March 07, 2007

The Royals Worst - And Best - Trade: Ed Hearn is known for one of the worst trades in Kansas City Royals history. After three kidney transplants, skin cancer, and suicidal thoughts, he's now known by many for something far better.

posted by dyams to baseball at 01:18 PM - 11 comments

Great story!

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 01:40 PM on March 07, 2007

Sports fans have a bad habit of gauging trades in hindsight. When the Royals dealt David Cone, they had very little reason to believe he was going to become what he did. He had two mediocre (at best) seasons as a starter, one in AA Memphis in '84, one in AAA Omaha in '85 (overall he was 17-27 with an ERA well over 4.00). In '85 he enjoyed more success in AAA when they decided to make him a closer, but when he joined the Royals' bullpen he managed only a 5.56 ERA in 22 innings. He had very marginal success in 1986 with the Mets at both the minor and major league level. He had good stuff, but only like so many others before and since -- there was no reason to believe he was a year away from winning 20 games in the bigs. He had shown more success as a closer-type, and the Royals already had Dan Quisenberry. In addition to Hearn, the Royals got Mauro Gozzo, who was only 20 and was lighting up the A leagues for the Mets; Rick Anderson, who, though somewhat long-in-the-tooth at 29, was coming off a great season pitching at both the AAA and major league levels; and Hearn. Most GMs would jump at this trade. If Cone fizzled out (like Gozzo) and Gozzo hit it big (like Cone), the view of this trade would, of course, be completely reversed. I realize this is off the track of the point of the story, which is a great one, but hanging these tags on trades that come more than anything from luck is a pet peeve.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:35 PM on March 07, 2007

Thanks for the link, I'll have to send this to my buddy in KC that has a "CONEFAN" license plate!

posted by emoeby at 03:08 PM on March 07, 2007


posted by nafsfeihc at 07:28 AM on March 08, 2007

Sports fans have a bad habit of gauging trades in hindsight. Fans definitely do this, but it will always come with the territory. An organization's ability to gauge talent and potential accurately is what keeps many at the top, while others continually falter. Watching the Florida Marlins always seem to find fantastic young players after they purge their entire roster every few years is a good example. They win with guys they establish (ex. Beckett, Pierre), then get rid of them and bring in more young, unknowns who wind up becoming fairly big names themselves. I half expect Florida to be back on top of the NL fairly soon, possibly win a championship, then start the entire process over again.

posted by dyams at 08:30 AM on March 08, 2007

An organization's ability to gauge talent and potential accurately is what keeps many at the top, while others continually falter. No doubt teams have an opportunity to hedge their bets with effective scouting, but it's still pretty much a crapshoot. The same Mets club that pulled off the deal to get Cone also tightly clutched the Big Three of Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson. None of those guys were what they thought they were. You are dead on about the Marlins. They have been geniuses in the area of rebuilding, and have made very savvy deals along the way. But again, there's so much luck that goes along with that, particularly with pitchers. The stars really aligned for them in '03, when they managed to keep Brad Penny, Josh Beckett and Carl Pavano all reasonably healthy when they needed them, Dontrelle Willis came out of nowhere, and I feel safe in saying that no team will ever have a championship year with Braden Looper as their closer. Are there ever bad trades? Certainly. Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano was a horrible trade in every conceivable way. But when a team is doing some pure speculating with unproven talent, it doesn't seem fair to me to jump all over them when it doesn't pan out.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:05 AM on March 08, 2007

You know we all have our good days and our bad days and a story like this and other stories of what some other people have to go through put it all in a different perspective Thanks for posting this and I'll end it with this how do you know when a player is young how good is he gonna be or how great? It's a gamble

posted by luther70 at 10:53 AM on March 08, 2007

Like Sousepaw said, trades are always a crapshoot. The only thing you can guarantee is fans will let you know which trades turned out horribly. Fans are always hard to please, but when a guy becomes a star after having been in your team's organization? And you wound up getting practically nothing in return? Don't expect them to ever understand. It's only understandable (and comical) when someone else's favorite team winds up on the short end of one of those deals.

posted by dyams at 11:19 AM on March 08, 2007

Trades are hard to judge at the time for sure, but are they always a crapshoot? What about the Shaq deal? Or the Gretzky deal? Maybe I'm off, I dunno, there are probably better examples too.

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 03:56 PM on March 08, 2007

Trades are hard to judge at the time for sure, but are they always a crapshoot? I should have specified that I meant specifically trades that involve prospects. And even then there are some deals that just can't be waived off. The Kazmir/Zambrano deal was one. Curt Schilling's blog reminded me of another -- Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis. All three of those guys had already cracked the bigs and shown some success at that level. Even if Davis continued at the level of productivity he had exhibited in Houston, this is still a horrible deal for a club that was nowhere near being one slugger away from a championship club.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:01 AM on March 09, 2007

Now that the Yankees, of all teams, have seemingly turned the corner and began seeing the benefit of young prospects, I'm thinking it will become more widespread. In the past, seeing a year or two of big numbers by a particular player caused other teams to become starstruck (especially those considered on the verge of a possible championship). But World Series championships are such a fluke sometimes, and so many things have to fall into place that teams don't seem to want to squander their long-term picture for a possible quick-fix. Many of these prospects won't develop into big stars, but especially with pitchers, if you aquire enough of them in your system, you may hit on enough where you'll have a chance at a dominating staff for several years.

posted by dyams at 10:14 AM on March 09, 2007

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.