Nine who got away: #1, Adam Wainwright
Before the Adam Wainwright deal, the Braves typically guessed right about which pitching prospects to trade. Bruce Chen, Odalis Perez, Luis Rivera and Rob Bell were all considered top prospects but none fulfilled their potential (the exception being Jason Schmidt).
Meanwhile, Wainwright has exceeded expectations. In 2006 he stepped up as the Cards’ closer, pitching 9-2/3 scoreless innings in October and saving 4. The following year he was moved to the rotation, and since 2007 the Brunswick native is 78-47 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.215 WHIP as a starter. He’s thrown 200 or more innings three times, narrowly missing last year (198 IP).
Had Wainwright remained a Brave the Derek Lowe signing likely doesn’t happen. Desperation drove that acquisition — desperation created by the ill-considered trade for Just Disabled.