St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the 10 worst trades in the last 20 years

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PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 11: Former Philadelphia Phillies (L-R) Steve Carlton and Tim McCarver stand with Beau Root (McCarver's grandson) and Brent Musburger before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on August 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals won 4-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 11: Former Philadelphia Phillies (L-R) Steve Carlton and Tim McCarver stand with Beau Root (McCarver's grandson) and Brent Musburger before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on August 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cardinals won 4-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 19: Coco Crisp #4 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 19: Coco Crisp #4 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

6. St. Louis Cardinals give up two prospects for Chuck Finley.

Cardinals Receive: Chuck Finley

Indians Receive: Coco Crisp, Luis Garcia

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Crisp in the seventh round of the 1999 draft, and he made his major league debut for the Cleveland Indians eight days after the trade. Crisp went on to have a solid career, especially in the basestealing department, swiping 309 bags in his career, including leading the American League with 49 in 2011.

More from St Louis Cardinals History

The Cardinals wanted an effective arm in their hunt for a championship in 2002, so they made the trade, sending Crisp and minor leaguer Garcia to the Indians for established reliever Finley.

Finley, for his part, did well with the Cardinals in what would be his last year. He had a 3.80 ERA in 85.1 innings and only gave up 69 hits and 30 walks. Unfortunately, he couldn’t help the Cardinals to a title.

Crisp might have fit into the Cardinals’ plans in the outfield, especially right field, which was a revolving door after the trade of J.D. Drew. Reggie Sanders, Larry Walker and Juan Encarnacion all held the position in the three years following it. Crisp also could have provided the Cardinals with some speed, which would have been beneficial in years like 2007, where the stolen-base leader, David Eckstein, only had 10.

There isn’t much to say about Garcia. He hit .266 with the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate, then played in the Dodgers’ and Mets’ farm systems. He spent the rest of his career playing in Mexico and Japan, finally calling it quits in 2018 at age 39.

The trade of Crisp made the Cardinals lose a good speed threat, although as the team often does, it filled the position pretty well. Still, it would have been nice to see Crisp tearing up the bases on a mostly station-to-station team.

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