I just had a chance to check out Doug Decatur’s book, Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History, which was released eight months ago.
Decatur has worked as a statistical consultant for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. And, in “Traded” he uses stats to determine the 306 most lopsided baseball trades of the twentieth century. Bascially, Decatur adds up the future Win Shares for each player after the trade for the two teams- and the net difference determines a score that allows for rankings . But, this book is more than just a ranking of trades. The author also provides a team-by-team overview of the best and worst trades in each team’s history as well as providing countless “fun” stories about the people involved in, or behind, these transactions. Also, as a bonus, Decatur shares thirteen red flags that might indicate a lopsided trade now or in the future.
The Yankees? Well, the have the second best trade ever according to his analysis – when they swapped cash for Babe Ruth. But, they also have the third worst trade ever – when they traded Fred McGriff, Mike Morgan and Dave Collins for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. Ouch.
What I enjoyed most about “Traded,” aside from it being a great chronicle of some crazy baseball trades, is that it provides a ton of data and commentary, makes you think, and sparks some debate. And, what more can you want from a baseball book – especially one that focus on baseball history and statistics?
“Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History” is a fun and informative read and a worthy addition to every baseball library. In a word, this book was “stimulating.” I recommend this one to baseball fans of all levels – as there’s something in there for everyone.