#20 Brett Tomko SP
Tomko was another case of the Cardinals reaching for a pitcher because of Dave Duncan’s prowess. Tomko was traded to the Cardinals in December of 2002 for Mike Wodnicki and Luther Hackman. At the point of the trade, Tomko had been on three different teams having been traded by all three teams.
This was a definite Dave Duncan grab if there ever was one, as Tomko had never had a FIP lower than 3.97 in his career. Tomko didn’t become the Dave Duncan dumpster find that all would have liked him to be, as he finished the 2003 season 13-9, with a career worst ERA of 5.28 and FIP of 5.o7. That year Tomko gave up 35 homers, and hitters managed to have an even .300 average against him.
While he may have had a fWAR of 1.0 that season, Tomko’s FIP is tied for fifth worst in team history. While I am thankful for what Duncan did as a pitching coach for the Cardinals, I am beginning to be grateful that the team is no longer employing his services. This is because the GM is no longer trying to find pitchers with awful ERAs that he can turn around.
However, it is moves like these that set the Cardinals up for success financially and allowed them to keep guys like Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols for as long as they did. I honestly believe that Tomko was one of the most overrated trade acquisitions in team history, as from my memory, many believed Tomko was going to turn the corner in St. Loius. That was not the case and here he is at #2o on our list.
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