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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CHICAGO – AUGUST 09: Chris Perez #54 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the pitch during the game against the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO – AUGUST 09: Chris Perez #54 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the pitch during the game against the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

3. St. Louis Cardinals trade pitching for veteran infielder.

Cardinals Receive: Mark DeRosa

Indians Receive: Chris Pérez, Jess Todd

In the middle of 2009, the St. Louis Cardinals traded relievers Perez and Todd for a known commodity in DeRosa. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, DeRosa hurt his wrist just a few games after being traded, and after coming off the disabled list, he couldn’t get going. He hit only .228 with the Cardinals in 237 at-bats after hitting .270 with the Indians earlier in the season. He had surgery after the season and was released.

Pérez was decent in his stint with the Cardinals. He had an ERA of 3.46 in 2008, and the next year, he struck out 30 batters in 23.2 innings before he was traded. 2010 was when Pérez really got going. He became the Indians’ closer and had a 1.71 ERA. He remained the closer for the team through 2013, and he made the All-Star team in 2011 and 2012.

Pérez fell from grace quite quickly, though. He was arrested in 2013 for possession of marijuana and was later released by the Indians. The Los Angeles Dodgers scooped him up in what would be his final major league season. He had an ERA of 4.27 and was released in October. He signed with the Brewers, but he only pitched 7.2 innings in the team’s Triple-A affiliate and gave up 14 runs. He was out of baseball after that.

Todd only had 1.2 major league innings under his belt when he went to Cleveland as the player to be named later. He never found much success in the major leagues, with a career ERA of 7.62 in 28.1 innings. The Cardinals got him back off waivers from the New York Yankees in 2011, but he never saw the majors again.

The Cardinals were going through closer after closer during Pérez’s time solidifying the back of the bullpen with Cleveland. Ryan Franklin, Fernando Salas, Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal all served in the role to varying degrees of success. Some stability might have been appreciated at that time. Even if DeRosa had stayed healthy, it’s hard to think that he would have outperformed Pérez.

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