45 ERA down the stretch. Karsay saved more games for the Braves than Rocker did for the Tribe (7-4).
Both Reed and Karsay were effective through 2004, long after Rocker was gone.