4. July 25, 2009: The St. Louis Cardinals got the glue guy for free.
Cardinals Receive: Matt Holliday
The importance of this trade skyrocketed following Albert Pujols‘ departure to the Angels. He acted as the glue that kept the middle of the lineup together for several years, and the importance of having that glue cannot be overstated.
The St. Louis Cardinals were able to build a young, solid lineup around Holliday and won a World Series just two seasons after he arrived. In his eight seasons in St. Louis, Holliday hit .293/.380/.494 with 156 home runs and 616 RBIs.
Holliday’s production is miles ahead of all three of the players they gave up for him, combined. Wallace has a .238 career batting average over six seasons, and did not play in the majors last season. Mortensen has a career 4.68 ERA and has not pitched since 2013. Peterson has played just 125 games at the age of 29, and has a career .254 batting average.
Essentially, the Cardinals gave up nothing but fodder for an essential transitional piece in Cardinals franchise history.