• Traded: Inside The Most Lopsided Trades In Baseball History

    Posted by on July 24th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Traded: Inside The Most Lopsided Trades In Baseball HistoryI 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.

    Having read Decatur’s last book, four years ago, and finding that one to be very enjoyable, I was looking forward to reading this one. And, now done, I can say that “Traded” did not disappoint me.

    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.

    Comments on Traded: Inside The Most Lopsided Trades In Baseball History

    1. Corey Italiano
      July 24th, 2010 | 1:08 pm

      What trade could be better than the trade that put the Red Sox under for all of those years?

    2. July 24th, 2010 | 1:26 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      What trade could be better than the trade that put the Red Sox under for all of those years?

      According to the book, it was the Astros getting Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis.

    3. Corey Italiano
      July 24th, 2010 | 1:36 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      According to the book, it was the Astros getting Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis.

      The Astros didn’t make the playoffs with any of those players playing for them…

    4. Evan3457
      July 24th, 2010 | 4:32 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Steve Lombardi wrote:
      According to the book, it was the Astros getting Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis.
      The Astros didn’t make the playoffs with any of those players playing for them…

      He’s rating the trade according to overall value accumulated by the players involved after the deal was made.

      Schilling turned in a likely Hall of Fame career.

      Finley was an excellent outfielder for over 10 years, accumulating 2500 hits, 1400 runs, 300 HR, 300 steals, won 5 Gold Gloves, made the All-Star team twice. He’s just a not quite marginal Hall of Fame candidate.

      Harnisch’s career was shortend by injuries, but he was an excellent starter for several seasons, as well. Made one All-Star team, finished in NL Top Ten in wins twice, and ERA three times, and K’s three times.

      Davis, who’d had 5-6 decent-to-good years with the Astros in the Astrodome, promptly fell off the cliff after the trade, hitting .223 in the remaining 180 or so games of his career, albeit with some power (28 HR).

      Though Ruth had the most valuable career in baseball history, the sum of Schilling, Finely and Harnisch, minus Davis’ piddling contribution, is larger than Ruth’s surplus value to the Yanks, by at least the worth of 1 good player.

    5. August 1st, 2010 | 11:30 am

      [...] acknowledgment of today’s trade deadline, here’s a review of Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History , from waswatching.com (must be some kind of record for most uses of “trade” in the [...]

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