St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the 10 worst trades in the last 20 years
10. St. Louis Cardinals trade Marc Rzepczynski for minor leaguer.
Cardinals Receive: Juan Herrera
Indians Receive: Marc Rzepczynski
Rzepczynski came to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 mega-trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that also netted the Cardinals Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson and Corey Patterson. The 2013 Cardinals bullpen had some solid left-handers, so Rzepczynski’s trade was understandable.
He performed pretty well for the Cardinals in 2011, but he began to struggle in 2012 with a 4.24 ERA, and his troubles heightened during his brief time in the majors in 2013. He was shipped off to Cleveland in July, where he turned things around.
Rzepczynski’s time from 2013 on was decent for the most part. He pitched to an ERA of 3.72, including 0.89 in his 20.1 innings with Cleveland in 2013. The change of scenery seemed to do him some good. He has amassed a respectable 198 strikeouts in 201 innings since 2013 as well. Since Rzepczynski left, the Cardinals have had some trouble with left-handers in the bullpen (see Cecil, Brett).
The player the Cardinals received, Herrera, never really materialized. He struggled to hit in High-A and Double-A after the trade, and he was last seen in independent ball in 2017. While this trade will never be seen as a disaster, Rzepczynski could have solidified the bullpen in later years.