7/18 Top in-season trades
OK, readers, I know how much you like to debate all things Cubs. Here are my top six in-season trades (remember, it’s in-season, not off season). Agree? Disagree? I know you’ll comment:
1. June 13, 1984: Cubs receive RHP Rick Sutcliffe, RHP George Frazier and C Ron Hassey from the Indians for OFs Joe Carter and Mel Hall and Minor League RHPs Darryl Banks and Don Schulze.
The Cubs had a 1 1/2 game lead and the rotation was dealing with injuries when they made the deal for Sutcliffe, who was 4-5 with a 5.15 ERA at that point with the Indians. The right-hander finished the year 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA, won the Cy Young award, and helped the Cubs get to the playoffs for the first time since 1945.
Some say the Cubs gave away more than they got — dealing future World Series hero Joe Carter for Sutcliffe, who battled injuries. Sutcliffe also won 18 games in 1987, 13 in ’88, and 16 in ’89 with the Cubs. Hassey played 14 seasons in the big leageus, while Banks and Schulze never made it.
2. April 21, 1966: Cubs receive RHP Ferguson Jenkins, OF Adolfo Phillips and OF/1B John Herrnstein from the Phillies for RHP Larry Jackson and RHP Bob Buhl.
The deal was made nine days after the season began. The Cubs were desperate for pitching help, and picked up Jenkins, who was 22 years old at the time. The right-hander posted six straight 20-win seasons, and compiled a 167-132 record and 3.20 ERA in 10 seasons with the Cubs. He finished with 997 walks in 664 games.
Phillips delivered three productive seasons before he was dealt to the Expos. Buhl and Jackson combined for 47-53 mark with the Phillies, then retired. Jenkins, who also pitched for the Rangers and Red Sox, finished with 284 wins, and secured a spot in Cooperstown in 1991.
3. July 23, 2003: Cubs receive 3B Aramis Ramirez, OF Kenny Lofton and cash from Pirates for IF Jose Hernandez, Minor Leaguer RHP Matt Bruback and player to be named later. 2B Bobby Hill was sent to the Pirates to complete deal.
The Cubs were counting on young Corey Patterson to lead off and cover center, and he batted .298 in 83 games but suffered a knee injury on July 6. Lofton filled the leadoff spot, batting .327 in 56 games, while Ramirez was Mr. Clutch, hitting 15 home runs and driving in 39 runs in 63 games. The two, plus the late addition that year of first baseman Randall Simon, acquired Aug. 17, gave the Cubs the offensive spark they needed to reach the playoffs.
A solid defensive player, Ramirez stayed with Chicago for nine seasons, totaling 239 home runs and 806 RBIs. Hernandez was versatile and popular, but he was batting .188 at the time with the Cubs. He lasted 15 seasons in the big leagues, playing for nine different teams.
4. June 15, 1949: Cubs receive OF Hank Sauer and OF Frankie Baumholtz from the Reds for OF Harry Walker and OF/3B Peanuts Lowrey.
Walker was the 1947 batting champion, and ended up playing 165 games for the Reds before retiring. Sauer was 32 at the time of the trade, and had his best years ahead of him. he batted .367 in his first 39 games with the Cubs with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs. He belted 171 homers with the Cubs, drove in 100 runs three times, and won the MVP award in 1952. Baumholtz, a throw-in in the deal, developed into a solid center fielder and batted over .300 for five seasons with the Cubs.
5. Aug. 13, 1913: Cubs receive LHP Hippo Vaughn from Kansas City Minor League team for RHP Lew Richie
The Yankees weren’t high on Vaughn after a 2-8 season in 1912, and the Senators claimed him on waivers. The Cubs found Vaughn in the Minors, and he became the best left-handed starter in team history, totaling 151 wins, 35 shutouts and five 20-win seasons. Vaughn still holds team marks for most wins by a lefty, most starts (270), most complete games (177), most shutouts, most innings pitched (2,216 1/3), most strikeouts (1,138).
6. May 25, 1984: Cubs receive RHP Dennis Eckersley and IF Mike Brumley from the Red Sox for 1B Bill Buckner.
Buckner was batting .209, and the Cubs had Leon Durham to take over at first. Eckersley was a starter at this point in his Hall of Fame career, and 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA in nine starts with the Red Sox when he joined the Cubs. He finished the season 10-8 with a 3.03 ERA, including two complete games, in 24 starts to help the team reach the postseason for the first time since 1945.
The Cubs parted ways with Eckersley on April 3, 1987, sending him to the Athletics for three Minor League players, David Wilder, Brian Guinn and Mark Leonette. Eckersley was 32, but he resurrected his career in Oakland, and finished with 390 saves over 12 seasons. Eckersley ended up in the Hall of Fame. Wilder, Guinn and Leonette never played for the Cubs.
– Carrie Muskat