MLB Power Rankings: The worst trade deadline deal every team has made

NEW YORK - APRIL 22: John Smoltz #29 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Shea Stadium April 22, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 22: John Smoltz #29 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Shea Stadium April 22, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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MLB Power Rankings
1995: David Cone of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a 1995 season game. David Cone played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and in 1995. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

10) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos, Randy Johnson for Mark Langston

Because the Washington Nationals are so young, we need to go back to their days in Canada as the Montreal Expos to find a truly abominable trade deadline move. It was on May 25, 1989, when they acquired Mark Langston and Mike Campbell from the Seattle Mariners for three players. One of them was Randy Johnson. During a time when the trade deadline was on June 15, the Expos were making an early grab to help themselves out. Langston would go 12-9 with a 2.39 ERA for the Expos. He’d leave in free agency while Randy Johnson got his chance for the Mariners. In 1990, Johnson was an All-Star for the first time. Still very wild in those early days, those were the beginning stages of a Hall of Fame career for the man we know as The Big Unit.

9) MLB Power Rankings: Philadelphia Phillies, Curt Schilling to the Diamondbacks

Teams never learned. Every time Curt Schilling is traded, the team that gave him up loses. The Philadelphia Phillies knew a lot about losing in the 1990s. Even with Schilling on their roster, they were frequently at the bottom of the National League. It was in the middle of the 2000 season when they finally dealt him to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He helped them win the World Series the very next year and would do the same for the Boston Red Sox in 2004. In return for Schilling, the Phillies received Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla. Average players at best, quantity did not beat quality in this deal.

8) MLB Power Rankings: Seattle Mariners, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to the Red Sox

July 31, 1997, was an important day in Boston Red Sox history. It was a dreadful one for the Seattle Mariners. A team that has yet to even make it to the World Series acquired a very mediocre pitcher, Heathcliff Slocumb, in exchange for two of the core members of the 2004 Red Sox championship. Slocumb had a 4.13 ERA in 28.1 innings in 1997 and saw it rise to 5.32 in 1998. The Mariners gave up Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for him. Lowe had plenty of good years for the Red Sox but most importantly he was a postseason hero and the winner of the World Series clincher in 2004. Varitek became the team captain and there isn’t a single moment or season to truly define his importance to the Red Sox. All of this was given up for a bad reliever.

7) MLB Power Rankings: Toronto Blue Jays, David Cone to the Yankees

Major points are deducted for this trade because of the teams involved. On July 28, 1995, the Toronto Blue Jays made their worst trade deadline deal. David Cone was sent to the New York Yankees for Marty Janzen and two players who never made the majors. While Cone was just a rental, playing for the Yankees in 1995 reunited him with the Big Apple and helped lead to multiple new contracts with them. Cone was a big part of the late 1990s success for the Yankees. Despite being into his mid-30s already, he’d go 81-51 with a 3.13 ERA over parts of seven seasons. The Blue Jays fed him to a rival and officially handed over the American League East to a rival.

6) MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers, Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines

This may be an outlier of bad trade deadline deals for a strange reason. That’s because the team with the Hall of Famer looks like the loser. It was on July 29, 1989 when Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher, and Sammy Sosa were all sent from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. Alvarez had a pretty good career with the White Sox, however, it’s Sosa who trumped this trade. Of course, the Rangers ruined their good fortune by later trading Sosa to the Chicago Cubs before he took off. Baines was just okay for the Rangers and ended up traded to the Oakland Athletics a little over a year later in a deal nobody probably remembers.