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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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In Sports

Rollie Fingers provided immediate relief upon his arrival.

In Sports

Catcher Ted Simmons was a leader at the plate and in the clubhouse.

In Sports

Getting Jeromy Burnitz for Kevin Seitzer was a steal.

Brewers' trade history is marked by blockbusters, busts


About six weeks from now, if not sooner, Brewers fans could be celebrating Carlos Lee's contract extension or critiquing the trade that sent the left fielder out of town.

Nobody is certain how that one will play out at this point.

While waiting to see what happens, we thought it would be fun to discuss some of the best and worst trades in Brewers history. Our extensive research (OK, it wasn't that extensive), shows that the Brewers have actually fared reasonably well in trades.

Free agency is another matter, of course, but we'll save that for the off-season.

Whether you agree, disagree or simply would like to nominate a few candidates of your own to our trade list, feel free to use the talkback feature at the end of this story to add your input.

And now, on to the list:

THE BEST TRADES IN BREWERS HISTORY

THE BLOCKBUSTER
On Dec. 12, 1980, the Brewers acquire catcher Ted Simmons, pitcher Pete Vuckovich and closer Rollie Fingers in exchange for outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint.

This deal paved the way for the Brewers to make the playoffs in 1981 and '82. Fingers, a future Hall of Famer, won the Cy Young Award in 1981, Vuckovich won it the following year. Simmons provided offense from behind the plate and leadership in the clubhouse.

Although it's almost unheard of to pick up two Cy Young winners in a single trade, this deal wasn't as lopsided as some Brewers fans would like to think. The Cardinals had a surplus of relievers and catchers and needed Sorensen and LaPoint to solidify their rotation and get Green, who was regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball at the time of this deal.

The Cardinals also beat the Brewers in the '82 World Series.

COOOOP!
On Dec. 6, 1976, the Brewers traded popular first baseman George "Boomer" Scott and outfielder Bernie Carbo to Boston for a sweet-swinging first baseman named Cecil Cooper.

Cooper went on to be one of the top hitters in the American League for about a decade. Scott, who had started his career in Boston, hit 33 homers in 1977 but tailed off quickly after that. Carbo, a pivotal figure in the 1975 World Series, had been acquired by the Brewers on June 3, 1975 in exchange for Tom Murphy and Bobby Darwin.

DANDY DON
On Aug. 30, 1982, the Brewers sent three players to be named later (Kevin Bass, Frank DiPino and Mike Madden) to Houston in exchange for Don Sutton. Sutton, a future Hall of Famer, validated this deal with strong pitching down the stretch, including a victory in the do-or-die final game of the regular season in Baltimore.

The Brewers traded Sutton to Oakland in the winter of 1984, receiving Ray Burris, Eric Barry and Ed Myers in return.

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Talkbacks

dogfather | Aug. 11, 2011 at 7:40 p.m. (report)

You seriously left out the Cirillo trade as one of the worst in Brewers' history? Milwaukee traded their all-time leader in career batting average for three garbage players, Jimmy Haynes, Henry Blanco, and Jamey Wright. Blanco made Craig Counsell look like a decent hitter! Easily the worst trade in Brewer history.

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OMCreader | June 19, 2006 at 3:27 p.m. (report)

St. Germain said: You left out trades that almost happened, but never did. Like the one in the winter of 2003 when the Brewers almost traded the entire roster for 2 rosin bags, 3 Mizuno batting gloves, 3 ham sandwiches, and a portobella mushroom. It's too bad this one never went through. We could have used the ham sandwiches.

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OMCreader | June 17, 2006 at 12:02 p.m. (report)

Thank You said: That was a very interesting history to the Brewers trading past. I'd have to say (although I may be biased due to my age of 27) that the trade with Arizona that brought Overbay and Clark to Milwaukee was one of the best deals. Simply because we are still feeling the positive effects even this past week: Capuano (12k's) and Zach Jackson pitching a great game earlier this week (overbay trade). So that is why I'm so partial to the "Sexy Deal" part 2.

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