Wednesday, February 16, 2005


February 16th, 1953

Four Way Trade Completed

You don't see many four way trades these days, although, to be fair, you didn't see many in those days either. This one featured the Phillies, Braves, Reds and Dodgers, and involved five players and two cash transactions. The trade began when Russ "The Mad Monk" Meyer went from the Phillies to the Braves, in exchange for first baseman Earl "The Earl of Snohomish" Torgeson. The Braves then turned around and traded Meyer to the Dodgers for Jim Pendleton and Rocky Bridges. Still not done dealing, the Braves then sent Bridges to the Reds who sent Joe Adcock in return. At some point in all this dealing the Phils also sent money to the Braves who also sent cash to the Reds. At the end of the deal then:

Braves: Received cash, Joe Adcock and Jim Pendleton.
Phillies: Received Earl Torgeson
Reds: Received cash and Rocky Bridges
Dodgers: Received Russ Meyer

So how do the teams rank in their performance in the trades?

(4) Reds: Bridges spent five seasons in
Cincinnati (plus two months of sixth) before he was waived to the Senators. Bridges was a no-hit utility man who played around the infield for the Reds, but never posted an OPS+ above 75 for his time there. The Reds also gave up Joe Adcock--who will be discussed more below.

(2 [Tie]) Phillies: Earl Torgeson put together a decent season (117 OPS+) for a decent Phillies team (83-71) in 1953, and followed it with a not-so-decent one (93 OPS+, the drop coming almost entirely from a major loss of power) for a no-so-decent Phillies team (75-79). He was traded the next season to the Tigers where he enjoyed a brief career resurgence and hung on through the 1961 season.

(2 [Tie]) Dodgers: Although Meyer went 15-5 his first year in
Brooklyn, his ERA jumped from 3.14 to 4.56 and he was relegated to the bullpen for the Dodgers six game loss to the Yankees in the World Series. He rebounded slightly in 1955 going 11-6 with a 3.99 ERA, but was traded after the season (along with Don Hoak) to the Cubs. After a few more mediocre seasons, Meyer was out of baseball.

(1) Braves: Although the Braves gave up Earl Torgeson, in exchange they got Joe Adcock. Adcock played more than 1200 games for the Braves, and is in the franchise all-time top ten in average (.285), on-base percentage (.343), slugging percentage (.511, good for fifth all-time) and ranks below only Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Dale Murphy and the Joneses (Chipper and Andruw) for all-time Braves' home runs. The Braves dealt an aging first baseman and in return got a very good to excellent player for years to come, making them the clear winners of the trade.

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