The 10 best Atlanta Braves trades

10. Bobby/Gerald Perry and Jim LeMasters to Kansas City for Charlie Leibrandt and Rick Luecken. Charlie was the steadying veteran influence the Braves’ young rotation needed in the early 90s, especially in ’91, when he won 15 games in 229 innings. In three years as a Brave Leibrandt won 39 with a 3.35 ERA. Perry batted .255 over the remainder of his career and topped 50 RBI in a season just once.

9. JS/Horacio Ramirez to Seattle for Rafael Soriano. BMF (sometimes) was a decent closer and helluva set-up man, while Horacio devolved into the worst pitcher in baseball post-Atlanta — 9-13, 6.32 ERA, 1.728 WHIP.

8. JS/Jimmy Kremers and Keith Morrison to Montreal for Otis Nixon and Boi Rodriguez. A 31-year-old career fourth outfielder before coming to the Braves, Otis emerged as an Atlanta folk hero, stealing 72 bases in ’91 with a career-best .371 OBP. Kremers never played a game for the Expos.

7. JS/Joe Roa and Tony Castillo to the Mets for Alejandro Pena. Without Big Al the ’91 miracle never happens.

6. John Mullen/Barry Bonnell, Joey McLaughlin and Pat Rockett to Toronto for Chris Chambliss and Luis Gomez. See, John Mullen wasn’t all bad. Chambliss was to the batting order in the early 80s what Leibrandt would be to the pitching staff a decade later.

5. JS/Roberto Kelly, Tony Tarasco and Esteban Yan to Montreal for Marquis Grissom. For two part-time OF’s and a future “Simpsons” punch line the Braves received a two-time Gold Glove winner, clutch hitter and clubhouse leader.

4. JS/FW (tie) Andy Marte to Boston for Edgar Renteria; Edgar to Detroit for Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez. In two seasons with the Braves Edgar hit .310. Then he turned into Neifi Perez. Could rank higher if JJ returns to 2009 form.

3. JS/Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer and Charles Thomas to Oakland for Tim Hudson. Huddy as a Brave: 73 wins, 3.57 ERA. Middle relievers Cruz and Meyer have combined for 21 wins while Charlie’s post-Atlanta BA was .100.

2. JS/Donnie Elliott, Vince Moore and Melvin Nieves for Fred McGriff. If I need to elaborate you’re reading the wrong blog.

1. Bobby/Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. One of the 10 best trades in baseball history, IMHO.

JS was responsible for 6-1/2 of the top 10 trades, Bobby for two, Mullen for one and FW for 1/2.

Honorable mention:

JS/John Rocker and Troy Cameron to the Indians for Steve(s) Karsay and Reed. The two relievers were merely adequate with the Braves but this deal stands out because it rid the team of its biggest asshole, a clubhouse cancer with nothing left in his arm.

John Mullen/Larry McWilliams to the Pirates for Pascual Perez and Carlos Rios. Despite his ’85 atrocity (1-13, 6.14 ERA) Pascual finished his Braves career with a winning record and sub-4.00 ERA. After missing the ’86 season I-285 returned to post a 2.80 ERA and 1.025 ERA over his next three years with Montreal.

FW/Casey Kotchman for Adam LaRoche. Rochey spearheaded a spirited run to the playoffs in ’09, hitting .325 with a .957 OPS in 57 games. Hope Casey speaks Japanese.

FW/Omar Infante and Mike Dunn for Dan Uggla. TBD, but the Braves got him cheap.

FW/Jose Ascanio to the Cubs for Omar Infante and Will Ohman. Which paved the way for the Uggla deal.

FW/Jon Gilmore, Santos Rodriguez, Tyler Flowers and Brent Lillibridge to the White Sox for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez (238 K’s and 44 BB in 219 IP). Flowers, soon to be 25, foundered in Triple-A last year and has 1 XBH in 27 MLB AB’s.

JS/Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez to San Francisco for Russ Ortiz. The Braves squeezed every last bit of ability from Ortiz, who won 36 during his two-year stint in A-town. Moss would win only 10 more games with an ERA above five after leaving the Braves while Valdez has spent as much time on the DL as he has on the field.

JS/Ricardo Rodriguez to Kansas City for Matty D, who hit .305 in five seasons as a Brave.

12 thoughts on “The 10 best Atlanta Braves trades

  1. Thanks for remembering that the oft-derided Ortiz was a guy we got cheap, who provided solid, if mildly irritating, work from the mound.

    Thanks, also, for remembering that Pascual was a fine hurler under Gibson’s tutelage. His career is an object lesson in the idea that if you provide some guys a little guidance, but don’t micromanage and constantly mess with them, they’ll do much better.

    Haas and, (regrettably), Leo and Sain and Tom Runnells never got that. Gibson and Felipe Alou did.

  2. I think they would’ve preferred having Schmidt back, seeing how things went after that, so that deal doesn’t make the cut. You could make a case for the Shef trade.

  3. Kerry Ligtenberg from The Prairie League for $720 worth of baseball equipment is a favorite deal of mine. Really pulled off by Greg Olson but credited to Schuerholz.

    You’ll disagree with me, but Dusty Baker and Ed Goodson for Tom Pacierok, Jimmy Wynn and Jerry Royster was a good deal. The Braves got three regulars and Royster had a 10 year Braves career. Any true Braves fan appreciates him. Plus Dusty Baker is a tool.

  4. You’re right…I disagree with you.

    If nothing else, I wish they had traded Baker (and Evans) out of the damned division.

  5. I disagree, too. There’s only one year in Royster’s miserable career as a Brave that I care to remember.

  6. Neagle as a Brave- 3 years: 38-19, 3.43 ERA, 1.167 WHIP
    Schmidt as a Pirate- 6 years: 44-47, 4.39 ERA, 1.442 WHIP
    Schmidt as a Giant- 6 years: 78-37, 3.36 ERA, 1.183 WHIP

    Schmidt was a stud for San Fran, but he wasted half a dozen years in Pittsburgh. The Braves got the better end of the deal.

  7. The Baker trade would have been better, maybe close to even, if we had held on to Lee Lacy.

  8. For ten years, Baker was a fixture in the middle of the batting order of a team that was at the top of the league. That’s a pretty good run. In return, we received a guy at the very end of his career and some utility players. Maybe if it was a one for one for someone like Davey Lopes or Rick Rhoden, it would have been an OK trade.

  9. For me, Jerry Royster epitomized all that was wrong with the club, year after year. He never stopped swinging for the fences. An indifferent fielder, he never batted .300, and didn’t provide any leadership. A waste of a roster spot.

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