1. The Mega Trade
David Green was an amateur free agent from Nicaragua when he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978. In December 1980, he was part of the mega trade which was part of the plan to re-engineer the Cardinals by Herzog. The trade sent future Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and Ted Simmons, along with future Cy Young Award winner Pete Vuckovich, to Milwaukee for Green, Dave LaPoint, Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen.
With the earlier trade for Bruce Sutter, and the signing of catcher Darrell Porter, Fingers and Simmons became expendable, at least in Herzog’s eyes. For the Cardinals, Green was the lynch pin for them to make the trade. Herzog said at the time the time, ” we think so much of Green that we would not have made the deal if he had not been in it.”
David Green, in the view of the Cardinals, would be their future center fielder and an impact player for the franchise for years to come. Many scouts and executives in the industry at the time considered Green a five-tool player.
However, as baseball history has shown us, this didn’t turn out to be the case. In other words, the trade didn’t work out as Whitey Herzog and the Cardinals had hoped.