Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Top 10 best/worst Brewers trades All-Time


I have often thought of some of the worst and best trades the Brewers have made throughout their 40 years as a total franchise (including the 1969 Seattle Pilots). Oh, and I also just realized that next season is the Brewers essential 40th Anniversary.

Top 10 Best Trades:

10. November 30, 1994 - Vina was a Player to be named

Since I decided to go with a top 10 of both best and worst, it became apparent that the more I flipped through the years, it became harder to compile 20 total trades the Brewers made. Fernando Vina was one of three players to be named sent to the Brewers for reliever Doug Henry. Vina showed grit and hard work as a Brewer, earning respect from the people of Milwaukee.

 

9. June 15, 1970 - Mayday in Milwaukee
The Brewers, in its first year in Milwaukee, traded two players to Baltimore for little used outfielder Dave May. May's first two seasons in Milwaukee were underwhelming, but in 1973 he became the Brewers' All-Star representative with a .303 batting average, 25 home runs, 93 RBI and a .352 OBP. The acquisition of May allowed us to trade for Hall-of-Famer and newly minted Home Run King Hank Aaron prior to the 1975 season.

8. December 18, 1985 - Deer brews up a winner

Rob Deer is acquired from the San Francisco Giants for two minor leaguers. Although he never established a Hall-of-Fame career, he still has a fan following for some Brewers' diehards who followed the team closely in the 1980's. Deer also made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1987 under the headline: "Brewing up a Storm."

7. August 30, 1982 - Sutton comes in for pennant push
With the Brewers sporting a 4.5 game lead over the Boston Red Sox and a five game lead over the Baltimore Orioles on August 30, 1982, they acquired Pitcher Don Sutton from Houston for two players to be named later in a waiver-wire trade. The two PTBNL were later announced as then-promising prospect outfielder Kevin Bass and pitcher Frank Dipino. Sutton went on to post a 4-1 record the last month of the regular season. Bass had a 14-year career with the Astros, Mets, Giants and ending his career with the Orioles in 1995. But the acquisition of Sutton made a difference at the end of the 1982 regular season when the Brewers were deadlocked with the Orioles on the final day.

6. December 1, 2003 - Sexson dealt to 'Zona for six
This trade would be ranked higher, but overall after a few years, we obviously got the better end of the deal. We received Junior Spivey (traded for Tomo Ohka), Craig Counsell (veteran backup), Chad Moeller, Jorge de la Rosa. The two bigger pieces we received were Lyle Overbay (sent to Toronto for three players) and Chris Capuano (once was an All-Star but is now on tap for his second Tommy John surgery).

5. October 31, 1972 - Its in the Money
The Brewers added one of its first members of the 1982 American League Champion team as they made a deal with Philadelphia for Don Money. Money appeared in four All-Star games as a member of the Brewers with no appearances as a member of the Phils. The Brewers sent Lonborg, Ken Sanders, Brett and Earl Stephenson to the Phils for Money, John Vukovich and Bill Champion. Champion's most productive season came in 1974 when he went 11-4.

4. October 10, 1971 - Brewers trade first All-Star rep to Boston for George Scott as part of 11-player trade
The Brewers attempted to trade speed for power in this deal by acquiring George "Boomer" Scott from Boston for the Brewers' first ever All-Star representative Tommy Harper. The trade did not significantly increase team power numbers, as the Brewers went from 104 home runs in 1971 to 88 in 1972. The trade did give the people of Milwaukee its first ever fan favorite in Scott, who was heralded by fans for his intensity on the field. Scott did appear in the 1975 All-Star Game in Milwaukee as the Brewers' favorite, posting a then-team record 36 home runs with 109 RBI and a respectable .285 batting average. The Brewers full trade with was the Brewers sending Pitcher Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse, Harper and a minor-leaguer Pat Skrable to Boston for Scott, Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett, Joe Lahoud, Don Pavletich and Billy Conigliaro. Scott was later traded back to Boston as part of a deal for Cecil Cooper.

3. December 6, 1976 - Scott back to Boston
Cecil Cooper arrived in Milwaukee following the Brewers trade of Boomer Scott back to Boston along with Bernie Carbo. Cooper is the second representative of the 1982 team acquired by trade. Cooper made five All-Star appearances and earned three consecutive Silver Slugger awards.

2. July 28, 2000 - Sexson acquired, ties season record in homers

Without a legitimate power threat at first base for more than a decade since Cecil Cooper left, the Brewers were in search of a youngster who can hit. They found him in Cleveland after sending Bob Wickman, Steve Woodard and Jason Bere to the Indians for Richie Sexson. Sexson went on to tie the team record for home runs in a season with 45 home runs. Also going to the Brewers were Paul Rigdon, Kane Davis and Marco Scutaro.

1. December 12, 1980 - Vuke, the 'Stache and Simba
In what some people consider the biggest blockbuster trade in Milwaukee Brewer History, the Brewers nabbed a Cy Young Award winner, a near 20-game winner and another piece of Harvey's Wallbangers. Rollie Fingers won both the 1981 Cy Young Award and MVP while also obtaining the year's Rolaids Relief Man honor. Vukovich's best season came in the 1982 season when he posted an 18-4 record with a team-leading nine complete games. Simmons and Fingers accounted for four combined all-star appearances as members of the Brewers. The Brewers sent Sixto Lezcano, David Green, Lary Sorensen, and Dave LaPoint to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Honorable Mention: Carlos Lee to Milwaukee for Scott Podsednik.

Top 10 Worst Trades:

10. December 4, 1995 - Chuckie takes his hacks in Milwaukee
The Florida Marlins dealt speedy Chuck Carr and a minor leaguer to the Crew for a minor leaguer. Carr was supposed to help us in the speed department since we didn't have a legitimate leadoff threat, but he fell out of favor with Phil Garner. Garner told him not to hack on 2-0, but Chuckie likes to take the hacks.

9. November 17, 1992 - Bichette to Colorado
Bichette wasn't exactly an All-Star player or major fan favorite here during his time, but the question remains, why in the world did Sal Bando trade him to the expansion Colorado Rockies for Kevin Reimer, Matt Mieske 2.0?

 

8. November 25, 2006 - Sharpie to the Desert
This trade is not nearly as historical by any means, but it reflects a lot of what has happened to several players. We dealt Doug Davis, a lefty starter, which we really could use at this point along with a once-promising prospect who completely fizzled out and a guy that was traded to Oakland for Rich Harden. We got Johnny Estrada, one of the most recent targets of dislike among us Brewer fans. The two other pitchers we received are no longer on the team: Greg Aquino and Claudio Vargas.

 

7. June 6, 1983 - Stormin' Gorman dealt
The Brewers traded long-time franchise man Gorman Thomas less than a year after its first and only World Series appearance. Thomas has long been liked by the fans of Milwaukee. Another insult to this trade was the guy we acquired, Rick Manning. Not only did Manning have an issue with Dennis Eckersley in Cleveland, he is also the only Brewer ever to get booed at County Stadium for having a game-winning hit, preventing Paul Molitor from extending his hit streak to 40 in 1987.

 

6. March 26, 1992 - Sheffield to San Diego
If not for speculation and reports Gary Sheffield "purposely" committed errors after being disappointed in the organization's handling of him, this trade may be number one on the list. Another reason this is No. 6 and not No. 1 is he has worn out his welcome in every Major League city he has ever been in. The reason this makes the list is the players we received: Ricky Bones, Jose Valentin and Matt Mieske. All three players were supposed to be can't miss prospects, but all three missed. Bones became implicated in the Mitchell Report, Jose Valentin disappointed after Sal Bando made him "one of the pieces" to the Miller Park puzzle and Mieske never materialized into an everyday player.

5. January 12, 2000 - Near trash for all trash
After having several disappointing seasons from Jose Valentin, General Manager Dean Taylor had enough, finally dealing the last piece of the Sheffield puzzle along with an oft-injured but good when healthy Cal Eldred to the Chicago White Sox for Jaime Navarro, who had no gas left in the tank and John Snyder, who never had any in the tank to begin with.

4. December 8, 1997 - Brewers go with "Plan B"
After losing out on the Kenny Lofton Free Agent sweepstakes, the Brewers went to Plan B, taking Marquis Grissom off the hands of the Indians. Grissom became loathed by all Brewer fans for his crazy low on base percentage and multitude of injuries. The Brewers gave up a serviceable reliever in Mike Fetters, an injure-prone starter in Ben McDonald and Ron Villone to get Grissom and starter Jeff Juden. Juden was more known for his guitar at Summerfest than his pitching performances at Milwaukee County Stadium.

 

3. July 31, 1996 - Trade draws boos at County Stadium
Fan favorite Greg Vaughn was the subject of trade rumors for weeks prior to the 1996 trade deadline. Vaughn was dealt shortly before the game against Seattle, where yours truly, attended the game. The chorus of boos reflected the depressing era of being a Brewer fan in the mid 1990's when we would rather sit and watch paint dry than watch this team play. We received Bryce Florie, Marc Newfield and Ron Villone.

 

1t. December 13, 1999 - Cirillo to Colorado
1t. January 21, 2002 - Burnitz to NYM
Not much to explain why both of these deals were not very favorable to fans, so I will let you all explain it to yourself why you feel these deals were not very good.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

The reason I didn't include the Pods for Lee deal is we essentially rented Lee and then subsequently traded him to Rangers for Francisco Cordero, Laynce Nix, Julian Cordero and Kevin Mench.

Both deals were wishy-washy that could be perceived by some as either good or bad. Lee didn't last long in Rangers blue, Pods vanished off the face of the Earth for awhile and we only have Nix to show for at this point in time.

But if you were to analyze Carlos Lee's both trades, we may have gotten the short end of the stick due to us losing Cordero and essentially replacing him with Gagne. But because Lee ran for the money in Houston and now that we have Braun in left field, it doesn't seem like that bad of a deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason I didn't include the Pods for Lee deal is we essentially rented Lee

 

And got very nice production from him for 1-1/2 seasons for very little. very solid trade to me.

 

Great list overall, though. Nice job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dana Eveland just pitched a complete game, giving up 1 run. He has looked pretty solid so far this year. If he even turns out to be a decent bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher for any lengthy period, the Arizona deal is just going to keep looking worse and worse.

Seth McClung is going to make a start. Seth McClung! All three of the turds we got in the Eveland deal are already gone, and the memories of Tubby, with his .296 OBP and painted fingers, behind the plate will most likely be a painful memory that none of us can soon forget.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Verified Member

Nice list but I don't really get why Chuckie Carr was on there. We traded for him for a low level prospect who never made it to the majors and Carr only had 150 ABs with us.

 

And I don't really think the Shefield trade should be on the list. We had a cancer on our team we had to get rid of. Bones had a decent year or two (including our lone All-Star rep in 94. Valentin was never that spectacular but had his moments and was very serviceable and affordable when you consider our payroll at the time and Mieske, I don't remember if he was often injured or never got a full time starting job but his numbers were average. Look at his numbers for 96. He could have been a 25 HR/100 RBI/.280 guy if he played the whole year. This is all considering he had a young player with a bad attitude (funny how that hasn't changed 16 or so years later) who hit .194 in 194 at bats the year before. No one ever imagined Gary would put up those kind of numbers after the trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of glaring omissions....

 

Mike Caldwell for Dick O'Keefe and some other dipstick. The Brewers got almost 100 wins out of Caldwell.

 

Ben Oglivie for Jim Slaton, especially when we got Slaton back the following year.

 

The 1982 Brewers don't go anywhere w/o Benji and Caldwell.

 

A deal that didn't work out perhaps would be

 

Colborn & Porter for Wohlford, Quirk and McClure.

 

Solid list though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

7. June 6, 1983 - Stormin' Gorman dealt
The Brewers traded long-time franchise man Gorman Thomas less than a year after its first and only World Series appearance. Thomas has long been liked by the fans of Milwaukee. Another insult to this trade was the guy we acquired, Rick Manning. Not only did Manning have an issue with Dennis Eckersley in Cleveland, he is also the only Brewer ever to get booed at County Stadium for having a game-winning hit, preventing Paul Molitor from extending his hit streak to 40 in 1987.

Didn't we get Rick Waits in that trade, too? How did we get that guy from the Indians, if not?



- - - - - - - - -

P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually thinking about this the other day. Here's another one that I may rate as a worst, with the benefit of hindsight...

 

12-20-1999: Fernando Vina was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the St. Louis Cardinals for Juan Acevedo and Eliezer Alfonzo. (I realize he was traded because Ron Belliard had a great season filling in for Vina when he was hurt, but we all know how Belliard ended up while a Brewer)

 

The Cirillo trade still irks me, and I'll never forget the fans reaction when it was announced Greg Vaughn was traded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But because Lee ran for the money in Houston and now that we have Braun in left field, it doesn't seem like that bad of a deal.

my thought is that you have to analyze the deal for the deal itself, and not for who Lee was replaced with.

i personally wouldn't put Grissom as high as 4. he wasn't great, but at least ok. i see it that we got a mediocre OF for a mediocre RP (villone). Fetters i was happy to see leave and McDonald was done at that point.

 

an enjoyable read, great post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we traded Vaughn he was the only good player on the Brewers at the time. But he wasn't really that good look what he did after we traded him. He didn't do anything after he was traded and if we did resign him during the off season everyone would have been saying that would have been one of the worst signings in Brewers history.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Community Moderator

But he wasn't really that good look what he did after we traded him. He didn't do anything after he was traded and if we did resign him during the off season everyone would have been saying that would have been one of the worst signings in Brewers history.

 

He hit 50 HR and a .960 OPS in 1998, and 45 HR with a .882 OPS in 1999, and had another nice season in 2000. He certainly would have been a huge impact bat in addition to the likes of Burnitz, Jenkins, Vina, etc on those mediocre Brewers teams of the late 90s.

 

But you're right that he had a horrible season in 1997 for whatever reason the year after the Brewers traded him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we traded Vaughn he was the only good player on the Brewers at the time. But he wasn't really that good look what he did after we traded him. He didn't do anything after he was traded and if we did resign him during the off season everyone would have been saying that would have been one of the worst signings in Brewers history.

Nate, you're right on. Vaughn wanted $5M/yr and was having the type of year where someone would easily give it to him. The Brewers were never going to be that team. He had 1-2 really good years after '96 but had more ho-hum years than good.

Someone else made GREAT points about the Sheffield trade. Bones was quite a promising prospect. Valentin was a 50-error player with a good stick who evolved into something other than an All-Star SS, but he had lots of moments to go with lots of Ks. Mieske won his league MVP twice in a row in the minors & the Brewers hoped they had at the time in Mieske what Corey Hart turned into for them now after a similar minor-league resume. Most people at the time figured this was a pretty good haul for a super-talented, totally underperforming cancerous malcontent. There was no way they could keep Sheffield when, after ripping everyone else, he finally started trashing Selig, the one guy who always watched out for him, gave him his space, and defended him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FTJ hit on three that need to be in the list, and I would include Burnitz for Seitzer somewhere in the top 10.

 

I do have to say that the Gorman Thomas trade is #1 on the worst list. It sucked the life out of Milwaukee, and they've never been to the playoffs since. It is the curse of Gorman Thomas. The Bichette trade needs to be higher (lower?) on the list too; sure he played in Colorado, but he went on to hit roughly 230 home runs and steal roughly 100 bases after the trade. In fact, Bichette went on to steal more bases than Reimer had hits for Milwaukee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we traded Vaughn he was the only good player on the Brewers at the time. But he wasn't really that good look what he did after we traded him. He didn't do anything after he was traded and if we did resign him during the off season everyone would have been saying that would have been one of the worst signings in Brewers history.

I didn't do anything after I was traded? Have you looked at my career stats? http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jaybird2001wi, the Sutton trade wasn't a waiver-wire deal. The trade deadline used to be August 31. This trade occurred the day before the non-waiver deadline.

 

Overall, very nice list.

 

The Vaughn trade I thought wasn't all bad at the time given that the Brewers wouldn't pay what he was asking.

 

The Deer trade was nugget mining by Dalton and Deer got his chance to shine, just not one of my 10 best. He eventually earned his ticket out of town with a strike out at a rate that would make Jose Hernandez envious.

 

A couple trades I really liked:

 

1996: Bob Wickman & Gerald Williams from the Yankees for Graeme Lloyd & Pat Listach. Lloyd was the only guy in 3 close '96 deadline deals that represented a real loss. Listach turned out to be injured and never did much in the majors after that. Steinbrenner got ticked about receiving damaged goods & demanded a refund, so the Brewers got the Yankees to accept Ricky Bones, who was nothing short of terrible by thereafter. Wickman was really solid and became the closer. Williams played Gold Glove caliber CF and was professional as could be at the plate until he lost his hitting stroke altogether the next year. Wickman also helped us get Sexson, whose trade is STILL paying dividends for the Brewers (and will do more so if Capuano ever comes back). That trade was highway robbery in the Brewers' favor.

 

1996: Kevin Seitzer was a solid hitter & class act for the Brewers who intended to retire at the end of the '96 season. Cleveland wanted his veteran bat & solid glove for their stretch drive. The Brewers could choose between Burnitz & Brian Giles. As it turns out, either would've proven a good choice. Seitzer dug the playoffs so much that he decided to come back in '97 but didn't finish in top form, which he would've done if he'd retired after '96. Burnitz did good things as a Brewer during a rough stretch of team history.

 

1997: Gerald Williams to Atlanta for Chad Fox. Fox turned out to be a stud in two different stretches for the Brewers before his TJ elbow caught up with him multiple times. Williams revived his career in Atlanta for a while but this one clearly tilts in Milwaukee's favor.

 

Between those 3 deals plus the Vaughn trade, at least at that time Sal Bando looked darn smart getting TONS in return for 5 guys, only 1 of whom amounted to someone the Brewers would regret losing or could've avoided losing anytime soon. That Yankees trade was PURE GENIUS -- and maybe the only time that descriptor could ever be used about Bando. Better yet, it was the vaunted Yankees whom Bando fleeced!!!

 

1992: Darren Holmes from the Dodgers for C Bert Heffernan, who never panned out, got the Brewers a surprisingly strong reliever for a couple years who hung around the bigs or the fringes of the bigs for another decade after being a Rockies expansion draft pick.

 

1994: Dave Valle hit surprisingly well for the Crew (before getting hurt) after they acquired him from the Red Sox for Tom Brunansky, who basically played totally horribly as a Brewer.

 

Another thing I like about the Vaughn trade: Bryce Florie helped us get Mike Myers from Detroit, and he did pretty darn well. Mike Myers got traded for Curtis Leskanic, who ended up being a good set-up guy & closer. Leskanic got us Wes Obermueller, who was a so-so-to-shaky pitcher but was a secret hitting weapon, esp. in tandem with Brooks Kieschnick. Obermueller turned into Dan Kolb 2.0, which never panned out great but was kinda like the Oglivie/Slaton deal when Slaton came back the next year as a FA (the Aguilera-to-Boston deal also comes to mind as another example) -- we got a top (at the time) Atlanta pitching prospect and got the guy we traded for him back. The chain ends there, but that Vaughn trade became a definite case of a deal that kept perpetuating positive returns.

 

Another decent Brewers example of that is the Loretta trade: Got us Keith Ginter & Wayne Franklin. Ginter got us Nelson Cruz, who never panned out in Texas but was a good chip in the Lee deal to help us make that deal. Franklin eventually turned into Carlos Villanueva, which is highway robbery only mildly tainted overall by the past month's performance.

 

That Sexson deal is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Still have Zach Jackson & Bush to show for the Overbay thread of that deal, plus this guy Butler who we got from Tampa for Gross.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for the last ramble. I finally connected all these dots. Many rag on the Sheffield trade. But it's still paying indirect dividends for the Crew over 15 years later:

 

Sheffield got us Valentin, Bones, & Mieske (1992)

 

Bones helped us get Wickman & Gerald Williams (1996)

 

Wickman helped us get Richie Sexson (& Kane Davis, Paul Rigdon & yes, Marco Scutaro) (2000)

 

Sexson helped us land Counsell 1.0, Moeller, Overbay, Spivey, de la Rosa, & Capuano (2003)

 

From there,

- Overbay helped us land Gross (who just turned into Butler), ZJack, & Bush (2005)

- de la Rosa eventually got us Tony Graffanino (2006)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

×
×
  • Create New...