July 26th, 2000
Curt Schilling Traded
I was thinking about this the other day, Curt Schilling has been traded five times in his career. And each one of them was just an awful, awful trade for the team getting rid of Schilling. I don't know if that's some kind of record, but it sure sounds like one. The first bad trade was from the Boston Red Sox. I've discussed this trade elsewhere, but the short version is that the Red Sox surrendered both Schilling and Brady Anderson to the Orioles for pitcher Mike Boddicker. While Boddicker did go 7-3, 2.63 down the stretch to help Boston reach the playoffs, they were swept by the A's in the ALCS with Boddicker pitching ineffectively in his only start of the series. Meanwhile, in exchange for this, the Red Sox surrendered a man who would become a very good pitcher and a man who would become a very effective center fielder.
Not knowing what they had however, the Orioles promptly turned around and made an awful, awful, Schilling trade of their own. They packaged Schilling with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch and traded them to Houston for Glenn Davis. While I know it's the height of vanity to quote oneself, I think I summed up the trade quite nicely from Baltimore's perspective with regards to Davis who "[stunk] and cost a lot of money doing it."
Meanwhile, Schilling pitched an uninspiring seventy-five innings for Houston so the Astros decided to move him. As was becoming a pattern, this turned into an awful trade for the team giving up Curt. They traded him straight up to Philly for Jason Grimsley--who they would end up releasing before he even threw a pitch for the big club, meaning they basically traded Curt Schilling for nothing. It was in Philly, of course, that Schilling turned into the very good pitcher he still is (recent bullpen adventures not withstanding). He pitched well there for several years but had to go under the knife after the 1999 season. Once he returned, Schilling was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not surprisingly, it was a bad trade for the Phillies, although probably the best of any Schilling trade, as the Phils at least got rotation stalwart Vincente Padilla from the D-Backs.
After three and a half years (and a World Series) in Arizona, Schilling was traded to the Boston Red Sox. In contrast to having been on the bad end of a bad trade in giving up Schilling so many years before, this time the Sox were on the favorable side of the deal, getting an ace (and a World Series) in exchange for four mediocrities, three of whom have already left the Diamondbacks.
I know being traded five times isn't a record, but the more I think about it, the surer I am that being traded five times in five bad trades is one.