If your sleep schedule is the same as the residents of your local nursing home, you likely missed one of the biggest moves of the MLB off season. Nolan Arenado, the perennial all-star who wins a Gold Glove every year, was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the St. Louis Cardinals for a bunch of slapdick prospects. For the purpose of this piece, their names are completely irrelevant. The kicker, though, is that the Rockies sent $50 million in addition to their best player. Just a little care package to sweeten the deal, I guess. A small gift of $50 million dollars. Anyway, this fleece job got me thinking… what’s the worst trade of all time? I’m not sure I can crown a winner (loser), but I can certainly tell you who the contenders are.
The Louisiana Purchase
In 1803, France sold all that land, highlighted in orange, to the United States for $15 million dollars. Napoleon Bonaparte was struggling to finance a war, so he said “eh, we don’t need that 530 million acres of land” (direct quote) and sold it to the US for $3 million in gold and the rest in bonds. You can call this whatever you want — a purchase, a trade, an exchange — but whatever it was, it was a dogshit deal for the French. What kind of an idiot sells a THIRD of the continental United States for some gold and a bag of Doritos? Napoleon is what the French call les incompetents.
The Racial Draft
The white delegation made waves in the Racial Draft by selecting Colin Powell, who is “not even an eighth white”, with their first pick. It was a shocking move by the presumptuous whites, and the pick was immediately called into question. Ultimately, the black delegation accepted the white delegation’s claim of Colin Powell, with the only exception being the whites take Condoleezza Rice as a part of the deal. Already a one-sided transaction, the white delegator seized an opportunity — sending OJ Simpson to the blacks. The black delegation’s request for Eminem was swiftly shot down. This was as lopsided a trade as you’ll ever see.
Babe Ruth traded for $100,000
As a Red Sox fan, this pains me. If I was writing this article in 2003, I likely wouldn’t be able to make it through this section. That’s mostly due to the fact that I was six years old at the time, but you get the point — it’s an easier topic to discuss now that the curse has been broken (and broken, and broken, and broken again). The greatest baseball player who ever lived, and the game’s biggest attraction, sold for $100,000. Harry Frazee’s grave should be dug up and thrown in prison for doing that. And the worst part? He traded the Bambino to finance a Broadway play, called My Lady Friends. As much as I love a good theatre production, I can’t even begin to justify this trade. It was terrible, plain and simple.
Ed Monix for a washing machine
Ed Monix was a key component in the Flint Tropics fourth place run in the American Basketball Association. Tropics owner/coach/starting power forward Jackie Moon acquired Monix for a washing machine — which he conceded they desperately needed. But nonetheless, Monix brought NBA-level insight to Flint and helped the Tropics win the Flint Michigan Mega Bowl. I can’t fully quantify how bad this trade was without smelling the unwashed uniforms of Monix’s previous team, the Kentucky Colonels, but I can’t imagine they were dirty enough to warrant trading a point guard with NBA experience. Jackie Moon fleeced the Colonels, without question.
Who did I leave out? Tweet your “worst trades of all time” to me @Ben13Porter on Twitter