After reading Spitball's thread on the Robinson/Pappas deal, I saw this poll on ESPN....
20.2% Red Sox: Selling Babe Ruth to Yankees (1919)
Some writers thought the Yankees were taking the big risk.
14.9% Twins: Releasing David Ortiz (2002)
That's right. They not only didn't want him, they didn't get anything for him.
12.9% Dodgers: Trading Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields (1993)
Everybody in Montreal considered the deal a salary dump. . .
12.5% Mets: Trading Nolan Ryan to Angels for Jim Fregosi (1971)
The Angels would have taken Gary Gentry, but Gil Hodges preferred to send Ryan off.
9.2% Orioles: Trading Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch to Astros for Glenn Davis (1991)
Davis's back problems made this deal a complete disaster for O's.
9.0% Nationals (Expos): Trading Randy Johnson to Mariners for Mark Langston (1989)
Langston was supposed to put Expos over the top, but instead they finished 12 games out of first place.
9.0% Marlins: Trading every high-priced player after winning World Series (1997-98)
Moises Alou, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter...
8.4% Mariners: Trading Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb (1997)
Nine years later, Lowe and Varitek still productive major leaguers; Slocumb went 2-9 with 4.97 ERA and 13 saves with M's.
8.2% Cubs: Trading Lou Brock to Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio (1964)
It didn't work out, but at the time of the deal nobody could have known that Brock would become a Hall of Famer and Broglio's arm would fall off.
8.0% Cardinals: Trading Steve Carlton to Phillies for Rick Wise (1972)
And all because Gussie Busch didn't want to pay Carlton an extra $10,000.
7.7% Phillies: Trading Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to Cubs for Ivan DeJesus (1982)
Yes, Sandberg was essentially a throw-in.
7.4% White Sox: Trading Sammy Sosa to Cubs for George Bell (1992)
Must anything else be said?
7.2% Reds: Trading Frank Robinson to O's for Milt Pappas, etc. (1965)
Deal turned Orioles into powerhouse, might have cost Reds a division title in '69.
7.1% Angels: Signing free agent Mo Vaughn to six-year, $80 million deal (1998)
In his first game, Vaughn fell into the dugout, and eventually lasted only three seasons with the Angels, who ate a great deal of that contract.
7.0% Padres: Trading shortstop Ozzie Smith for shortstop Garry Templeton (1982)
Smith's career took off in St. Louis; Templeton's crashed in San Diego.
5.1% Braves: John Rocker (2001)
4.7% Diamondbacks: Trading Curt Schilling to Red Sox for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge de la Rosa (2003)
Maybe they had to trade him, and maybe they should have gotten more in return.
4.6% Royals: Trading David Cone to Mets for Ed Hearn (1987)
Cone won 194 games after the trade; Hearn played in 13 games.
4.4% Yankees: Trading Fred McGriff and others for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd (1982)
McGriff would eventually hit 493 homers; Dodd wouldn't.
4.3% Brewers: Drafting B.J. Surhoff with No. 1 overall pick (1985)
Surhoff was a good player, but Brewers could have picked Will Clark, Barry Larkin, or Barry Bonds.
4.1% Rockies: Signing free agents Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle to long-term mega-contracts (2000)
You know how well this strategy worked.
3.9% Rangers: Trading Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez to White Sox for Harold Baines (1989)
Not one of Dubya's finest moments as Rangers owner.
3.5% Tigers: Letting free agent Kirk Gibson get away (1988)
The Tigers finished one game behind the first-place Red Sox, and Gibson won MVP honors with Dodgers.
3.1% Giants: Trading Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser to Twins for A.J. Pierzynski (2003)
Jury's still out on prospects Liriano and Bonser, but Nathan alone has made this one look pretty awful.
3.0% Devil Rays: Trading Bobby Abreu to Phillies for Kevin Stocker (1997)
In fairness, without a shortstop you'll have a lot more singles.
2.9% Astros: Failing to protect Bobby Abreu in Expansion Draft (1997)
The Devil Rays have been ridiculed for trading Abreu to the Phillies after drafting him from the Astros, but the Astros shouldn't have let him get away in the first place.
2.6% Athletics: Trading Tim Hudson to Braves for Charles Thomas, Dan Meyer and Juan Cruz (2004)
Since the trade all three ex-Braves have seen most of their action in the minors, and none look like future stars.
2.1% Blue Jays: Trading David Wells to White Sox for Mike Sirotka (2001)
Sirotka, who was injured when traded, hasn't pitched since.
1.6% Indians: Trading Brian Giles to Pirates for Ricardo Rincon (1998)
The Pirates eventually traded Giles for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez; the Indians eventually traded Rincon for Marshall McDougall.
1.6% Pirates: Trading Willie Randolph and two others to Yankees for Doc Medich (1975)
Medich won eight games for Pirates; Randolph became a near-Hall of Famer.