Every franchise has trades that they wish they could take back. Sometimes these can be so catastrophic that they have ripple effects that can be felt for years down the road. As we approach the trade deadline you will often see articles on the worst trades in the history of baseball. Obviously Babe Ruth usually tops these lists, but I wanted to to showcase two trades from the Pirates that should have never happened.
2002 Donruss Fan Club Auto Aramis Ramirez
In 2001 Aramis Ramirez hit 34 homeruns, 40 doubles with a batting average of .300. It looked like they had found a young superstar in the making. 2002 came around and Ramirez hurt his ankle, but played through the injury (some reports say the Pirates made him play through it). This zapped his production. Cubs GM Jim Hendry thought this might be a good buy low time on Ramirez and offered Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill and a minor league pitcher. The Pirates jumped on the deal and the rest is history. Ramirez went on to be one of the most productive third baseman in the past 10 years and the Pirates continued their losing ways for another 12 years. This is the consensus worst trade in franchise history. It was a low point during the record losing streak.
2006 Topps Series 2 Jose Bautista Auto
Jose Bautista was never a great player for the Pirates. Any Pirate fan that says they could see him developing the way he did is lying. Bautista credits the Blue Jays hitting coach with fixing a flaw in his swing so its reasonable to say that he might have never put up the huge power numbers if he had stayed with the Pirates. Bautista was going to lose a good bit of his playing time to newly acquired Andy Laroche at third so instead of playing Bautista as super utility guy the Pirates immediately traded him to the Blue Jays for minor league catcher Robinzon Diaz. The rest is history. Laroche turned out to be a bust and Bautista blossomed into one of the more feared power hitters in the game. I'm happy for Joey Bats that he blossomed into a great player.....just wish the Pirates were smart enough to see this potential.
Thankfully now the Pirates have changed how the front office evaluates talent and seem to have put these types of deals behind him. I don't think I could stomach another Aramis Ramirez situation. They are signing young talent to long term extensions and evaluating the free agent market better.
Have a nice weekend!