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Old 10-10-2019, 12:42 PM
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Greatest Sports Trades, AKA, The Herschel Walker Great Trade Robbery turns 30.


Tomorrow (10-12-2019) is the anniversary of what I consider the greatest trade agreement in modern American sports: when the 1-15 Dallas Cowboys traded the greatest football player of all time*, Herschel Walker, for what eventually became:

Emmitt Smith
Alonzo Highsmith
Russell Maryland
Kevin Smith
Darren Woodson
Clayton Holmes
Jesse Solomon
David Howard
Issiac Holt
Alex Stewart
Stan Smagala (who had the worst career of any of these people, and he still played 2 years)

The Vikings got:

(Screwed)

Herschel Walker
Mike Jones (TE)
Jake Reed (WR)
Reggie Thornton (go team!)
Pat Newman

(the bottom two names don't even rate a Wiki page. All of Dallas's players do.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_Walker_trade

Anyway, what are some of the biggest trades in your preferred sport? Were they as impactful as this one was?

*University of Georgia, class of 1990, don't @ me, you know I'm right.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:47 PM
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In 1970 the Washington Senators traded away the left side of their infield, plus two pretty good pitchers, for Denny McLain, who proceeded to go 10-21.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:49 PM
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Ouch!
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:53 PM
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Bears trade their #1 pick, which turned out to be way down there in the draft because of their 12-4 record, to the Oakland Raiders for Khalil Mack.
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Last edited by Jasmine; 10-10-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:12 PM
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Seahawks trade 2 backup defensive linemen (one of whom they were going to cut), plus a 3rd round pick, for Jadeveon Clowney, an overall #1 draft pick a few years ago. And the Texans agreed to pay almost half of Clowney’s salary.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Bears trade their #1 pick, which turned out to be way down there in the draft because of their 12-4 record, to the Oakland Raiders for Khalil Mack.
The Bears also traded a first and a third this season. That pick became Josh Jacobs who ran over the Bears and led the Raiders to a win.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:14 PM
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The irony of the Herschel Walker trade is that Walker ended up playing for the Cowboys again, a decade later.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:21 PM
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The Lakers received a draft pick from the NO Jazz (for Gail Goodrich) in a trade that they used to draft Magic Johnson

The Lakers traded Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman for Kareem Abdul Jabbar

The Lakers traded Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant

In 1980, the Lakers traded Don Ford and a first round pick to Cleveland for Butch Lee and Cleveland's first round pick in 1982. The Lakers first round pick ended up being James Worthy.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:41 PM
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Who can forget "The Trade"

After they win the 1988 Stanley Cup, the Edmonton Oilers trade:

Wayne Gretzky
Marty Mcsorley
Mike Krushelnyski

to the L.A. Kings for

$15 million in cash
Jimmy Carson
and First round draft picks
1988 - Martin Gelinas
1989 - traded to New Jersey Devils
1991 - Martin Rucinsky
1993 - Nick Stajduhar


Edmonton still went on to win another Cup in 1990!

Last edited by Sparky812; 10-10-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:42 PM
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The Doyle Alexander-John Smoltz trade comes to mind. Alexander was very helpful in getting the '87 Tigers to the ALCS, even if they ended up losing to the Twins. The Braves, however, got a Hall-of-Famer for 20 years.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:44 PM
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The Eric Lindros trade was the basis of the Colorado Avalanche's success in the 90s and 2000s. Not only did the franchise receive Peter Forsberg, who wound up being a better player, they received a huge package of other players who either directly contributed to championships or we key pieces in trades (for example, Jocelyn Thibault was a big part of the trade for Patrick Roy).

Lindros was a good player, but his career was quickly derailed by injuries and the Flyers never accomplished much with him.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:31 PM
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The Lakers traded Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman for Kareem Abdul Jabbar
If I am not mistaken, Kareem had specified he would only play for either New York or L.A. So the Bucks were pretty constrained in what they could do, and made the best deal they could.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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As a Royals fan (circa 1984-present), there are 2 trades that are indelible in my mind.

In 1987, the Royals traded a young rookie with just 23 innings under his belt to the New York Mets for a much needed offensive catcher (their regular catcher Jim Sundberg was aging, and on the trading block). The Royals got catcher Ed Hearn, who went on to make 39 MLB plate appearances over the next 2 years. The Mets got David Cone, who would go on to a Hall of Fame-worthy career, posting 61.7 WAR. (The Royals eventually got Cone back for 2 seasons, including a Cy Young award winning 1994).

But in 2012, the Royals mortgaged their future, and traded away the highest ranked prospect they've ever had in decades. They shipped 2011 MiLB player of the year outfielder Wil Myers to Tampa Bay for starting pitcher James Shields. The Royals' rotation stunk, and the GM thought solidifying it would be thing they needed to make a playoff run. They also packaged two other pitching prospects (Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi) in the deal. Royals GM Dayton Moore also asked for one other pitcher, struggling starter Wade Davis.

Mike Montgomery eventually made it to the majors, and is best known for recording the final out for the Cubs in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, bringing a title back to the northside for the first time 108 years. Odorizzi has had solid little MLB career, still pitching now for the Twins. James Shields put up 2 pretty decent seasons for the Royals, anchoring their rotation, and getting to the 2014 World Series (they lost). Wade Davis failed as a starter. So they put him in the bullpen where he posted two of the most dominant relief seasons in the last 20 years. He also recorded the final out of a World Series - crowning the Royals champions in 2015.

(Honorable Mention to the trade sending Carlos Beltran to Houston for Mark Teahen. Beltran was my favorite Royal since Frank White, and that trade soured me to Royals management for years.)

Last edited by Munch; 10-10-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:39 PM
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If I am not mistaken, Kareem had specified he would only play for either New York or L.A. So the Bucks were pretty constrained in what they could do, and made the best deal they could.
I agree but the trade really didnt work out for the Bucks. Dave Meyers, a 1st round pick out of UCLA, decided to forgo basketball after 5 seasons for a life of religious service. The 80s Lakers might have been the luckiest franchise in the history of sport.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:47 PM
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1980: Golden State trades Robert Parish to Boston to swap the #1 and #3 picks.

In effect, this was Robert Parish and Kevin McHale for Joe Barry Carroll.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:59 PM
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In late 1981, the St. Louis Cardinals (the baseball one) traded pitcher Pete Vuckovich, catcher Ted Simmons, and closer Rollie Fingers (whom they had just obtained via trade from the Padres) to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green, and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint.

Vuckovich, Simmons, and Fingers were key members of the Brewers' teams that went to the playoffs for the first time ever in '81, and went to the World Series in '82; between Fingers and Vuckovich, they won both AL Cy Young Awards and one AL MVP in those two seasons.

None of the four players that the Cardinals got in return did a whole lot in St. Louis. Lezcano and Sorensen (the two established players; Green and LaPoint were prospects) only lasted one season each with the Cards, though both of them brought value in later trades: Lezcano wound up being part of the trade package (along with Garry Templeton) which brought Ozzie Smith to St. Louis, and Sorensen was part of a three-team trade that brought Lonnie Smith to the Cardinals.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 10-10-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:03 PM
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In hockey in 1967 the Bruins gave up Gilles Marotte (D), Pit Martin (C), and Jack Norris (G) for Phil Esposito (C), Ken Hodge (W), and Fred Stanfield (W). This is known as teh trade which moved the Bruins from a last place to first place team.

Marotte played three years for Chicago before moving to LA and bouncing around ending up in the WHA.

Martin played 10+ years for Chicago and total 627 pts, definitely the bright spot of the trade for Chicago.

Jack Norris played 10 games for the Blackhawks over 2 seasons.

Esposito was a star on the Bobby Orr Bruins as is considered an all time great. He was the first player to crack the 100 point barrier in 1969. He led the league in points in 1969, * 1971-4. (*someone named Bobby Orr, a defenseman won it that year.) He led the league in goals in 1970 and 1975, making 6 straight years.

Ken Hodge was one of Esposito's wingmen. He played 9 seasons for the Bruins amassing 676 points.

Stanfield centered the Bruins second line with Bucyk and McKenzie. He also played point (along with someone named Bobby Orr again) on their first power play unit. He played 6 seasons for the Bruins scoring 419 points.

Last edited by OldGuy; 10-10-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:58 PM
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The 2012 Rams/Redskins trade for RG3.

The Redskins got RG3 to warm the QB spot for Kirk Cousins.

The Rams got :
2012 -Michael Brockers DT
Janoris Jenkins CB
Isaiah Pead RB
Rokeveous Watkins OT (bust)
2013 - Alec Ogletree LB
Stedman Bailey WR
Zac Stacey RB
2014 - Greg Robinson OT

Of those, only Watkins and Robinson were complete busts. Brockers, Jenkins and Ogletree were good starters. Bailey was on his way to being a stud slot reciever when he was shot. Pead and Stacey were servicable backup/change-of-pace backs who were sidelined by injuries and drugs, but played well for the short time the Rams had them. Even so, the three good players the Rams got made the trade worth it, the rest were just sprinkles on top.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:12 PM
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On December 9, 1965, the Reds traded 30 year old former National League MVP and Rookie of the Year Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson. The very next year, Robinson achieved the Triple Crown and won both the American League MVP and the World Series MVP.

The claim was that he was an "old" 30. oops!

Last edited by SacFly; 10-10-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:43 PM
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1964 - Cubs trade Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio.

On paper, it looked like the Cubs had stolen the Cards blind. Broglio was a front line pitcher who had been a 20-game winner, and a Cy Young candidate. Brock was a poor hitting outfielder with dubious defensive skills. However, Broglio had been pumping his arm full of cortisone for two years, and just two months after the trade, his elbow locked up completely. Brock caught fire with the Cardinals and ended up in the Hall of Fame.

1981 - Cardinals trade Gary Templeton to the Padres for Ozzie Smith

Templeton was a good shortstop with a .305 BA for the Cards, but had repeatedly gotten in trouble for his attitude, culminating in his giving fans the finger during a game in August. Smith was a brilliant shortstop but a weak hitter with the Padres. Templeton would be plagued by knee problems throughout his career, while Smith would become The Wizard, and improve his batting average by 40 points during his 15 seasons with the Cardinals.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:49 PM
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On November 19, 1993, Delino DeShields was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for then-prospect Pedro Martínez.

DeShields did nothing for the Dodgers. Martinez went on to win 3 Cy Awards.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
In late 1981, the St. Louis Cardinals (the baseball one) traded pitcher Pete Vuckovich, catcher Ted Simmons, and closer Rollie Fingers (whom they had just obtained via trade from the Padres) to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green, and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint.

Vuckovich, Simmons, and Fingers were key members of the Brewers' teams that went to the playoffs for the first time ever in '81, and went to the World Series in '82; between Fingers and Vuckovich, they won both AL Cy Young Awards and one AL MVP in those two seasons.
The irony there is that the Cardinals still beat the Brewers in said series.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:26 PM
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The irony there is that the Cardinals still beat the Brewers in said series.
Indeed so.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:24 AM
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In 1999 Mike Ditka was absolutely convinced Ricky Williams was the second coming of Walter Payton, so the New Orleans Saints traded their entire 1999 draft AND their first- and third-round picks from the 2000 draft to the Washington Redskins for the fifth overall pick which they used on Ricky Williams.

Traded to New Orleans
  • 1999 first round pick (5th overall, Ricky Williams)

Traded to Washington[13]
  • 1999 first round pick (12th overall, later traded to Chicago, used to select Cade McNown)
  • 1999 third round pick (71st overall, later traded to Chicago, used to select D'Wayne Bates)
  • 1999 fourth round pick (107th overall, used to select Nate Stimson)
  • 1999 fifth round pick (144th overall, later traded to Chicago, used to select Khari Samuel)
  • 1999 sixth round pick (179th overall, later traded to Denver, used to select Desmond Clark)
  • 1999 seventh round pick (218th overall, later traded to Denver, used to select Billy Miller)
  • 2000 first round pick (2nd overall, used to select LaVar Arrington)
  • 2000 third round pick (64th overall, used to select Lloyd Harrison)

Shockingly, it turned out Ricky Williams was decidedly NOT the second coming of Walter Payton and he was traded to the Dolphins after just 3 seasons in New Orleans. Ditka's head coaching career also ended the same season, fired after posting a 15–33 win-loss record in three seasons. Later when asked about the trade, Ditka said he would make it again.

On the other side, the Redskins being the Redskins, they turned that unprecedented bounty into a couple of Pro Bowls for LaVar Arrington, and after a few more trades, RT Jon Jansen and a few years of Champ Bailey's services, but that's pretty much it.

Last edited by DCnDC; 10-11-2019 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:17 PM
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One of the great baseball trade robberies was in 1997 when the Red Sox sent Heathcliff Slocumb to the Mariners for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Boston got an effective pitcher (who won 21 games in '02 and was a big part of their Series win in '04) and a three-time All-Star catcher who hit 193 home runs. Slocumb had a decent stint with Seattle but overall didn't do much.

To go back to olden times, there's Cincinnati trading a young Christy Mathewson to the Giants for Amos Rusie (the ''Hoosier Thunderbolt"). Rusie was well past his prime and pitched just three games for Cincinnati with zero wins. Mathewson went on to rack up 373 wins.**

*this is a lot better trade for Red Sox fans to remember than Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen.
**there's a bit of disagreement over just who Cincy gave up Mathewson for, Rusie or other players, but it was a comically bad deal no matter what.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:29 PM
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In 2007, Bill Belichick traded the Miami Dolphins a 2nd and a 7th round pick for an undrafted kick returner that the Dolphins had been using as a third-string receiver.
Even if you follow football, you probably haven't heard of Samson Satele and Brandon Fields, the players the Dolphins acquired with those picks. You've probably heard of Wes Welker.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:27 PM
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I feel like a lot of the posts in this thread should conclude:

“And now you know... The RRRREST... Of the story.”
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
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The Doyle Alexander-John Smoltz trade comes to mind. Alexander was very helpful in getting the '87 Tigers to the ALCS, even if they ended up losing to the Twins. The Braves, however, got a Hall-of-Famer for 20 years.
That was a good trade for both teams.

The most lopsided baseball trade I can think of offhand, not including the sale of Babe Ruth, was the Expos' decision to trade away Randy Johnson, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, for a year of Mark Langston.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:40 PM
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The Astros were involved in a few - Bagwell for 2 months of Larry Andersen; the Glenn Davis for Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch, and Steve Finley trade was pretty outrageous, involving a pitcher who I think should be in the Hall of Fame and a couple guys who played in all-star games for a guy who turned out to be washed up, though the Astros didn't take full advantage because they ended up trading Schilling for Jason Grimsley, who never pitched an inning for the Astros.

Last edited by Tom Scud; 10-12-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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